My Identity

Hey Friends,

My post has been far and few between because I am concentrating on developing my relationship with the Lord. I was beginning to feel like this blog was becoming my identity, but then as each day passed by, God was revealing that the plans that he has for my life will “accomplish infinitely more than we (me) might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

I want my blog to be successful. I want to help people with my story of how I am overcoming mental and physical illness so it would inspire you to do it as well. But it says that His “mighty power at work within us” will help us to “infinitely accomplish” more than we could ever imagine for ourselves. Which means that I will accomplish more than developing a blog and helping people. He will use me to do so much more. I just have to keep my eye on the prize – focused on Him and His ways – and not allow the ways of the world to distract me.

It’s so easy to fall into that trap though, right? I mean, the world is constantly telling us what we have to look like, what we have to sound like, what college degrees we have to have, what friends we have to have in our circle, how many likes and comments we should have on our social media….it’s becoming more and more brutal by the day. Anxiety and depression are on the rise because, in my opinion, we are constantly comparing ourselves with “perfect” people online who seem to have everything. When in actuality they are as miserable as the person on the other side of the phone or tablet.

How are we suppose to know what our purpose is if we are constantly “following” other people? Sometimes I think we just poke around until we find something we like and do it. How are we supposed to gain any kind of individuality of we are always seeking approval from the world? We are losing sight of what is truly important, even if you have the right intentions of helping people. One of my favorite quotes is “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. I truly believe this quote because people are focused on what they are doing and not who they are doing it for; Jesus.

While finding my freedom from the world through Jesus Christ, I am finding things out about myself that I have been in complete denial about. I truly thought I was more self-aware than most people on earth. WRONG! I even prided myself in it.

If I could be completely honest, it is hard to peel back the onion of your life only to see that you have been a mindless zombie like the same people you said you would never become. There have been a lot of tears through this process but it is so worth it! Why? Because God will do exceedingly abundantly more in my life than I could have ever imagined and I’ve imagined some pretty cool stuff. But first, He has to strip away what I thought was right so He can renew my mind to what is actually right.

Have you ever tried to put tape on a dirty surface? You can’t. It’ll peel right off. You have to clean the surface first, then place the tape on there. That way, it’ll hold forever. Jesus has to do a deep clean in our lives before He can do His good work in us. That way, the good work He does will “stick” forever. Praise God!

My identity is not this blog or helping people. It’s not even in my husband or kids. It is in Christ because all of the above are wonderful gifts that he has blessed me with. And one day, the kids will have their own families, my husband has his own walk with God and this blog and/or helping people may not be what He is calling me to do 40 years from now. Our lives I meant to be lived like seasons; winter, spring, summer, and fall. But you know what will never change? The fact that I will always be His! I will always be a child of God. God will always love me and nothing will tear me from His love. I will always be a follower of Christ Jesus and that is where my identity lies.

Thank you for reading my thoughts and for sticking with me during this journey. If you are just now following my blog, thank you! If you have been around since the beginning, thank you! I am truly grateful for all of you, I love you, and please remember to pray for one another.

I…beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” -Ephesians 4:1-3

 

 

**Featured image borrowed from google**

Just A Reminder!

Hey Friends,

I wanted to remind you that you are not your past.

You are not your shame.

You are not your guilt.

You are not your sins.

You are not a sinner, yet a saint who has sinned.

God loves you, Jesus died for you, and the Holy Spirit yearns for you.

You are free from the chains of bondage that the enemy tries to enslave you in.

Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest. -Psalm 126:5-6

All We Need Is Jesus?

Hey Friends,

I almost did it. I almost allowed what was in front of me to distract me from the awesomeness of Jesus. Let me explain.

In the Gospel of Mark Chapter 8, Jesus feeds four thousand people with only seven loaves of bread and “a few small fish” (v.7). This isn’t the only time he has done this. If you are unfamiliar with the first time, Jesus fed five thousand people right before then with five loaves of bread and two fish. Afterward, Jesus and his disciples went to see the Pharisees who demanded to see “a miraculous sign” to prove that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. Jesus was like, “Look, man, I’m not proving anything! Why do people keep asking me to prove stuff?” Well, he didn’t quite say it like that:

“When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.” (v.12). 

You’ll notice that whenever Jesus says, “I tell you the truth”, he really, really means what he is about to say, like a *fist slam on the table” kind of  “mean it”. 

He sighed “deeply in this spirit”. Can you imagine how frustrated he could have been to sigh “deeply in his spirit”? I know when I sigh deeply in my spirit, I do a long eyebrow rub along with it, trying to figure out how to keep my cool. 

So after that, he and the disciples got back in their boat to go on the other side of the lake from Bethsaida. The disciples turned around and were like, “Oh crap, we don’t have enough bread for us to eat. We should we do?” They began to freak out a little because they started to argue about it. Can you imagine? Yelling like crazy people in front of Jesus.

At this point, I would imagine Jesus was a fed up because he then said:

“Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? You have eyes – cant you see? You have ears- cant you hear? Dont you remember anything at all?” (v.17,18)

Then he goes on to say:

“When I fed 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterwards?” (v.19)

They said:

“Twelve.” (v.19)

Can you imagine the look they had on their faces? Like children being reprimanded by a parent. Maybe had their head down, twirling their thumbs in between each other, completely understanding that yet again, they have underestimated the power of our Savior.

Jesus goes on to remind them:

“And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?” (v.20)

Again, the disciples answered

“Seven.” (v.20)

Then Jesus asked a simple, yet complex question, “Don’t you understand yet?” (v.21)

Sometimes, our “hearts are too hard” to take in the miracles that are right in front of us. We are the like the Pharisees and the disciples, always asking for God to perform miracle after miracle and when He does, we miss it completely because we are so focused on what we DONT have. I almost missed it. I almost missed the miracles that I have right in front of me because I’m too busy looking at what I don’t have or how can what I do have, be better.

It could be your marriage, it could be your job, it could be something as simple as a nice gesture that someone does for you every once in a while that they don’t have to do. It is in our broken nature to take things for granted. It stems from the result of The Fall.

Adam and Eve had everything. They were literally living in a perfect world; paradise. When Satan tempted them, it was more about what they didn’t have (the knowledge of good and evil), rather than being appreciative of what they did have in The Garden, which was literally everything else.

Lord Father, please forgive us for being so greedy. We leave in a materialistic world, and sometimes we can get caught up in having “it all”. But your words say that we need is the Bread of Life (John 6:35) and your promises (Hebrews 10:23)  (oh and food and water to live). Thank you, Lord, for your glory, mercy, love, and gifts of righteousness. Thank you for the constant running of Living Water through us and in us. I pray for everyone reading this, that their days are filled with your joy and grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Thank you all reading my thoughts. Love you all and please remember to pray for one another.

 

October Theme: Can You Rush Forgiveness?

Hey Friends,

Short answer. Hell no! Many of us would like to think that when we say sorry to someone we’ve hurt, that they should automatically forgive us. And not only automatically forgive, but forget it as well. Then, everything will magically go back to normal. I’m here to tell you, friends, that is not how it works.

I’ve known (let’s call her Jane) since I was a small child. Jane and I have known each other for a very, very long time. She is what I would call eclectic. She has her own way of thinking. She is very outspoken about how she feels with little to no regard on how it may make the other person feel. Most of the time it comes from a place of love, and other times I question if she finds joy in hurting people with her words. For the past couple of years, Jane and I haven’t been as close because I believe that she is suffering from a mental illness that causes her extreme outburst and delusions. And when I brought it to her attention, let’s just say she wasn’t happy about it.

So, I’ve been slowly detaching myself from Jane mainly because I’m unable to handle her “outburst” and I don’t think I’m the only one. I am noticing there are a few people in Janes life that feel the same way. Some people are doing what I am doing and slowly detaching themselves; only communicating with her every once in a while. Other people have abandoned her altogether. And sadly, other people only come around her when they need a favor or if she can provide a service to them.

One thing about Jane is that she expects people to forgive her right away after one of her outburst. Her outburst is what many would call indiscriminate expression. Indiscriminate Expression is when someone tells anybody and everybody exactly how they are feeling. It may feel good to Jane when she is verbally “letting off steam”, but this form of expression has the potential to destroy relationships; family, friends, and work.

I for one have been on the tail end of Janes indiscriminate expression and it has broken my heart so many times. I find myself reluctantly forgiving her because I know that she will do it again. But God says that we must forgive because “He [God] has forgiven us” (Matthew 6:14). Also, one thing I must remember is that God loves her just as much as He loves me and if you know God that way that I do, He is really big on loving one another (John 15:12).

Sometimes we don’t like to forgive because we feel like we are letting that person “off the hook” for the how they hurt us. But forgiving has more to do with us, than the other person. When we hold onto hate or hurt, it can rot us from the inside out. In Psalm, David explained that when he “refused to confess his sin, [his] body wasted away” (Psalm 32:3). Plus, it causes anger, frustration, and a number of other negative emotions. Then you may find yourself taking it out on other people that don’t deserve it. 

One day, I want Jane and all of the Janes of the world to know that when they hurt someone, do not put pressure on that person to forgive them right away. Just because you have moved on from it, doesn’t mean that person has. It is an unfair expectation. AND if you are a repeat offender, it may be possible that although you’ve said sorry, and that person has forgiven you, they may not want to have the same relationship with you as they did before. I love Jane and I will always love her. I have forgiven her for the hurt that she has caused me, but do I have any interest in rebuilding a relationship with her? Absolutely not!

God says that I have to forgive her, but nowhere does He say that I have to have the same relationship with her as I did before. God doesn’t want us to be doormats to other peoples abuse. Nor does He expect us to immediately forget the pain that was caused. God knows that forgiveness is a process for both parties.

So, if you have a Jane in your life, pray to God to help you forgive them so YOU can have peace of mind because malice and love for Jesus CANNOT coexist in the same heart. And if you are a Jane, pray to God to help guard your lips against any sinful words/actions and to help heal whatever is going on with you that is making you lash out.

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. -Psalm 141:3

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. Please read my related post Journey to Forgiving Yourself and Please Forgive Me. I pray you are having a wonderful start to your week. I love you all and please remember to pray for one another.

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. -1 John 1:9

God Answered…

Hey Friends,

In Exodus chapter 3, God asked Moses to go to His people in Egypt and lead them out to be set free from “their harsh slave drivers” (v.7). Moses felt like he wasn’t qualified to take on such a task. He even said, “Who am I to appear before the Pharoah? “Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” (v.11) And God’s response was amazing. God answered, “I will be with you.” (v.12)

It’s just like God to not only send us on a task that is unattainable by human standards but also promises to be with during the task. How awesome!

So, Moses asked God who should he say sent him to lead them out of Egypt? I mean, these were hurting, destitute people. Moses understood that he couldn’t just walk up to people and say, “hey come with me, ya’ll, to a foreign place that I nothing about nor the location.”

God’s answer was so amazing and in His character. He said, “I AM Who I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors…” (v.14,15).

There are many times in our lives that we feel called to do something; that God has requested us to complete a task and we doubt ourselves. We think we’re not qualified, we think we’ll mess it up, or we’ll think that we’re hearing God wrong. Like, “Lord, I know you’re not talking to me. I can’t do that.”

But God doesn’t make mistakes. He’ll never ask us to do something that 1) He doesn’t believe we can do it and 2) without His help and guidance. He will never set us up to fail and fall flat on our face.

The next time God asks you to do something, remember Moses. Pray for confidence that you are the only person He believes can do what is needed to be done for His Kingdom, no matter how small or big it may seem. Everything you do for the Kingdom of God last forever.

Thank you guys for reading my thoughts today. I pray you all are having a wonderful day. I love you all and please remember to pray for one another.