Anxiety Lies

I don’t know about you, but anxiety is one huge thing I battle in my life. Anxiety lies to us about so many different things. It isolates us. More often than not it even paralyzes us.

It whispers lies such as:

She walked by and didn’t even say hi. She hates you.

You’re gonna screw up. Why even try?

No one even notices you.

No one would care if you don’t come.

You will stumble at your words if you take that mic.

Lead bible study?! You can’t even get your own life right.

What’s a good worship song? You just listened to a ton in your car and you can’t even come up with one?! Obviously you weren’t worshipping well.

Don’t say anything. You’ll say all the wrong things.

Share your testimony?! Ha! Everyone will desert you in an instant.

Obviously, all those lies get you no where as you rock back and forth in your mind paralyzed.

The quote above really hit the mark for me. Imagining a young version of myself I realize I dealt with so much rejection, exclusion, and outright abandonment from those I thought cared about me growing up.

I hear those lies from my younger self when I’m around friends and sisters in Christ:

Oh, she will move on.

She doesn’t really care about you.

They only care about you at Church. Forget about hanging with them outside of Church.

So many lies.

Anxiety has paralyzed me so much in the past that I’ve gotten physically sick before a big change in my life on multiple occasions growing up. I have to constantly remind myself to breathe. I have to constantly remind myself to pray and press into God’s presence.

What’s causing you anxiety?

Is God calling you to reach out to an old friend?

Is God calling you to reach out to your neighbor or your co-worker?

Is God calling you to go back to college?

Is God calling you to move to another city? Or even another country?

Is God simply calling you to speak up?

Tackle that anxiety with ACTION.

The enemy wants us paralyzed.

Don’t give him that foothold.

Most of the time, whatever lies anxiety was feeding us will not come to pass. Conquer that anxiety head on by stepping out in faith. God is our strength.

Let us step out in love and servitude of others facing that anxiety head on.

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Bleeding Love

Avoiding and/or numbing pain is the way our culture works in today’s day and age. At times, I’ve become a pro at doing both to deal with pain as little as possible.

We were not created to live as robots though feeling absolutely nothing. We can not love one another efficiently if we put up steel walls that no one can get through.

It’s through our vulnerability, that true love for one another outpours. Even Jesus displayed great emotion during His ministry.

Through avoiding/numbing the pain, we also take away the opportunity not only for God to minister to us through others…but for God to comfort us directly through peace unexplainable.

Following Jesus comes with a cost. We will still feel pain-sometimes pain unimaginable to the point of bleeding. Even Jesus had sweat drops of blood before going to the cross.

It’s worth it though. It is so worth it.

Our war is not against our brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s not even against our enemies here on earth in flesh and blood. It’s always been against the principalities and rulers of darkness.

When bitterness starts to take root towards another in your life, go to that person and reconcile the situation at hand. This war isn’t against them, and you’re doing more harm towards yourself harboring that bitterness. I’ve had so much experience firsthand in harboring bitterness in my life, but the peace that comes with reconciliation is so sooooo good. Peace only explained by God.

It is so much better to gain a brother or sister in Christ than to allow that bitterness to fester and harm yourself as well as others.

We we’re not created to run this race alone. Grab your brother and sister by the hand and let’s finish this race together. ❤️

Praise The King of Kings

Praise God.

On our own strength we will fall.

Our own prayers over ourselves are not enough.

But God.

Sing praises to God!

Praise causes walls to crumble, prison doors to open, miracles to happen…

Praise the Father!

Shout the name of Jesus!

In my own strength, I will forever be locked in addiction.

In the strength of my brothers and sisters in Christ, I will still be locked in addiction.

Human strength alone cannot break through steel.

Oh but when we lift up our praise!!

The prison walls begin to shake!!!

Shackles are broken!!!

Victory through Jesus Christ becomes our declaration!!!

Our eyes are focused on our Heavenly Father as we life up our praise.

Our hearts are turned towards the will of our Father.

Oh and when we all start shouting praises in unison…hell begins to shake.

All the sudden we are all focused on Jesus Christ- OUR VICTORY!

Shout words of praise!!

It is not us who lives…But it is Christ who is living through us through His Holy Spirit.

Let our weapon against the principalities and forces of darkness be our shouts of praise!

For Jesus has already won the victory. We are free. Let us fix our eyes on Him alone as we shout words of praise causing prison walls to fall.

Fear of God’s Goodness

**Trigger alert**

The Lord has shown me countless times that His love and grace never end. They are so vast that I cannot comprehend them completely.

God has the power to strike us dead and send us straight to hell…BUT He loved us instead while we were still sinners and chose us even while knowing we would run. Even knowing we would pursue things that left us empty. Even knowing we would outright choose sin over spending time with Him. He still chose to be our Heavenly husband. He will never stop loving us.

So why fear God’s goodness?

—I know some won’t agree with what I’m about to say, but I strongly believe this viewpoint now… —

Even if sin grows in your life so strongly that you choose to take your own life…His love…His LOVE

He revealed to me a few years ago when sin had become my identity…when I was going to take my life… He suddenly shocked me through this visual of me appearing before Him and instead of immediately casting me into hell…He embraced me while at the same time causing me to realize that He had a plan for my life and that I needed to not cut it short. His LOVE stopped me from ending it all.

In my distress and in the middle of deception, I believed I could get a one way ticket to hell where I believed I belonged…what I deserved…

But then I believe God showed me that wouldn’t happen through His uncomprehending love.

After that realization I suddenly knew there was no way I could end my life… I couldn’t fathom explaining to my Creator…the God of the universe…The King of kings…why I chose to cut His plan for my life short.

Absolutely NOTHING can separate us from the love of God.

Once we have been saved by Jesus, our salvation is sealed.

The enemy can distract us…deceive us…lead us astray…but he can never separate us from the love of God.

Please…choose to stay alive. Not for yourself… but for the many lives God will reach through YOUR testimony. ❤️

Immanuel-God With Us

Have you ever tried to run ahead of God’s will for your life to avoid the valley?

That’s what I have been attempting to do.

Taking the easy route or short cuts sounds ideal in theory, but in the long run it simply leads to darker valleys. It’s not worth it.

Lately the Lord has been leading me to go back to the valley I walked out of during college/high school to discover how He was truly with me every step of the way. So much pain is found there…but so much hope as well.

I walked through part of that valley today digging up my past within the contents of a tote. Some regrets, some insights into God being with me, but honestly mostly pain was found. I had my best friend alongside me on the phone as I dug through it which definitely helped me to keep going. My guard stayed up though, and the pain shoved deep. Will I ever allow a tear of pain to escape my eyes in front of someone?

I may appear like I have it all together–but I promise you I don’t.

The enemy is constantly telling me how alone I am. Of course: Immanuel-God is with us!!!!

But the enemy whispers lies:

You have no friends in this town.

Who would really pick up the phone if you called?

Outside of Church- you are completely alone.

You try to be there for others-but look! They all turn away from God and leave you stranded.

Why do you keep believing God will get through to your friends? They all keep going astray. I thought your God was all mighty?

No one cares about you-why would you share your life with them? They don’t share theirs with you.

See how she deliberately avoided you?

You don’t make a difference.

You’re just a number.

I could go on and on about all the lies I hear, but even though I walk through the valley–God is with me.

He reminds me in subtle ways that the enemy is lying to me though a friend choosing to sit next to me at church so I’m not alone.. through a simple hug from someone.. through my best friend being available last second to go through this tote with me.. God is good all the time–even when there is chaos all around us.

One More Step

Being stretched out beyond my capacity.

Barely able to stand up and walk.

Yet, I am told to keep walking.

I cannot find the strength, my God.

Broken and beaten down…

I was never meant to walk on my own.

You hold me up, ABBA.

You lift me up on Your shoulders high above the noise.

Your grace drowns out my shame.

Your grace runs deep into all my broken pieces.

Only because I am broken…

Your grace can rush in.

Sin grabs ahold of me…

Dragging me down…

Your grace outpours…

The waves of grace lift me above the grave.

Do You hear my cries, Oh Lord?

I just want to be held by You.

I don’t want this world anymore.

I just want You and Your presence.

“My child, I’m holding You now.

I have not finished your story.

Look at Me.

Remember who I created you to be.”

Temptation teasing me now.

DO IT.

It will take the pain away.

I care for you.

I am always there for you.

Just a choice away.

Your God is full of lies.

Just look at you.

You’re barely holding on.

Remember when you were one choice from being rid of this life?

You still have that option.

Come on..

It will take this pain and agony away.

You know you want to.

“My child, I am right here.

Have I ever failed you?

Trust Me.

Let go of this world.

Fall into my arms full of grace.

Fall to your knees.

Forget about the noise.

Look towards Me.

Remember who I created you to be.

Remember who I am.

You are My beloved…

Dance with Me.

I am your King…your Husband.

Let go of the things of this world.

Remember Me and who I am.

I will meet all of your needs.

Take My hand and dance with Me.

Trust Me.”

One more step.

Deeper Still

After my last blog post, hurdles of discouragement and lies were thrown at me left and right. I removed my helmet of salvation suddenly uncertain and divided against myself. Overthinking had a major grip on me and shame clouded my view. With no helmet to protect my mind, I stumbled along fighting in my own strength against thoughts of self harm.

Reaching out for help…admitting I was weak…those were the last things I wanted to do. Especially when my mind was in such a war that almost immediately after reaching out, I felt I’d have to reach out again. Gripping onto sin helped numb the feelings, but the Holy Spirit would not allow me to stay in the dark.

Lies that I was too far from grace…

That I would be rejected…

And abandoned…

Seeped into my mind as my helmet was off.

God’s truth stands.

It was true yesterday…

It is true today.

It will be true tomorrow.

My helmet of salvation is back on. God’s truth through His Word has it on tight.

Yesterday at Church I felt lighter than I’ve felt in awhile. I had already brought my sins and weakness to the light and was simply there to press into God’s presence.

Don’t lose me on this analogy I’m about to share. You see lately my cat has been isolating. He’s in the same house, yet he chooses to go in a separate room in the dog’s crate. There’s a soft bed in an enclosed space, but that’s the only comfort there is. That’s how I was towards the Lord. He’s in the same house… yet I’m playing games on my phone, watching mindless television, or even gripping onto sin. God’s right there patiently waiting for me to press into His presence while I’m busy doing everything I can to isolate just for what looks like a soft comfortable place to lay. So the Holy Spirit has been bringing this to my attention every time I begin to get like my cat (haha). I’ve also been actively reaching out to my cat, getting him out of the dog’s crate. God has been doing the same with me by helping me to bring things to the light.

As I walked into Church yesterday with these new insights, I’ve also just started checking myself in my speech. Normally a complaint or gripe slips through my tongue before too long and that doesn’t help build up anyone. I watched what I said to others and was planning on the chance of sitting alone at church again. I didn’t really care as long as the Lord’s presence was near.

Of course God always surprises me when I’m actually pressing into Him (He is SOOOO GOOD Y’all!!!!). A girl at church whom I’m going to call “Benevolent” for sake of anonymity first came over and sat next to me. Slightly shocked by her kindness at first, I could just suddenly sense it was all God’s leading. Then suddenly “Zealous” came and sat on the other side of me. Peace and feelings of grace swept over me as I was able to fully take in the sermon feeling God’s presence through these two sisters in Christ.

God wasn’t done yet.

After church, I visited my sister in Christ “Encouragement“. I had not seen her in such a long time! (No puns intended there if you know what I mean…haha)

It was great just being there getting to share about the sermon that morning and just talking life with her. Before I left, I was given her old keyboard and was shown a few chords to my favorite song, Reckless Love. Playing on that keyboard once I got home brought me joy knowing I’d have another way to worship the Lord. I’ll admit though, I still have a lot to learn!!! The chords confuse me and I can barely seem to play anything…but it’s a process and I cannot wait to press into God’s presence through it. ❤️❤️❤️

I’m just so humbled right now.

God is sooo soo good.

No matter how far you’ve pushed God away…He has not abandoned you. He is still in the same house. Go to Him. You won’t be disappointed. Even if you don’t go to Him…He’s constantly pursuing you. Don’t ignore Him. His peace surpasses all understanding. His grace is greater than any sin or wrong ever committed in history. He loves you.

Our Sins Are Cast Into The Depths Of The Sea

It has been forever since I last typed up a blog, but the Lord isn’t letting me rest until I get this one out! God is so good y’all!

When I first turned to the Lord in 2008, I had this dream of a rainbow over a vast sea where I couldn’t see land anywhere in sight. The word forgiveness was clear in my mind upon waking up. God has used this very dream to speak to me on multiple occasions–bringing it more and more into full light of His vast love…and grace that is unending. His grace truly is more vast than the entire sea…greater than all of our sins combined.

Reading the verse above made everything so crystal clear for me.

Why do I keep visiting my former life…my sinful nature? God has already cast my old self–all of my sins–into the depths of the sea!!! He has for you too if you have believed in the name of Jesus Christ!

Wow.

So why do I keep struggling with my old self so hardcore?

Forgiveness… God has completely forgiven me. And yet…I still wrestle with extending that same forgiveness towards myself. An old way of thinking pops up into my mind and suddenly it’s like…

“Here you go again…”

“I cannot believe you’re even going there. You were literally just reading God’s Word!”

“I cannot believe you feel that way! What is the matter with you?!”

“Why are you not crying right now? You’re so calloused and insensitive.”

It all begins in our mind.

Renewing our mind is a major key to victory.

To imagine extending love and forgiveness towards myself is much more difficult than actually doing just that towards others for me. Then I’m reminded of that saying, “Forgive and forget.”

I will never forget completely the mistakes and bad choices I’ve made, but I can choose to rest in the fact that God has already tossed them into the depths of the sea. It’s time I stop fishing them out and instead yielding to God’s grace. Through His help I’ll be able to extend that forgiveness towards myself and leave that sinful nature in the sea.

Through this imagery I’m also reminded of not only my baptism but my brothers and sisters in Christ who were baptized today.

I am born again through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that now lives within me. Instead of fishing for that old self… it’s time I start being a fisher of men to bring them into an encounter with Jesus! His grace is so vast, brothers and sisters! I cannot even begin to grasp how wide and deep His love is for you and I.

My prayer is that we will boldly run into His arms that are wide open for you and I.

God is Still Writing

My cat, Loki, is hilarious. He enjoys stealing pens off of our dining room table then hits them around with his paw while running all over the place until they get lost under the fridge or oven. Who knows how many he has stolen and hidden.

Then God showed me I do the exact same thing when it comes to my own life. God starts writing that I need to reach out to a certain someone and I steal the pen. Then I cross it out and write someone else’s name, but it ends up at a dead end. Why? Because God knows best! Thankfully, He has an endless supply of pens and can get me back on track when I allow Him to take over writing my story again. Sometimes, I feel like God is taking too long to write a part of my story so I’ll take the pen out of His hand and start writing. Then I realize His timing is perfect after I run into a dead end. More often than not though, I’m just like my cat and simply try to run while hiding all the pens.

Fear takes a hold when I start to realize God’s calling on my life…and I’m like nope! I’m not ready God!! Let me just make it where You can’t write anything. Of course, that always fails. I can’t run from the God of the universe and I certainly can’t hide all the pens.

Trust.

Trust.

Trust.

Most good stories have unexpected twists and turns in the road. Some of these we create ourselves, but other times God writes them in to build up our faith and trust in Him. For example, my family and I are having the most difficult time in starting up our own business. At first, everything seemed to be in the clear. Then unexpected bumps came up in the road and now there are so many uncertainties. However, I think to where I used to be to where I am now…and I cannot help but lean into God. He has always been faithful and I know that whatever is in His will…it will happen. The pen is in His hand after all. When it seems like I’m at a dead end…it only takes a few words written by God to turn it all around in my story.

The same is true for you.

Brothers and sisters, please keep me in your prayers. For the next week I’m going to keep pretty busy and honestly it’s a little overwhelming. It will be easy to say on Wednesday, “Im too exhausted to go to Church.” Im praying and hoping though that I won’t do that. I’m needing more intimate time with God right now. Especially because so much is happening in my life this very moment, and just around the corner. In June, I should be starting up college again!!! Wow! Also, I picked up the pen again a couple days ago for the book God’s been calling me to write titled “Forgiveness”. Prayers on this would be greatly appreciated.

If any of you need prayer, please don’t hesitate to reach out. If not to me, then anyone close to you. I love you all. Do your best to allow God to write your story. He honestly knows what’s best for your life.

Reaching Out

As Christians, one of the most difficult things to do (at least I know it is for me) is to reach out exposing an area you’re struggling in. Pictured above is from my early college years one of the first times I was at rock bottom. I remember that college ministry night like it was yesterday. For some reason I had chosen to sit in the very front row. Which I’m thankful for, because I was so broken that when they called people to the altar to pray…I couldn’t muster the strength to get up. Instead I distinctly remember putting my head down and gently rocking slightly back and forth while whispering over and over, “I need You, Jesus”. God responded in a way I will never forget. Sisters in Christ began to surround me one by one and prayed fervently over me. Taken aback by God’s love through the body of Christ-His Church-I pressed into His presence in that humbling moment. Little did I know we were being filmed so God could gently remind me of this time any time I would forget.

This picture ended up stuffed into a book, not completely forgotten about, but the enemy would soon fester up a bitterness within me towards this Church…

However, that’s not what this blog entry is about at all.

This entry may not take a few minutes to read, but it will be worth it. ❤️

This entry is about struggle. Secrets. Addictions. It is also a cry out for those running…to stop running. The Church is full of people with flaws. You are a piece of that body. You have a purpose.

Do we talk behind the back of brothers and sisters if we catch them in secret sins? No!

Let us instead expose our own secret sins-expose then into the light with one another so that we may be healed…so that we may be changed.

Stop running from flawed brothers and sisters…more importantly stop running from yourself and the mission God has for Your life.

You cannot change what you have already given into…but you can accept that it happened. And you can reach out and expose it so that you can change.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been running. I’ve been like Jonah afraid of the calling God has on my life. Instead of listening to God I tried opening a door that He wouldn’t allow opened. I wanted to reach out to a certain leader at church but He consistently kept closing the door. Discouraged and beaten down I honestly started to give up. My world started to get darker and darker. I had no motivation to help my mom with simple house chores and it just caused me to get irritable and snap easily at anything said to me.

I asked for prayer that a door would be opened and it just never opened…I finally stepped back and asked God where He was leading at a Bible study. I felt a nudge about another person to reach out to–she will be referred to as “Zealous“. At first more discouragement came when it was piped up that I needed prayer-which I desperately did but I knew it was meant in a different context about financial matters. I just responded in question then distraction invaded the room and the prayer thing was forgotten about-so it seemed. The enemy flooded my mind with lies- “You’re all alone.” “None of Your new friends are here.” “You always get left behind.” “It’s just like always.” “You don’t matter.” “Run.” “Just leave this place.” “They won’t even notice if you walk out.” “You’re gonna cry…you don’t want them to think you’re that desperate or weak do you?”

Let me tell you…it took every ounce of my being to stay glued to my seat and not just walk out. Though I was super awkwardly just sitting there, I knew I couldn’t move or I would give into his lies.

Soon, “Zealous” came over and asked me about my financial situation regarding college. I caught her up while in the back of my mind I felt a gentle ushering to reach out to her past the surface stuff. I shoved it to the side listening to the lies of the enemy, “She doesn’t care about your emotional well being or any of that deep stuff.”

Before leaving, the comment was made that she wanted to connect with people but she could only connect with so many-that others would need to connect too. I knew I had to say something and the Holy Spirit gave me the courage to pipe up and ask if I could be within that small circle.

Excitedly, she said yes! And doors began to open suddenly.

The very next day actually.

Work was put on hold for the next day and I suddenly had a ton of free time.

The Holy Spirit reminded me of where God was leading so I reached out. To be honest, I stubbornly reached out to the other person I thought would be better first… well that door stayed closed. So I finally listened to God. I asked “Zealous” if I could come over finally reaching out where God was leading the entire time. Doors were opened wide and she was free.

Thank You, Jesus.

I honestly probably talked her ear off that night. Sorry! I had held everything in for awhile, not letting anyone truly in from this new church. Being hurt so much in the past, it took everything for me to open up to “Zealous“, but I did. I don’t regret it at all.

The reason I’m referring to her as “Zealous” is because of her fiery passion for not only God, her neighborhood, her town, the church, but also for my college town. God’s calling me to go back there and share my testimony for Him to change lives, but I’m like Jonah and keep running. I need some more Fervent passion in my life for what God is calling.

One huge thing for me is prayer.

I’ve asked for prayer so much when struggling and most of the time get a text response of, “I’m praying.” And if in person, “I will pray.”

Well this time the Holy Spirit was evidently present in our conversation. “Zealous” and I ended up praying over one another right then and there. I could sense the presence of God as we prayed for one another. I also couldn’t help but be reminded of that one night in college at church. One thing I remember “Zealous” praying over me is that I would have a renewed fear of the Lord. I’ve been meditating on that a lot since.

Then I read this verse above today. Let it be such an encouragement to you reading this blog. Let us not hide in secrecy, but expose the sins and struggles in our life. Let us be filled with the Holy Spirit following His leading in our life and not our flesh. Let us sing praises over our lives before our breakthroughs declaring God has already won the victory through Jesus Christ! Let us give thanks daily and submit to one another in love.

I read this verse aloud every single day.

Through Jesus Christ we have the victory over any sin, addiction, or struggle. Don’t give it power by keeping it in the dark. Expose it brothers and sisters. Then let us pray for one another. By Jesus, we have the victory!!!

If you have a prayer request in response to this blog, please reach out. I’m personally challenging myself to pray right away if you reach out to me. Willing to call or meet up too. Let us love one another as Christ loves us. ❤️

P.S. Thank you “Zealous” for listening and praying with me. I cannot wait to see what God has planned around the corner.