Becoming A Woman With Purpose: Part 1

I’m still amazed at what God has placed on my heart in regards to starting a blog that reveals how important learning is a part of growing and maturing. As a mother, I recognize the importance of confidence, endurance, and laughter when caring for a child. I would not have been able to love and care for my daughter without the Word of God and the HolyGhost in my life. When envisioning this blog I dreamed of providing wisdom received through my experiences and encouraging words that will get every mother and parent through the day, specifically the tough ones. These five verses positioned me into the mindset of purposeful living that has changed my approach to situations in my life. The next five blog posts are dedicated to every single verse and I pray it changes your perspective in your situation.

PROVERBS 12.jpg

Two years ago I was blessed with the gift and responsibility of caring and guiding my daughter. Though I didn’t understand what it meant to be a mother, I was ready and eager to learn. I quickly tapped into my maternal instincts and began a journey that I cherish every single day. After the initial months of me fumbling and walking in my insecurities, I started to realize that I didn’t just birth a child, but the birthing of a confident, hardworking mother in me. One of my quickest habits that I formed was I was all talk and no action. I would acclaim to how many dreams and goals I would impart in my life for the benefit of my family but I was slow in action to fulfill them. When I stumbled across this verse I instantly felt a slap to the face from God.

When my daughter was born into this world, all of these dreams, visions, and goals came with her. Not just the ones that are linked to her destiny that she has yet to fulfill, but mine as well. I thought that becoming a parent would strip me away from my desires and dreams in order to focus on my child. I was wrong. Instead, God allowed new dreams, new desires to form inside me and this verse told me to stop dreaming and start doing. I love the message version because it’s plain and simple: when you don’t work, you don’t get paid, and you don’t bring home the bread. Or in “mother” terms, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid and you won’t afford those diapers and wipes. This verse applies beyond the typical work scenario. If you don’t work on your marriage, you won’t get the benefits of a healthy marriage. If you don’t clean and manage your household efficiently, then you are inviting chaos in your world. Accepting this verse was a big pill to swallow but living by it has brought success that I would’ve never achieved if I didn’t see becoming a mother as a blessing instead of a burden.

It also revealed that I can’t be frustrated at my circumstances when I’m not willing to roll my sleeves up and work through it. Blame it on my femininity but when I get overwhelmed and overworked I instantly get dramatic. My emotions, facial expressions, and hand gestures go from level one to level ten! I began to cry the sad song and doubt that change will ever come. I cry out, having a pity party and run a hole in the floor pacing back and forth worrying. This wise verse puts my emotional tantrums in check. I realized that when I do the work that my success is sure to come. It would be crazy for someone to work and work tirelessly at a job and never receive a paycheck.  But God promises us that when we put the hard work in, the tears, sweat, and pain will pay off. So if whatever stage of life you are in, if you are a struggling mother like sometimes I still find myself at or you manage to overcome it all just know that your hard work will bring you the bread of life!

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.

 

faith-bigger-than-all

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.

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.