Tag Archive | dying to self

When Life Looks Different

Can I be honest with you?  Because I’d like to.  It is my hope that this little blog brings hope and causes people to grow closer to God, but it is also my hope that I am transparent.

When I was 19 years old something or rather, Someone got a hold of me.  I was taught about God at a very young age and feel that I had a relationship with Him.  Back then it was like God and I were in the same house but He was in the attic and I was in the basement.  He was around (somewhere) and I had access to Him but there was still distance.  And then something happened.  I was away at school and dealing with depression, only I didn’t know I was depressed.  A faculty member actually told me I was.  That same faculty member told me to join a gospel choir.  I didn’t know it but God was speaking through him.  In many ways I think that faculty member saved my life.  At the very least he introduced me to life.  Singing in the gospel choir ignited something in me and it was the perfect outlet for two very great passions I had: God and music.  And then something else happened.  Someone in the choir announced a weekly Bible Study they were having.  I went and my life was never the same.  After that God and I were no longer separated by walls and floors. We were standing in the same room, Face to face, talking, like you would a close friend.

And then we were lovers.

And I couldn’t get enough of His love.

Anything He asked me to do I would because He had my heart.  I was passionate and zealous and quite verbal about my experience and He put people in my life who shared that passion.  We were on fire.  That fire lasted and did not go out.  Not even through the darkest of storms.  And there were storms.  There were times the enemy tried to “gut me out” I believe were the prophet’s words.  There were times the unthinkable happened over and over again.  But still, He kept me standing, and used the hard things to be a testimony.


Life looks different now then I thought it would as that young, zealous, passionate teenager.  I’m a planner so I had my life planned out a few different ways.  I was going to marry the man who broke my heart.  Then I was going to be a missionary and spread the gospel all over the world.  Then I was going to climb the corporate ladder and make my way to the top of a Fortune 500 company.  But all of those plans failed.  Instead His purpose prevailed.

Proverbs 19:21

His purpose consisted of several seasons of unemployment, several years of downtime and walking out nearly 12 years of singleness after declining several marriage proposals.  His plan included becoming a local author and publishing 2 books, obtaining an MBA in Accounting and simultaneously growing as a business woman and writer.

I realize now as I near the big 3-4 I cannot control my life.  I can make choices and I can lay down my choice for His but I do not have control.  A  long time ago I chose His way, His will, b/c I had seen something I couldn’t resist.

I had seen Love.

Love in its finest fashion.  And that love caused me to count it all dung.

I am still counting.

Most days it is a painful counting in this season of waiting but I can’t help but think about those early days and have hope that eventually the reward, whether it be earthly or heavenly, will come.

If you haven’t yet checked out my youtube channel you may be interested in the latest video “Trading Your Dream for God’s”.


AND if you’re in the area…don’t miss this!!! 

SHALOM

 

The Art of Waiting

I have an interview today. It is the one I’ve been wanting for 3 months now. 3 very long months. When talking about it with a friend she mentioned how waiting is God’s way with me and how much better this time of waiting has went compared to the last time in my career (which took place some 9 years ago).  But even in my excitement at this potential movement in my career I sobered up when realizing the wait may be a little longer than I expected. There are a couple of components to the interview. Multiple individuals are involved and therefore multiple people’s schedules are involved. As a result there may be a longer time frame then I would prefer for closure with this particular opportunity (in all honesty it has already been longer than I preferred). I of course am not putting all of my eggs in one basket. I am keeping an open mind to other opportunities but it’s a little difficult when you feel there is divine intervention involved. When you feel the Lord has given you a word, a promise, and then circumstances cause you to wait for that promise.

My history with Christ has been that way. 9 years ago He gave me a word but then told me to wait on the fruition of that word. It took 5 months but it came to pass.

Lately as I scroll through my FB timeline there are baby pictures everywhere. If not pics then news of pregnancies. It seems amplified lately and I’m not sure why. Normally this type of thing doesn’t bother me but maybe its because of my own transition in this season and waiting for some things to be birthed in my own life, I’m feeling bothered. And maybe it’s because I’m quickly approaching my 33rd b day, I’m waiting once again in my career, still waiting in the area of relationships, and realizing how very little control I have in this life.

The one thing that is clear to me is, I am learning the art of waiting in order to learn the art of living eternal. I simply cannot live for this life. I simply cannot hold on to anything temporary.

I have been emptied out. There has been much fruit from this emptying out and there is much fruit to come but the harvest does not negate the pain from the sacrifice. The longevity of the path of surrender can be overwhelming at times but that is when the supernatural manifests. When you simply cannot do it in and of yourself He does it through you.

Christ in us, the hope of glory.

SHALOM

I Prayed for Movement

I prayed for movement because my friend hasn’t had a date in 7 years. My beautiful friend who is smart and funny and loves Jesus.  She overcame a brokenheart 10 years ago just like me.  Chose to let Christ lead her on this journey of faith just like I did. Has seen Him answer prayers and move on her behalf in so many areas of life but this one. There has been no movement for her. She has just been waiting. She says that she is hidden. She knows she is hidden and if God is hiding her then He is protecting her. He is storing up some good stuff for her. But 7 years is 7 years. That is her sacrifice for the call.

“I know God is investing in me”, I shared with her. I know He has taken great lengths with my journey and been so intentional with me because He is expecting to get a return on His investment. I know my life is attached to a harvest and there needs to be an annointing to receive that harvest. The anointing comes through the process“.

Neither of us knew what that process would look like 10 years ago. We didn’t know it would mean 7 years with no movement. Or in my case movement after 9 years only to sacrifice it all over again. God doesn’t tell you stuff like that. 

He just says “follow me”.

He just says “come and die”.

Before we ended our call I prayed for both of us. I prayed we would be the women He intended. I thanked Him for all He has done. I reminded Him He is faithful. And I prayed for movement in 2016 for both of us. I did this because when I pray for movement, He moves.  SHALOM

A Mysterious Love

Now that I’ve walked some with Jesus I can look back on the path and see His hand, working, molding, shaping and developing. I kicked and screamed during most of that development but still, He had His way. 

A friend of a friend had to give up a relationship recently. She cried, he cried and maybe even God cried. But she gave it up because God told her to. I was super impressed she obeyed so quickly, thinking back to my own similar experience nearly 2 years ago. It took me more than 2 wks to obey.  I have never heard God so clearly in my life. Before that time I really thought I could choose. I had waited so long, surely it did not make a difference at that point if I settled?  Of course I didn’t call it settling back then. Instead I justified and reasoned and ignored the red flags. 

Thank God for His mercy.

The decision to lay down that relationship was probably the most rewarding decision I have ever made but at the time it felt like one of the most painful. 

God met me and did not leave me hanging when asking for my obedience.  He manifested His presence and revelation like never before. In the coming year I experienced His love in a way I didnt even know existed. 

Now I think about His love and struggle to receive it. It is so overwhelming and intense its hard to believe someone could love me that much, especially the Creator of all things!

I realize in this season that knowing His love is the foundation of wholeness. He is after me to know this love regardless of my  thoughts on the matter. He has been after me since birth I just didn’t realize it. All gifts He gives are to keep directing us to His love. He tests us and matures us and calls us higher. He calls us to the deep.

It is all to know His love. To be satisfied by it. And to offer it to this lost world.

SHALOM

When Dreams Change

10 years ago I was a college grad who wanted to travel the world, spread the gospel and when I was “old” (around age 40), I would settle down, marry and have kids. I thought I had it all figured out. Before then I was caught up with my boo. I was all about him and his dream and supporting his calling. So initially I was all about my man and then I was all about me. Except I didn’t know it. I thought these were God-given dreams. I thought the best way for me to glorify my Maker was for me to spread the gospel to all nations. Instead, I had to learn to first spread it in my city. To my co-workers. I had to go through a lot of refining myself before I could even think about the harvest He had promised.

Fast forward 10 years later, there have been many afflictions and they have all worked for my good. I couldn’t have fathomed how the waiting and the testing and the BEING was going to transform me into His original intent. This transformation has been so evident to me that even as I am presented with one of my very biggest dreams that I held onto for so long, I do not choose it.

Because my dream has changed.

I am in awe. How can something I wanted so intensely and for so long change?? The opportunity to relocate, the chance to work in my preferred area. How could I say “no”? But I did. Because I am different now. I am learning in this season my purpose is not attached to a job position. It is attached to the will of God and God’s will looks different depending on the season.

We need to know our season.

10 years ago I was unemployed and my mom’s coworker said I needed to look for work b/c “a man who doesn’t work doesn’t eat”. He even used scripture to support his logic. But God had told me not to work during this time.

People will not understand your journey and your choices as you follow Him. But will you still follow Him?

I marvel at my Father’s hand on my life. I marvel at the path I have walked thus far. This path of surrender that has led me to die a plethora of deaths; each one seeming more fatal than the one before. And still, I have not yet “resisted unto blood shed” as He did. The deaths I have experienced have been His mercy and grace to remove the carnal, selfish, immature girl who started this journey with Him as a 19 year old. He has developed her into a less selfish, more mature and more eternally-focused person. I am still growing, still learning, and awakening everyday. But O’ it is so nice to get to this point and stand in awe, and worship Him! And marvel at His work! He has made me into a testimony of His hand.

And I’m just getting started.

Just today I received a card my friend had us address to ourselves this summer during her b day party. The purpose is to encourage your future self. I must say this card arrived right on time as I am celebrating the latest spiritual accomplishments God has done in my life!


 I also listened to a very timely sermon this morning, which confirmed so much of my season. I hope you are blessed with this message as well.

Below are pics from time with my sisters earlier this week:

  
  
SHALOM

Choosing the Cross

John 6:15Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone”.
I came across this passage in a blog I follow and it really stood out to me. Jesus could have been king but chose not to be.

Luke 22:42Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but Yours be done”

Christ did not want to go to the cross. He did not want to endure the pain and trauma to his body and He did not want to be separated from the Father, even for a moment, to bear the sins of the world. But He did. He chose the brutal cross instead of an earthly kingdom of comfort and lavishness and exaltation. Wouldn’t it have been justified for Him to allow the people to make Him king? He is a king after all. Wouldn’t it have been right to receive their worship and adulation? How easy would it have been to justify this earthly crowning to Himself and to justify forsaking the cross given the fact that no one would have known but Him that He was out of the Father’s will if He chose the crown? It would have been so easy.  

If He was not One with the Father that is.  

This morning I had quiet time with the Lord and in that time I realized how desperately I need to meet with Him daily. At least in this season while I have the time. I need to meet with Him b/c He designed me for intimacy with Him and when I am not functioning as He designed then I have needs that go unmet. This makes me easily prone to discouragement, fear and a lot of other negative tendencies. I realized during my morning quiet time how powerful His love is. He does not just love me but He loves me in spite of myself. He loves me in my mess. He loves me not because I am so good, but b/c He is so good.  

I know it is this love that led Yeshua to the cross. There is nothing else that is that powerful. It is His love for us that covers a multitude of sins. It is His love for us that bears with us through the worst of offenses. That hopes the best for us even when we demonstrate the worst of atrocities.

Like Christ I was faced with a decision to receive what God had already promised from a premature and carnal source. Thankfully He helped me to make the right decision and to wait on Him. Still, the cross is never easy. Making choices to lay down our will for His is never easy. But when I focus on His love and experience His love, I feel secure and safe and protected. I feel like all of the promises in Him for my life are “yes and yes and amen”.

SHALOM