No matter what you are facing or what you have been through, recover well. Don’t look like what you’ve been through. God wants you to come out of the fire shining like pure gold. He wants to make your time in the fire valuable like diamonds. Recover well. When you speak more fervently about what you’ve been through than how you made it through, you continue to give your circumstances more power than your Sustainer. Talk like a winner. Walk like a winner. Dress like a winner. Recover well. Sometimes God takes you through to bring you out! Come out better. Come out stronger. Come out wiser. Recover well.
I’m gaining a new perspective of God being my father, which brings tears to my eyes. You see, I didn’t grow up with a consistent father figure. His inconsistencies and not being there when I really needed him has left me with a deep desire for security from a father/male figure my entire life. I just want to feel taken care of and feel that what I can’t do on my own, somebody cares enough about me to recognize my needs and step in to help me without me even asking. This has been an ongoing need and battle in my life.
Throughout my life, I attributed my perspective of my human father as that of my spiritual father, emotionally disconnected from my true needs and desires. I knew God loved me, but didn’t think He really cared about my needs or desires. Presently, not only is God showing me He loves me, but He loves me so much, it is His pleasure to not only provide my needs, give me some things that I want, but also make dreams come true for me! I am experiencing a powerful kind of love at age 39 I have wanted my entire life. Watching God make dreams come true in my life, dreams I didn’t even know I still wanted, is overwhelmingly joyful.
My message in this is simple…God loves you deeply. He will move mountains for you. He will rebuke sickness and death for you. He will perform miracles just for you. Receive not only His deep love for you, receive His true commitment to you and your well-being.
**If you are reading this and are struggling to connect with God, reach out to me for support and prayer. I’m here for you.**
I’m skilled at several things which makes it challenging to define my craft. What I’m realizing is my craft is to create. I love to look at images of home decor styles and create the look in reality. I love creating new experiences for others that expands their ability to dream for themselves. I love to create new, innovative learning experiences for our son. I create an atmosphere of support as I lead others to total wellness through my fitness programs. I create genuine spiritual encounters as I lead in ministry. I love to create new vegan dishes as I lead our family to better health. I create unity as I intentionally build positive connections with people from different cultural backgrounds. I create new behaviors and new mindsets as I provide mental health therapy. I create businesses that meet needs. I create art with my written words. I create realities from dreams. What’s your craft?
I Plead the Fifth. Pleading the Fifth means to refuse to answer questions for fear of incriminating yourself. I have been working really hard lately to keep my mouth closed! Not so much towards other people, but towards myself. I am practicing not cursing my own words, and more importantly not cursing God’s Word over my life by complaining and speaking doubt.
It’s challenging. I do not remember the day I realized that I was delaying my own blessings by releasing certain words from my mouth, but it has truly been a shift in thinking, feeling, and my spiritual behavior. If God says I have the “power to move mountains”, I can no longer say “I’m powerless”. If God says “I will be wealthy”, I can no longer say, “I can’t ever get out of this debt.” If God says, “a turn around is about to take place in your life”, I can no longer say, “nothing ever changes.”
These are all real examples of the conversations I’ve had with God, and with the enemy. The moment God releases a Word from His mouth about you, is the very moment you have to choose to Plead the Fifth. It is not only your constitutional right, but your spiritual weapon to receive all that God has for you. The enemy hears what God says about you and immediately springs into action to discount, destroy, and delay the Word God spoke over your life. Here’s where we go wrong, God releases a Word and the enemy immediately springs into action against what was spoken. When we hear the release of God’s Word over our lives, we sit back and try to process and qualify ourselves with what God says about us and do not immediately spring into action. Instead, we stand in disbelief, telling God he has the wrong person, trying to figure out how it will happen, etc. We don’t immediately spring into action to guard our hearts and minds against evil talk and evil thoughts concerning the Word of God. Many of us say things such as, “I don’t want to do that.” “I’m too old/young/not smart enough to do that.” “That is too much responsibility.” “What would people say?” “I didn’t ask for all of that, God.” Meanwhile, the enemy has already taken the lead in our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
The wonderful news, God holds our position through our transition, one of my favorite quotes. He loves us so much He does not take back His Word concerning us and our future. God’s Word cannot return to Him void! There may be some delays, but never denials, unless we choose to forfeit our own blessings.
The Bible says in Proverbs 4: 23-27 (MSG), “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.” So, the next time you receive a Word from the Lord concerning your life, choose to Plead the Fifth. Intentionally choose not to speak against the Word. Don’t disqualify yourself, don’t try and figure it out. Just receive and expect God’s Word to come to pass, no questions asked.
Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalms 23:6 (NIV)
We are living in a society where many of us are defined by the number of social media friends and followers. Honestly speaking, I do not think there is anything wrong with this, unless a person is only defined by these parameters. I think there are many people that do not know who they are or only feel valuable and special when someone comments, post a reaction, or “likes” their page or posts. This level of dependence on what others think or feel based on how they interact with you on social media may mask low self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-love.
I get it. I too have had fleeting moments of watching my followers and wondering why certain material gets more likes and followers more than material I produce, which is intentionally shared to uplift, encourage, and empower. These moments lasted only a short while until I allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to me…”Stop counting your followers, you only need two.” Of course, I was taken aback by this response and wondered, “What two followers are the most important ones to have (as I am scanning my friends list)?” And then the Holy Spirit said, “Goodness and Mercy (love)”. My emotions and spirit were immediately comforted and empowered to keep following the leading of the Holy Spirit with every written word I shared on social media, knowing that God was pleased with my work.
I’m not sure why I was inspired to share this post with others. I believe there are some out there that “people watch” on social media and are emotionally anguished when certain goals are not met. I also believe there are some that define their success solely by the number of followers they receive. Still, there are others that post material on social media because they are seeking to find their purpose, to have an impact (good or bad), or to be noticed. This is the audience I’m hoping to encourage. God defines your purpose, not people. God’s work in and through you are what will make you famous, not feedback from others. In 1 Chronicles 4, Jabez prays, “‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.” When God guides your words and your work, his Goodness and Love are the only followers you need to create opportunities, open doors, and blow your name on the wind! I too, hope to grow my audience, but not at the expense of God’s plan for my life and in the way He would have me walk in my purpose. Sometimes, too, you just have not yet reached your season.
Commit daily to checking your followers, Goodness and Love. Ask yourself, “Am I doing God’s will for my life?” “Am I allowing Him to guide my words, thoughts, and actions?” “Am I making a positive impact on the lives of people?” I guarantee, just like Jabez, if you surrender to His will, your territory (followers) will be enlarged and His blessings will flow abundantly!
The past week has been a week of trauma. An experience that drained me physically, broke me emotionally, and confused me spiritually. I’m stronger physically, but still emotionally fragile. Two hours before the trauma hit, I was under a heavy spiritual anointing on an appearance on a podcast entitled “On The Brink Of A Blessing”. As I’m talking about blessings and encouraging others, little did I know how much I was going to need my own words of hope in God.
I had a miscarriage. I lost a life without warning. I experienced an internal death that has shook me to my core. The actual loss was traumatic but the process of miscarriage was also a very traumatic experience. I have never experienced anything like this and I was hoping this would not be apart of my story…but it is.
With every weapon we could grab hold of, we used it to believe for a miracle. We prayed, we joined with other prayer warriors, we used scripture, we worshipped, we had Faith, we trusted, we believed, we spoke into the atmosphere God’s Word to us. And we still experienced loss.
I’m hurt. Based on my previous post on death and birth, I have been seeking God’s understanding on how this experience will help others, and what meaning is in it for me personally. I still believe life is manifested in death. I do believe all things work for my good. I do believe a miracle is still at play. There is no way God will ignore our petitions and deny His own Word. I know the miracle we believed for is going to show up differently than we expected. And…as long as God is in control of my life (and He is) there has to be some good in this.
I don’t like it. I’ll be honest. My heart still aches. Tears still fall for my lost child. One thing I have definitely learned, if God sees fit to give me life, I will accept it, be grateful for it, and never again say “I don’t want to be pregnant”. I want what God wants.
If you are reading this and have a similar experience, reach out with supportive words and kind thoughts. I’m still processing the experience and I welcome your words of comfort.
There is HOPE. I have so much hope for my future and the future of this world…right in the midst of the chaos. Why? Because I live and teach the principle that, “Things get worst before they get better.” With every great victory there is a period just before the end where it seems that victory is nowhere in sight. It may feel that all hope is lost and everything is out of control and out of balance. This is the place to rejoice because the Bible shows us over and over Triumph over Tragedy.
You may wonder, why do things have to get so bad before they get better? My belief is that in order to defeat something you have to get down on its level in order to come out on top, and literally stand on its head. For example, you wouldn’t know true happiness if you’ve never been depressed. You wouldn’t know how to truly live with hope unless you have experienced hopelessness. You wouldn’t know how to maintain a good marriage through all circumstances if you have never experienced some bad times. You wouldn’t appreciate the true blessing of good health if you have never been sick. And in recent times, we wouldn’t appreciate and yearn for unity, equality, and peace if we never experienced racism, segregation, and discord.
You see, tough times build desire, determination, and desperation for better. Desperate people are willing to be vulnerable and sacrifice EVERYTHING to experience better. The world is not dying, God is in preparation of something BIG and something BETTER. Death, even of this world, was defeated when Jesus died on the cross. The world is not ours. No manner of death can and will happen as long as Jesus LIVES! And…He is ALIVE!
Shalom, my friends. When things are seemingly dying all around you, cling to the Overcomer of all death and rest assured He is in full control. Believe in your heart that victory and triumph are near. Unite with a community of believers to find strength, comfort, and the stamina to persevere.
I’m broken-hearted because I’m black. I’ve asked God where can I move me and my family so that we can leave in peace and unity and feel safe. I’m waiting on an answer. I just want peace and I’m grieving over the reality this may never be…for me. I don’t understand why White people fear us so much that they continue to find (intentional) ways to take us out. One by one. If only the hope of real change could comfort my broken heart.
Have you ever been so close to something, yet so far away. This has been the conundrum of my life for the past several years. I have been living in the space between a promise and manifestation. To be honest, I do not know how to live in this space. I do not know how to think, how to act, how to feel…I’m still figuring things out.
Distance. The space between a promise and manifestation is the constant waxing and waning of distance. There are moments when I feel very close to the “end”, then there are moments I feel at the very beginning. Sometimes it seems the waxing and waning is in response to my own reactions to my circumstances; some days I’m hopeful, other days I feel hopeless. Sometimes it seems the waxing and waning has nothing to do with me, but just the ebb and flow of life.
Distance. There are moments I feel so close to God, I can almost feel his breath. Then there are moments I feel I have to beg and plead for God to hear me. The closeness to God is so comforting and creates a sense of security. The days I feel distant from God I feel shunned for something I don’t understand. I feel like a lost sheep…a forgotten soldier.
Distance. What is this place? Why does it exist? In light of social distancing, distance is necessary to reduce and eliminate. In the light of a relationship where two partners are miles apart, distance produces fondness, admiration, and a yearning to connect. In light of a freeway with heavy traffic, maintaining distance means safety, precaution, and wisdom. In the light of an unhealthy relationship, distance is necessary for separation, freedom, and restoration. In the Bible, Jesus even felt distant from God as he was near death on the cross. Matthew 27: 46 (NIV) states, “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In the next moment, he died and the world was forever changed.
Distance. So…what if the distance between my promise and manifestation is necessary for an unexpected, life-changing outcome? What if the distance between my promise and manifestation is drawing me closer to God through a growing fondness and admiration? What if the “driver” of my life is using distance as safety and precaution to not allow me to be so much in control of a life I didn’t create? What if distance is allowing me moments to restore my total dependence on God and restoring His place as the head of my life?
Distance. I am still struggling, but one thing I am realizing through this time of reflection, Jesus’ painful acknowledgment of distance from God on the cross, just before manifestation of the promise, must mean I am somehow on the right track.