Life Lesson: When Quitting Is No Longer An Option

In the past, when bad days would happen I would let myself believe that quitting was better than fighting and living for tomorrow. When a disappointment or setback would occur, I would suffer a dramatic low that I never thought I could come back from. For so long, nonstop I allowed this destructive behavior to determine my outlook on life both present and future. This way of thinking allowed deep roots to form in my life that made it almost impossible to see myself as victorious. I would convince myself over and over how tomorrow wouldn’t come, opportunities wouldn’t happen and I would always be drowning in sorrow. Why was that? Truth is, giving up always seems easier than sticking it out. As far back as I could remember, I’ve relied on my emotions, those raw deep feelings to be the driving force in my life. I allowed those raw deep feelings lead me to a prison of suspension. I had begun to feel caged in by my doubts, fears, and worries. I allowed them to overshadow my purpose, destiny, and drive.

But when I had enough of the “just getting by” lifestyle I was leading I finally made a change. I choose life. Please believe when I say it’s hard choosing life because it involves a lot of dead weight and dead things to be killed off. When you choose life, you have to get rid of everything, your mindset, behavior and your will in order to be transformed.

It took a lot of crying, a lot of waiting, of a lot of falling and fighting to get back up, but with every loss I struggled with I now see it was all gains that will always outweigh.  To the moments in my life where I was confused, frustrated, and bitter it’s not replaced with confidence, assurance, and a bittersweet victory.

The lesson I had to learn was there is a true way to giving up in so to really win and that’s to give up to Jesus Christ. That surrendering your heart, mind, and soul to Him was the only way to have total victory. To dig so deep into the Word of God that you lose yourself guarantees that you find him and you’re true self.

Looking back on each and every time I wanted to quit, each and every time I stopped swinging and let my head hung long that was the time God reached down, placed His hands on me and prayed for me. Don’t ever think for one second that while you’re fighting this fight, while you are struggling to get through that you are the only one. No, if your family, your friends, or even the saints don’t know trust and believe God knows. He sees you in that abusive relationship, He sees you at the doctor’s office trying to get a cure, He sees you at work dealing with that boss and He is stretching out His hand praying for you. Truly, no weapon, no amount of defeat can keep you from what God has destined for you to have. I am a living witness!

For years I thought I wasn’t going to make it, I let the devil make me believe that victory wouldn’t be mine but I’m writing from the comfort of my home to tell you it’s time to spring forth. It’s time to rise up and walk! All you have to do is say,  “In the name of Jesus Christ” and it gives an invitation for your Father in Heaven to fight on your behalf. You haven’t lost the fight, there is still a chance for you to overcome. It’s time to make up your mind that quitting is no longer an option!

Life Lesson: You Can’t Have It All Without Christ

CHRIST IS ALL.jpgIt’s officially crazy holiday shopping season. Thanksgiving has come and gone and the spirit of spend, spend, spend is upon us. My email inbox is flooded with deals, deals, and more deals. Each email I get is tugging me to go shop here and spend this. Each offer is nice and inviting but once I really take a moment away from the rustling and bustling of holiday hustle I realize how much of a black hole the holiday season can be. I also realize I need to start unsubscribing from some emails…

Growing up my parents never place great emphasis on the typical Christmas celebration of Santa Claus, elves, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Though we entertained ourselves on those snowy days with wonderful Hallmark and family movies about spreading cheer and giving, their primary goal was to give us the true gift that Christ gave us.

I’m pretty confident that everyone knows the Birth of Jesus Christ. It’s a story that never gets old. Mary and Joseph do the unthinkable and start on a journey leading them to the King of Kings. Most people probably thought they were crazy! I for one can’t imagine trying to spend the first year of my marriage preparing for a baby. Most newlyweds are still trying to get situated and pick a family toothpaste. All of their sacrifices allowed them to be honored as the parents of the King of the World. They didn’t have much, in fact, when he was born he was in kind of a bind. Mary had to deliver Jesus in a barn filled with random smells, various animals, and not a single Christmas tree or decorated stocking.

Yet, what they lacked in careers, home, lifestyle, and finances, Jesus Christ made up for it. It’s not Christmas because the wise man came with gifts, the shepherds came to awe, and the drummer boy played. It’s Christmas because of Jesus Christ being born.

So, this holiday season I’m unsure of which direction I should go in regards to gift shopping. I started this post thinking I couldn’t have it all. I thought after scrolling through my favorite stores online, seeing all the great sales, discounts and realizing that everything my eyes sees and wants my pockets can’t guarantee. But now, after reminiscing about Jesus’s birth my eyes are opened and I know that I can have it all!

I have it all the moment I gave my life to Jesus Christ. The moment he was born in a manager by a virgin was when I could have it all. I could have joy, peace, freedom, love, victory, life abundantly. So, though I might only buy a couple of items from a store or two, I refuse to let that change how I view how blessed I am.

 

Life Lesson: Have Faith

 

FAITH IN GOD.pngSome might say that Christianity is just another religion. Some might ridicule and talk negatively about how Christians are hypocrites, lunatics, and judgmental Jesus loving freaks. My purpose isn’t to argue what others say, but to share what God says and what the Word of God says.

I’ve been blessed to have been born and raised in a God loving, church going home. Not a lot of people (young or old) can say that. Some are from broken homes with only one parent, no parents, no family or friends to rely on. Yet, amongst all the possibilities, I was given the opportunity to be raised in a family of eight taught on believing in Jesus Christ.

From birth, I was raised to believe that God made the whole universe (Genesis 1:1-31; Colossians 1:16; Isaiah 45:12). I was taught to have faith and believe the Almighty God was to take care of his people. I believe that God is good no matter what happens. I believe Jesus Christ was born from a virgin, here to save mankind. He died on the cross, conquered death, hell, and the grave and three days later he arose. Some might say that’s crazy but to each their own. I was taught that my faith should always be bigger than my fears and doubts.

 

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Though it took some growing up, I got serious about my faith when I turned 11 years old. I got baptized and years later I got the holy ghost. I remember when I thought I had the holy ghost I was scared. I didn’t want to fake having the holy ghost and deceive myself. I was petrified because I didn’t want to mock God in any way.  For months I constantly checked, gave myself tests and wondered if I truly had the holy ghost. After months and months of keeping it quiet, I realized that I had it after all. How? When I was no longer terrified about the rapture but instead I looked forward to it because I felt steady and strong.

Before I was scared out of my mind about missing the rapture. I would have dreams about me getting left behind and my family would go to heaven without me. Whenever someone brought up something about the rapture or Revelation I felt overcome with conviction and fear. God was patient, loving and guided me to assurance through his Word and hearing the Word of God at church. I was calm and a growing assurance within made me strong in my faith that I was a child of God.

 

From that point on, I grew up learning and growing in Christ. I was passionate about the Word of God. I’d stay up hours and hours reading and studying the Bible. I wanted to know everything from cover to cover. But as I grew, I allowed things and life to get in the way of my love for God. It’s no joke how easy you can drift to worrying about school, bills, friends (so-called friends), parties, events, boyfriends, husbands, and kids, and then you don’t even realize how far away you’ve moved from God.

It wasn’t until I leisurely went to the library and rented the novel, “Left Behind” by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. It’s funny because I know the story, I’ve seen the movies and I was pushed to take this book out anyway. Page by page without me even knowing God was getting my attention on matters I too gleefully ignored. I was led from the book to watch the movie Left Behind (the version with Nicholas Cage) on Netflix. That same familiar feeling came swooping in before the movie ended.

 

CONVICTION.jpgI instantly knew that I’ve drifted away from God.  I’ve backslidden and departed from my first love. It’s crazy how far a person can drift before they realize how deep they are in the water. I couldn’t watch the movie without the feeling of uncertainty and fear creep over me. Can I confidently say that if the rapture took place that I would make it? The fact that I had to question it, obviously meant no. When the movie was over, I had to admit to myself that I got distracted. My priority for God was no longer my top priority.

The movie was over and God finally got through to me. Or rather, I was open to listening finally.  I prayed and asked for forgiveness. God must’ve have tried to get my attention countless times and I was caught up in life. I’ve abused his love, kindness, and favor in my life for things that are nothing compared to how awesome he is. I realized I had to turn away from my lazy, selfish habits and refocus myself to chasing after Him. I asked God to guide me, lead me, and speak to me at how I can begin walking closer to Him. Then it hit me!

For weeks, I’ve been trying to start a “My Faith” and “My Marriage” segment to my blog. I didn’t know how to start or when to start and what to write about. After realizing, admitting, and repenting to God for ignoring him and following my own heart I saw an opportunity. I’ve been wanting to share my faith with others but quickly got swept away from life and responsibilities.  I pushed aside God all because I didn’t come up with something on my own. I should know better that what God has planned in his own timely is always better than my own.

Though I’m not happy that I drifted away, I’m grateful my eyes have been opened and reminded about what’s truly important. It’s better to grow in grace instead of out of it. But, good or bad God knows just what to do to direct us on the right path. I don’t want to ever forget, never neglect the one thing that has kept me steady. God has loved me unconditionally and he has always been there for me. There are times when I was alone, was betrayed, was pushed aside and he always comforted. It was foolish of me to push aside my first love because he truly first loved me.

 

Moment of Truth: Facing My Feelings

He’s gone. God give me strength. #Wife #Husband #NationalGuard

I wasn’t planning on sharing this on my blog. I’m trying not to lie, but I’m having a hard time being open about this. This has brought a lot of mixed emotions. On the outside, I am cool, confident and secure. On the inside, I’m nervous, worried, and anxious.

January 4, 2016, my husband left me.  He left to complete his basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. I’m so proud of my best friend because he has been trying for so long to join. The past two years have really challenged the both of us, our marriage and our spirituality. I remember when he first told me he was signing up for the military while we were engaged. I was shocked. I always thought he would be a regular joe. A man who clocked in and out every day. I was obviously happy on the outside, and knowing my husband, he knew I wasn’t entirely eager on the inside. A couple of months after we got married, he found out that he was horribly deceived. He signed up just like everyone else, filled out the application, paperwork, and forms. He completed physicals and drills, only to be told lies. One minute he was in the army and the next he wasn’t.

I still don’t know what happened, how he got the boot and why. Although I was disappointed on the outside, I was relieved on the inside. But, my husband was wrecked. He was disappointed that all his hard work was in vain. He was humiliated; after telling so many family and friends of his next big adventure.  Being publicly humiliated, left with empty pockets made him feel so small. I was so frustrated and sad for him because he was a victim, yet some treated him like a villain. It was a battle I couldn’t win for him. It was difficult watching him struggle. He had questions, he was hurt, and he looked alone.

As horrible as the past two years have been, I am so grateful that it made me fall down on my knees and pray. All the bad, inconveniences, and deceit the past year made me depend on his Word like never before. It wasn’t easy watching my best friend be gutted like a fish, so helpless to vulnerability. My husband went through so much back-stabbing, gossipers, betrayals, liars, and two face crooks. I saw sides of him that made my heart ache.

So, when my husband told me again that he was signing up for the military. Can you imagine my face? An eruption of emotions bellowed from me. I was confused that he wanted to risk the everything again for nothing but uncertainties. I was insulted that he would risk our relationship to try another attempt at failure. Not to mention, it would now mean leaving me alone with our daughter. I kind of came off as unsupportive and as you get to know me, I a very supportive, loving friend and wife. Just, after the roller coaster of the disappointment last time, I really didn’t want to get on the ride again. He kept telling me over and over that this time will be different. So, I bit my tongue and held two thumbs up and made sure to hold back my tears until everyone went to sleep.

DSCN1316I’m trying not to lie, my prayers were a little conflicted. I would tell my husband that I’m praying for him to get in, but behind closed doors, I would tell God to belay that prayer and bless him to stay home. I just didn’t want to sign up and watch my husband go through the same horror. Can you blame me? I would ask God over and over, moan and groan, and lament for another story for my husband. One that didn’t require him leaving.

As romantic the idea of being married to a soldier might be, it takes a huge commitment. As honorable as the position is, I don’t take it lightly and appreciate every military family because of it. It’s not an easy task. Once he learned of his departure date, it was sealed. My husband was packing up to be a soldier. It’s been a couple days since he left and I’m cool. Taking it a breath at a time. My worst fear is that he comes back home broken and disappointed again. If you are married, then you know how challenging it can be to hold up a broken man. So, it’s out of my hands and all I have left to do is pray.

Life Lesson: Don’t Waste Your Time…

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Don’t waste time! Not one minute. Easy and simple right? Psalms 90:10 says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I hate to raise my hand, but I have spent time frivolously. Days where I could have spent more time with God, studying, staying out of trouble, laughing with friends. Instead of arguing, fighting, pouting, kicking and screaming against everything. This year learn to appreciate the time we are given. Be open to hearing wisdom more and ignore foolishness more. Every day you wait to accomplish a goal or dream is a day you won’t get back. I could even sit here and waste time thinking about the past. Pondering on hypotheticals only lead you to a mountain of regrettable. Don’t do it!

Get up, stretch and wash your hands of the past. Acknowledge that it’s done, over with and focus on moving on. If you went through a horrible breakup, cleanse yourself, learn your mistakes and move forward. If you didn’t make the best financial decisions, focus on starting new ones. Don’t ponder on what you could’ve or should’ve done because unless you know how to time travel; you or I can’t do anything about it.

Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because days are evil.” Keep excuses from your lips this year! Welcome opportunities to challenge yourself, especially if they lead you closer to your goals. Ask yourself,  “What am I doing today that gets me closer to my life goals?” Don’t get sidetracked or distracted. Don’t get caught up in family or friends trying to party late when you know you have to work or study tomorrow. Don’t get wrapped up in people who’s the main agenda is to keep you distracted. If you find yourself sidetracked, reflect over your resolution list and get your head in the game.

Don’t panic! There were A LOT of things I couldn’t accomplish in 2015, it doesn’t mean in 2016 that I will go through the same results. Learn from this year and only carry with you the  tools that will bring you success. Absolutely don’t carry baggage. If you’re reading this post and you know you got baggage, let go. It slows you down and weighs you down. Baggage isn’t something you should accessorize with your outfits.

LETS GO.jpgMake your resolution list clear, specific and detailed. Appropriate the amount of time needed to accomplish day to day tasks. Schedule time for the Lord, family, others, and yourself. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells me that there is a time to laugh, cry, peace, fight, learn, grow, keep, lose. Learn those times. Use your time wisely this 2016. Pray and ask God to help you manage the time given to you and ask for strength to not get stressed or overwhelmed. Take this New Year a day at a time.

 

 

 

Life Lesson: Keep Jesus First

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him… Colossians 3:23

The New Year is almost here. A new month brings a new beginning. Prepare yourself for change. Make sure you carry a new mindset, focus, and attitude if you hope for great things. To start, don’t begin the New Year to please men, but God. Write down goals that give thanks to God first.

DON'T FORGET.jpgAs you organize your dreams, passions, and goals don’t forget to acknowledge God. He comforts us in Matthew 6 not to worry, that God considers the lilies and the well-being of birds. We have His guarantee that He will take care of us because He values us more. So, why not in return focus firstly on Him since He knows our end from our beginning. So, tackle writing and setting resolutions that honor Christ.

I am guilty of putting God below my number one on my to-do list. I have not always “seek first the kingdom of God” in my day-to-day decision making. More so, I have whined and complained about why I haven’t received “His righteousness and all things.” In the past, I too complained about not having the money, the status or fortune but I never really did what was needed to be done to receive it. You can only blame yourself if you didn’t get that promotion. There are things in life you are destined to receive but if you don’t do your part in life, don’t expect them. It’s not God’s fault if you didn’t put God first to be blessed. Growing up, I’ve learned that when I put Jesus Christ first that nothing good will be kept from me. You don’t believe me, then believe the spoken word:

Matthew 3:16-17 says that Jesus was baptized and as he came up from the water, the heavens opened to Him and the Spirit of God descended like a dove; and alighting upon him.”

If you hope for good things to happen then you need Jesus. If you desire a spouse, a family, employment, friends or accomplishments you must keep God and his son, Jesus Christ first. Anything you or I want or need must go through Jesus. In Romans 8:32 — “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

If God gave you his beloved Son, what makes you think he is going to refuse your request for financial security? God doesn’t value anything more than His Son. God gave us his most valuable gift, Jesus. Nothing is more valuable than Christ. The Bible says as long as the Father sees the son in your life he will not withhold all things (Psalms 84:11; Matthew 7:11; Psalm 34:10).

“Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it”(John 14:13)

As you plan your goals and resolutions for this New Year, keep Jesus Christ front and center. Do plan for riches, happiness, and success; don’t forget Jesus. Planning your goals is importantly, but having God is more important. So as you list your priorities, put your relationship with God first. Don’t plan next year to make others happy. “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23). Place the absolute important things at the top of your list.  Don’t worry, I’m doing this as well. If you want to know my goals and resolutions, comment below. Share some of your techniques to goal success.

Life Moment: Christmas Eve

 

Christmas was always a conflicting time for me when I was younger. I struggled with celebrating Christmas because of Santa Claus. As a Christian, I loved celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, those classic entertaining stories of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Santa Claus” movies (the Tim Allen version is my favorite) and “Jack Frost” has always been a warm way of celebrating the winter season. I always felt like I was cheating on Jesus if I celebrated Santa, hung a decorated tree, and sung about grandma getting ran over by a reindeer. But no one wants to be the oddball not giving or receiving any shiny, decorative gifts. Maybe it’s just me but I felt like I was serving two masters.

I never could pick a side. At school, I was the Santa Claus loving, ho, ho, ho, and jingle bells girl. At church, I would sing hymns, learn about the meaning of the star and participate in Sunday School plays.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas music and the flashy decorations but I always knew that the real reason for Christmas was Jesus Christ being born. I don’t know about you but I always felt conflicted about celebrating Christmas the “Santa” way and the “Jesus” way. Have you? Not anymore!

I love the nativity story about Mary and Joseph having baby Jesus in the manager. It is dramatic and compelling and shows me that anything beautiful and good can come out of a bad situation. Mary’s integrity and reputation were on the line when she agreed to carry the Savior. Back then, having a baby out of wedlock was actually a bad thing! Not to mention, Joseph was probably feeling hurt and betrayed.

He assumed that Mary was cheating and was almost ready to get rid of her. It’s beautiful how Joseph looked past her current state and saw the promise of God in her life. He didn’t look at where she was, what others said, but had trust in God that everything will work out. They both started out with nothing and still loved and respected each other. Their character, reputation and marriage was tested. Mary and Joseph walked in total confidence in God. They had the entire world against and they didn’t let that stop them from being the best spouse and parent they could be.

Now how can Santa compete with that! I mean, yeah, he brings all the good children amazing toys and the bad children get coal. But Jesus’s gift is for everyone. Good or bad, right or wrong, everyone can get a gift from Jesus. Santa Claus is a nice guy and everything but at a certain age, unless you never grow up, he starts to become irrelevant. While as Jesus Christ never gets old. I mean he grows up to die for all mankind. Santa Claus mainly drinks cocoa and cookies. The most credit I will give Santa is he is an incredible entrepreneur. Makes me laugh because as loving and kindhearted as Santa can be, he is nothing compared to Jesus Christ.

Moment of Truth: Did You Think It Would Be Easy?

I’m not going to lie, I thought it would be. I was hoping I would jump out and start flying. I was naïve to think because I’m saved and I have God on my side that everything will magically work. The scriptures say, “Everything will work for my good.”(Romans 8:28) I literally thought everything except me would work and I would reap all the benefits. Growing up has taught me that even though God is on my side, I still have a part to do.

Bad habits are hard to quit! When I got married and had a baby I believed that life would only get better. I have a great man who loves me and a beautiful daughter that I’m proud of. I thought because I was saved and he was saved that we would always enjoy marital bliss. I didn’t disregard the work but I didn’t acknowledge how hard it would be. To be honest, I don’t know what I was thinking. Marriage comes with ups and downs. Marriage comes with good and bad.

So, a couple of days ago Dave and I were arguing. To be honest, we usually argue so it’s not a surprise. I don’t even remember what it was about or who started it. Sometimes arguing with my husband is irritating and other times are just hilarious. You know when you are in the heat of the moment and you’re so angry you speak before you think. Your words come out but don’t sound right and the person you’re arguing with looks at you crazy like, “What in the world you talking about?” I have been there so many times with my husband and every time we find a way to work it out.

Whenever Dave and I fuss or argue about something my mind instantly reverts back to Hosea and Gomer. In the bible, there is a book called Hosea that talks about this incredible love story between God, Israel, Hosea, and Gomer. At that time Israel was in chaos, doing her thing, being big and bad. God was heartbroken and fed up with their mess and told them that they’re going to suffer for their actions. God used the life and marriage of Hosea to demonstrate and prophesy what will happen to Israel. Most importantly, he used this man and wife as an example of how much he still loves them. Incredible right! Gomer started out as a faithful wife and mother but lost her love for her husband. She started to have promiscuous sex with other men, bore children by these affairs and eventually ran off with the man she deemed her “soul mate.” She embarrassed Hosea, broke his heart and ran over it until it was in a million pieces.

But, here’s the twist: When Hosea heard his wife got dumped, had debt, and was currently on the slave market for slave his response was crazy. I mean, most people would have laughed bitterly, screamed out, “that’s what she deserves;” but instead he ran to her, paid her debt, cleaned her up, and took his baby home.

Now, I’m not saying my husband drives me crazy enough to cheat. But whenever friction is between Dave and me, my mind automatically goes to Hosea and Gomer. I don’t know if Hosea and Gomer had similar marital problems or not. I’m not even sure how they communicated, but it warms my heart whenever I argue with David because it challenges me to love him unconditionally. It’s hard for us to love someone unconditionally because we were fashioned to favor conditions. As long as he treats me right then I will love and respect him. As long as she gives me booty then I will treat her like a queen. It is very hard to love someone flaws and all, mistakes and lies without expecting anything in return.

One particular day I was looking up new scriptures to help me better love my spouse and I was led to Hosea and Gomer. I read the entire book and was blow away at the dramatic, awe-inspiring love. I mean I was surprised at the intensity of their love. You think you only see it in movies, but right before my eyes, God was showing me how much he loves me. Only God can love me unconditionally. No matter how many times I mess up, fall, lie, act selfish, ignore him, treat him and others wrong, he is always waiting to run and clean me up and take me home. My God loves me so much that he will even throw in some conditions just to make me think that I’m doing something to earn his love. You don’t believe me! In the bible, the Lord tells Israel that if you keep my commandments that He will be with him forever (Leviticus 26)! God already promised them over and over that he is their God, he is their guide, their king but he holds them accountable. God doesn’t want fake, forced love but the real thing (John 15). Even though we could never earn his love, he sets it up so we can still receive his love. That is amazing.

Moment of Truth: I’m God’s Beloved

“You are my passion, My one desire, You Lord, Only You lord, Only You!”

 I felt that others saw me as ordinary compared to my brother. Maybe they did and maybe they didn’t. I should have been focused on how much God saw me. He told me I am his original masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). He makes me special and never forgets us. I am God’s adopted child (John 1:12). I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). There are so many scriptures of love, encouragement, and uplifting for anyone who feels unappreciated, disrespected, or alienated. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 14-18 lists all the wonderful and many gifts that anyone of us could do for Christ. Don’t think about your flaws and think about how God thinks about you. If you ever have a low moment just think on these:

  • God knew me in my mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). He saw my potential, passions and my destiny.
  • As odd or insignificant you may feel, you were created on purpose with purpose!
  • Follow your dreams despite all odds. Don’t allow judgments of others birth bitterness.
  • Follow your passion, figure out what you love to do – what you were made to do and never look back.
  • Don’t forget Jesus! He created you in his own image and knows every little detail about you. He is the only creator that knows how to make you really shine brightly. When you include Christ, you include the “shine”.
  • Be willing to take the next step forward. Don’t just dream of it but do it.
  • God will complete the good work He started in you – Philippians 1:6
  • Don’t put dreams on hold in favor of practicality. God promises to supply our every need.

The truth is that listening to God is tremendously tough. God is perfect and we are imperfect. God is not bound by limits while we are limited. When you don’t trust God’s plan – you instead take matters into your own hands. I know I didn’t always receive his love and the gift he wanted me to have. It’s much easier to sin and live selfishly than humble ourselves and accept his way. But our lives are better when we obey God and live freely. Without God, living our dreams is impossible. Without God, you set yourself up for failure. Failure is never the goal, but God can still use it for you to learn, grow, and change (James 1:3; Romans 5:3-4…).

God gives us strength and protection when we’re vulnerable to criticism from people. No one likes being laughed at or scorned. But with Christ, you will have confidence and assurance that no matter who is laughing, God is smiling. I agree, it’s much easier to find shelter in the known than risk stepping into the unknown where anything can happen. But that’s it! Anything can happen with Christ Jesus! Step away from the bad and open your mind to every good and wonderful possibility! Risk the humiliation, the setbacks, the heartbreak so you can receive those “anything can happen” blessings. So tell yourself to no longer pick at your scabs. Refuse to critic yourself to the point of oblivion. We all have special talents and gifts. Your gift is only useful when your greatest passion combines with the Spirit of God.

We All Have A Destiny…Part 3

God patiently waited and beckoned me to him. When I thought I wasn’t worth it, he reminded me that I was (Ephesians 2:10). When I thought I couldn’t measure up, he assured me that without him I wouldn’t be (Philippians 4:13). Every time I missed an alter call, ignored a message – he waited. Finally, I was sick of feeling empty. My desires stirred up confidence, boldness, and hunger. I was tired of being ignored and unfulfilled. I started to chase after God (which is funny because once I said yes I didn’t have to pursue him, he readily revealed himself). I read the Word of God until I received strength like Samson to fight for what was mine all along.917091_1434080843512623_284009758_n

The process was painful and at times weary. I felt stupid, dumb, and any other word you could tell yourself to keep you down. Overcoming the past freed me to finally pursue God and what he had for me. Even though I struggle to recover from the old, I struggle forward, closer to victory. For years, I never felt I was capable of doing anything notable for God compared to others. Through time, prayer, waiting and watching I learned that my capabilities, talents, and gifts cannot be compared to others. Just like an ear cannot be compared to a nose. An ear is no greater or more important than a nose. Both parts are needed for the body to function so without one, it wouldn’t be capable of hearing or smelling. If the ear wanted to be a nose, then who would be the ear? My part in God’s plan is something only I can achieve. I won’t have to measure up to others because only I can fulfill it wonderfully. I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

I’ve truly come so far from how I used to think and live. I’m no longer the little girl with a great voice. Now, I’m a wife, mother, blogger with a self-assured, word-inspired, victorious voice. I’m not just a singer – but a writer. I can officially say that unafraid, unashamed, and free.

When I say I write with purpose it’s because I do! I write (and blog) to remind myself to never go back. Writing shows me I was birthed for more. There is more to me than just how I dress, walk, or speak. I refuse to be defined by just one part of who I really am. My purpose is sealed in Christ and no one can change that. I refuse to allow visions of others weigh me down. I can no longer accept the image of man but carry on the image of God. My gift is to write and if I happen to sing – then I’ll sing of his wondrous name!