Tag Archive | surrender

My New Name is Yes

It became very apparent to me at the start of this journey that God had a will, a desire and a plan for my life and that He wanted me to choose that plan. The very first indication of this was when He asked me to walk away from the love of my life at 22. It was such a difficult decision for me to make that it took a year to make it. I held on as tightly as I could until the Spirit inside me won over and I could no longer deny His bidding. God was saying “No”. 

It would not be the first time.  

It seemed to me that over and over again when proceeding with plans that seemed good to me and the fulfillment of my desires that seemed equally as good, His response was, “No”. And sometimes “Wait”, which after so many years can feel just like a “No”.

In hindsight I can see the work He was doing in me. Many of my desires were rooted in selfish gain and immaturity while  others were not bad in and of themselves they just did not advance the kingdom. 

I was called to advance.

This time last year I heard a sermon that  spoke directly to my situation. The minister said that God had said “No” so many times that I thought my name was “No”. He said that that was now changing and the doors would now open. 

God was changing my name to Yes.

That Word is manifesting in my life. This year I have been flooded with open doors and the desires of my heart being met, even in the midst of the fight of my life.  As a result I have needed to change my mindset. I was so used to expecting “no” that I prepared for it. I still do this. But the evidence is there that the season has changed. I must change with it. I must grow into my new name.

Celebrating the holiday with my friend…

SHALOM

3 Months In

It will be 3 months this week since I got “the news”.  I found myself today thinking about my dwindling time period of locking something in so that I don’t have a gap in pay.  I found myself driving to Panera so that I could use the internet and apply for more jobs. I’m sitting at Panera now.  Right by the fire with a cup of Hazel Nut coffee and Taylor Swift in my ear buds.  But after about 2 applications I gave in to what my heart really wanted to do: I started writing.

In my writing I verbalized what the Spirit of the Lord was stirring in my heart: I don’t need to look for a job, it will come to me.

It will come to me the way it always has in my career.  The door will open by a supernatural hand the way it has always opened.  The real work isn’t in getting my degrees or work experience or applying (though I have done all those things).  The real work is my obedience.  I wrestled with my frustration with this path of waiting.

“Why can’t I just have a smooth transition Jesus?!” I thought.  “Why can’t I just be BLESSED?”.  But I am blessed, that’s the thing.  The truth is I was wrestling with the desire to be blessed the WAY I wanted to be blessed.

I was wrestling with control.

While writing I understood that the Father has me on this path because He is teaching me to walk by the spirit.  He does not want me to get comfortable in this life.  He does not want me to go about a natural way of functioning like others do.  It is because of my calling to break the strongholds and release this generation from darkness.  But first I myself must walk out of the darkness.

Yesterday I had the honor of speaking on my book.  I stood at the podium in front of 30+ woman sharing on my story and how God met me and how I overcame.  I encouraged them that they too can overcome.  I did not “feel” the words I said.  I did not “feel” Him in the way I have so many times, but I spoke those words by faith.  I knew that they were true and I’m learning to not let my feelings lead me.

So even though I’m “waiting” for an open door, there are other open doors that I am walking through.  Doors that were not on my radar.

But they were on His.

 To check out my speech click here.

SHALOM!

The Lord is GOOD!

I shared my testimony last night with my new friend. I told her how I had different plans for my life and how at every turn I was asked to give up those plans. At the time it caused me great pain. I could not see what God was protecting me from. I only saw what I was giving up. I only saw that I was standing still while so many of my peers were moving along, checking off their checklist of societies’ “most achieved”.  What was I achieving? It did not seem to be much at the time but now looking back on the journey I can see my riches were being stored up in heaven.  

 Because I did not understand God’s ways and why I had to keep surrendering it distorted my view of who He was/is.  I did not believe that He was good or He was for me or He was love, even if I said I did. I loved Him, but I did not trust Him. He of course knew this so He set about presenting various tests to buld my trust. We cannot have a tesimony without a test.

I have had several tests and I can see the progression in them; they keep getting harder and harder. I believe that is because there is more at stake and a greater harvest to be had. Just as I can look back at these tests I can look back and see the rewards. I can see now what I could not see then: God is good.

He is a good Father working all for the good. He loves to give good gifts to His children but He wants to make sure you can be entrusted with the gift first. The more valueable the gift, the more you need to mature to receive it. Just as a parent would not give a toddler an expensive glass vase to hold, God would not entrust us with His prized jewels, until we are trustworthy. We prove we are trustworthy when we pass His tests.

He always gives us grace to pass. He does not ask us to do anything we can’t do. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

I’m glad to finally be able to see, God is good. 

He is for me. 

And He is love.

Psalm 34:8

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:3‬ ‭

“Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness

SHALOM

Dining from the Tree of Life

Do you ever feel like You are just Jesus’ best friend? Like He is just so into you? Everything about you, He is taking it in and soaking it up and saying, “It is good!” That is how I have felt in this season. His manifest presence and love was pouring out and every cell in my being was awakening to it. I experienced this in Haiti. I was surrounded by the sights and sounds of a beauty that can only be found in natural terrain. I was speechless because I knew it was God’s love for me that He was demonstrating. I felt it at both book release parties. I had so many fears going into both parties but everything was exactly the way I had wanted it to be. He had given me the desires of my heart. I felt His love so many times throughout the promotion of my book. His presence would overwhelm me and I would hear His heart saying, “I am so proud of you!” and I would feel unworthy. How could the Creator of all things, the I AM, the Eternal One, call me daughter and love me with such a fierce love? How could His affection for me be so great?
I have struggled with projecting religious, false notions of God onto Him. For much of my spiritual walk I felt He was against me. I didn’t understand His ways. I didn’t understand the relinquishment of desires that accompanies the path of surrender. But I have heard it said recently that if we cannot release our desires here on earth than how can we be entrusted to cast the very crowns at His feet that He gives us in eternity (Rev 4:10)? I would have held on tightly to my crown before this journey. Even now it is His grace that peels my fingers back one by one as I let go of what I thought was good. I learn humility with each step forward that is usually hidden in the waiting, and realize, I already had what was good.  

I had Him.  

For years I struggled to find my identity and purpose and security in the natural. I tried to find them in men and in jobs and in what the world termed as “success”, but now 13 years in I can finally see; He is what I was looking for. Because I am spirit, Spirit can only satisfy me. I wasn’t so sure before but now I know. He satisfies. 

Fear has tried to sabotage my intimacy and I have needed others to speak truth into me with heartfelt words of prayer. What a gift to have so many sisters there wiling to pray for me, if I only ask. Asking has been a new practice for me. But I am practicing.

There is nothing like being awakened to the Father’s love. There is nothing like laying down everything and discovering that He was all you wanted anyway. You thought it was the money, the car, the success, the man, but it was Him. And what’s so cool about Him is that so many times in my journey after I have laid it all down, He has given it to me anyway.

Truly He gives us the desires of our hearts if we first delight in Him.

Hope fulfilled is a tree of life.  

Let us dine…

 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

Eternal Living

This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting with an amazing young woman who also happens to follow this blog and be a writer herself! I was so encouraged by this meeting I even posted a status on FB. 
I was most encouraged b/c our spiritual paths were so similar. We had been tested in similar ways in the same areas of our hearts and thankfully, we both passed those tests! I was a little concerned about sharing my story with her, not being sure if it would offer much hope. But she was hopeful and I could see in her eyes it was b/c she desired what was most important.
She desired to do the will of the Father.

I shared with her the struggle my friends and I have had on this path of surrender and waiting on the Lord mostly b/c there aren’t many mentors who have walked this same path to guide us. We have been mentored simply by the Holy Spirit in this area of relationships. And of course He is enough, but sometimes you want His hands and feet to reach out and help you along in the form of His body. My new found friend encouraged me and said that although I did not have many ahead of me to guide me, I could now help those who were walking behind me. This was great encouragement. Oftentimes when we are walking by faith and following our course, we only experience the rough terrain and the rocky mountains. We do not think about how our perseverance to push forward is actually paving a way for those who are coming behind. Yet, there are people coming behind us and as a result of our endurance, it can be a little easier for them to endure. They can learn from our mistakes and they can use our wisdom to navigate the twisting turns of faith up ahead. Upon leaving our rendezvous I shared what had been on my heart for a while now: “When I think about this world, I must ask myself, do I believe there is life after this life? And if I believe there is life after this life then I must make choices that are storing up my riches in heaven. Because the next life is eternal and this world is passing away“. She wholeheartedly agreed stating that we must choose to die.

Everyday.

I received some news prior to our meeting that one of our church members had unexpectedly passed away. When I heard this news the first thing on my heart was, “We must be about our Father’s business” and “We must work while it is still day”. This word in my heart inspired by this event was confirmation of what we are learning in our little fellowship in this season. We are learning not just to wait for the hereafter, but we are learning to live out of eternity in the here and now.

There is only one man who did this perfectly and that was Jesus Christ. He understood this world was not His home. But He also understood the earth was given to man to have dominion over, so He was busy teaching His disciples and completing the assignments that were given to Him so that His legacy could be carried out into all of the world.

And it was.

We are now His hands and feet. We are now the chosen ones. We are now the ones who rule from heaven and legislate in the earth.

On another note, please check out my FIRST magazine article contributed for Shattered Magazine.

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