Say “Yes” to God: Two Years Later

Exactly two years ago on Friday, I jumped into the unknown. I knew God called me out of the job I was in and with nothing lined up, I quit. I was faithful and within a week I got a part time job. Though jobs have come and gone, it’s been an amazing two years. I have seen in God move in so many ways and in so many lives. 
Over the past two years I have learned more about who God designed me to be and what he has called me to do. God gives us all the same mission, to spread the good news of Jesus, but it’s who he created you to be that ultimately unlocks your unique purpose in the mission. 
I will probably never be a great speaker, it’s not my design, but being a mentor to some women and teenage girls, that is in my design. I will never be Picasso but creativity and design has become a major part of how I impact The Kingdom. 

I wouldn’t have known any of it if I didn’t trust God enough to say yes to him. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t listen to the God who knows me and cares for me. There were dark seasons and trying times. The enemy didn’t forget about me and God never stopped pruning. But I wouldn’t change my decision. Saying “Yes” to God to quit my job has been the best decision of my life so far. God has a great plan for my life, but it’s only if I obey Him can I truly unlock it. 

God may not call you out of your job but God might call you to give or to serve. Even if you have no rescourses, all of us can serve Jesus. All of us have the capacity to live for Jesus. We have the capacity to put him first in every decision, in every way in our lives. We have The Word of God at our finger tips, the manual and plan for our lives. But we give so much to sin and so much to worldly desires that we forget what Jesus did for us. We forget the blood that was shed and the sacrfice that was made over 2,000 years ago.  So turn off the news and social media and take time and focus on the God that designed you and saved you from this world. You will never know who he called you to be if you do not put Him first.

Receiving Help

I grew up believing receiving help was a sign of weakness and unintelligence. So I never asked for help. I dealt with my problems on my own and never turned to anyone for guidance, from asking for help on an assignment to asking for help in my personal problems or situations. I dealt with them all alone. So it took me down a dark spiral of depression. It was hard to get out of bed, it was hard to put one foot in front of the other, it was hard to even look at other people. It was hard to do life. I would put a mask on and tell everyone I was okay but on the inside I was so broken. I couldn’t tell anyone that I was struggling because that means I’m not perfect and if I’m not perfect then I’m dumb and if I’m dumb I am weak and I can’t be seen as weak because then no one will accept me or love me.
So I buried my feelings, the hurt, the broken pieces of me under a rug. I didn’t want anyone to see me less than perfect. But the more things got shoved inside the more of who I am began to diminish. I started defining myself by my failures and not my accomplishments. I started doubting everything. My personality was jaded by my inability to tell people what was really going on, so I began to just keep my mouth shut, so it wouldn’t slip out. 

Eventually it got to a point where I couldn’t handle it. I found coping mechanisms through alcohol. It was that temporary feeling of joy. I was so happy. I partied almost every weekend of college and by my senior year, it was every other day. It was bad but in the moment it felt good.

In 2012 though my life changed for forever. I had started my first full time job, I had my first real boyfriend, I had lost over 100lbs, life was so good. I couldn’t have been more happier. But the broken pieces of me was still inside me. I still cried myself to sleep some nights. But I remember distinctly on a July morning I had closed my tear filled eyes and said these words, “God, if you are real. I need your help. If you are real, why am I feeling this way? Why do I have everything I want but still feel alone.” It was my first prayer I had prayed for myself. It was the first time asking for genuine help. 

That September, God led me to my church home where I met Jesus. He became the One I gave my life to. My life changed the moment I open my mouth and asked for help; the moment I surrendered to the fact I can’t do it by myself. I found true joy. I found true love. And I keep working towards digging up the pieces I buried deep inside to become the woman God designed me to be. 

Asking for help is not weakness, it’s strength because it’s admitting you don’t have life figured out. It’s admitting that you have weaknesses and flaws that you cannot seem to figure out and that’s okay. God has provided not only the profession of counseling for us to go to but he gave us His Son to be our counselor. We all need help. We all need  Jesus because we all are imperfect and we are born into a sin filled world.  

Check out this clip on Jesus being the Wonderful Counselor from Pastor Tally Wilgis at Captivate Church: https://youtu.be/VoYjRfX34Wg

Dear Young Woman

Dear Young Woman,

Stop hiding behind the mask. Stop pretending you have it all together. You maybe able to fool some, but you do not fool me. You crave attention. You want someone to “love” you, you want someone to “care” for you but you don’t know the true definition of those terms.

Know this,  God loves you. I love you. You will not find a greater love than that of God’s. You forever will try to fill that void, but unless it’s truly God will it ever be filled. So stop trying. It’s not worth the scars or the tears. Allow God to fill you. 

Know that you are valuable and precious. No one can replace you. Know that God doesn’t create junk, he knitted you together himself. You are beautiful. You are brilliant. You are worth so much more than you think or what people might say. 

Know that it’s okay not to be okay. God loves you regardless of how you feel…His love doesn’t change because of your feelings. He sees all and knows all. He knows when you fake it, he knows when you have genuine heart. 

I love you. Know that you are prayed for. My heart breaks for you. 

Your Sister-in-Christ,

Tanya

Meeting you at the point

In Genesis 22, Abraham was to sacrifice his son after God told him to do so. But the beauty is when they go to altar, God showed up. God had Abraham free his son and provided a ram to be sacrificed in his place. God met Abraham in the place after he placed a calling on him and Abraham was following through.

God will meet you where he called you, just not on your timing. I’ve been struggling with faith, I’ve been struggling on whether this life is what God has called me to do, I’ve been struggling with connection with God, I’ve been struggling with a relationship with God. It’s been rough. It’s been battles with the enemy, internal struggles and some very dark days. God promises me he will never leave me nor forsake me. He promises he will always love me and he is working all things for good for those who love him.
But I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to hear the goodness of God. It was as if I put myself in this box and the enemy decided to trap me in there and tried convinced me that God had forgotten me, and repeatedly told me if he truly called me then I wouldn’t be going through this pain. But all this time, God was out there telling me to hold on because I had to endure this moment to get to where God wanted me but I couldn’t hear him over the words of the enemy. I was right where the enemy wanted me, trapped in my own thoughts.

But I was set free. You see there was this moment I had to pull over and allow tears to just flow down my face and be broken before God. At this very point was the point at which God met me. I yelled. I screamed at God. But a peace had come over me. It was in that moment that I knew I was free and all I had to do was let go. 
God will meet you where he wants you. Today I walked into church with more happiness and joy than any Sunday over the last few months. I got to serve Jesus today and for that I am thankful. 

Suffocation of the Fire That Burns Inside

5 years ago I was a lost soul. I had no hope. I had no ambition. I was inward. I was severely depressed. I felt that I could never contribute to society because I was useless. I felt like I didn’t fit in, or even blend in.  I stayed inside and kept my mouth shut. I was hurt and broken.

I remember praying to a God I didn’t believe in at the time and I cried out, “God if you really do exist, why did you create me? Why am I here? If you really do exist please save me” God was listening that day because a few months later, I found Jesus and a church home I wasn’t even looking for.  God sent me on a whirlwind of a ride discovering who He was while I was discovering who I was throughout the first few months.

But after a little over a month, someone approached me and asked me to join a ministry team. They said and I quote, “We could use your smiling face on the VIP team” I replied, “Are you sure you want me to greet people? I’ve been told have a good smile, but…” they replied, “Yes of course we do!”.

I took that uncomfortable opportunity for me, of standing and talking to people and I signed up to be on the VIP team anyway. Regardless of how I felt, I knew this is what God wanted me to do.  The first few months were rough.

I only showed up on a Sunday when it was my week to serve. But then it got worst and I stopped showing up when it was my weeks and I blamed on the fact, “I forgot my password”  to the program we use so I didn’t know it was my week. Either way, I faced a battle of putting my wants, desires, and ways first before I even consulted or even considers Gods wants and desires.

One night I remember being in my room and just on my knees praying whole heartily because I felt lost again. I was crying, I was reading scripture, I was praying that same prayer but this time I knew God. This time I knew who I was praying to and through. I wouldn’t say it was overnight but God became my priority again shortly after. I started showing up the church every Sunday and not just for church, I showed up early to serve even when it wasn’t my week to serve.  Serving became my passion.

However, passion withers if it’s not properly kept. It’s like a fire that slowly fades away. But do you know what reignite the fire? For me it’s not God’s word, it’s not doing a bible study, where they may help keep the fire going, what really reignites the fire is moving the embers around. Taking in my testimony and sharing it with others. It’s lifting my hand out to others and letting them know they are not alone. That God loves them and care for them. It’s walking beside teenagers and helping them grow and seeing excitement in their eyes when they start understanding and believing in the Word. It’s loving others the way God does.

But it can quickly die if I put myself first. If I put my wants and desires in front of Gods, even without realizing it I can suffocate the passion that burns inside of me that God placed in there.

 

True Love

This idea called Love. We all crave it. We all want it. We all search for it. But many will never know it in it’s true form.

We might sleep around, like I did in past, looking for love in all the wrong places. Ultimately feeling heart broken and alone, wondering why you let it go that far and wondering if you will ever find the right one. But what you thought was love was merely just a temporary feeling.  

Being single isn’t fun. It’s full of a roller coaster ride of feeling lonely. It’s full of possibilities and hopeful relationships that tend to flicker out.

A few months ago, I was battling the issue with loneliness. Everyone goes through it. But this time I got to a point where I sat at church and wondered what in the world I was doing there. I told myself that life would be so much easier if I just left church and got married to the next guy. “At least I wouldn’t feel alone”, “At least I’d have someone who maybe cared for me”, … I could continue what went on my head but I won’t torture you. But you get the picture. I was telling myself Jesus wasn’t enough, that life wasn’t fair, that the love God has for me  isn’t enough.

God’s love is enough, because God is love. God is made known through love. Love is sacrificial, it’s putting the other in front of your own wants, desires, needs, anything. Love is getting up on a cross and suffering a long painful death so we didn’t have to bare it ourselves. That is true love. Jesus is love.

Do you see it? We sit here and we crave love, but the love we crave is not of this world. It is so much bigger. We all made in the image of God, therefore we all have a God sized hole that we try to to fill. Some of us fill it with “religion”, some fill it with drugs and alcohol, some fill it with another man or woman. But the hole, can only be filled by God. The love we see in this world will never fill it, regardless of how hard we try. 

It’s the puzzle piece that we search for. It’s the bonding between the vine and the branch. It’s the reason we breathe in and the reason we breathe out. 

Don’t let the enemy try to tell you can fill it with a temporary solution. The solution will always be Jesus because without him there is no true love. 

Relight the Fire

How many of us sin? All of us. All of us sin. All of us at some point in our day puts ourselves first and God second. Some just put him permanently in second. They think that their feelings and their own satisfaction is more important than what God has for them.
As a baby Christian putting God first tends to be a bit more easier. You tend to analyze every situation, conversation, and every friendship…to see if this is godly, something you are called to, something that you shouldn’t do, or something that is sinful against God. But once that fire goes out, where are we? At this point you’ve probably been called a “crazy” Christian even lost followers on social media because of your over bearing truths from the gospel. But once that first igination fades out, what you left with? A lot of times we are left empty because we’ve beared our souls and we’ve seen no fruit. We passionately pursue Jesus but we begin to let the enemy talk to us a bit more then we should. We stop putting Jesus first. Some of us just stop all together because we feel lost again and feel that if God didn’t show up in those months maybe even years then there is no point to pursue God. So we go back to our old ways.

But putting God first even when we don’t see fruit, even when we feel we are at worst of worst days make more of an impact on the world around us than us putting ourselves first on daily basis. 
God will always be God. We can either passionately pursue him on a daily basis or make him second and not make Him Lord at all. 

There have been so many times I have seen myself putting God in second . I have decided that it wasn’t worth my effort, that I didn’t feel up to it that day, that God will have the grace to sustain me. God’s grace is amazing but it’s not our job to tell God what to do with it. We are putting ourselves in first. Think about if we ever said, “that’s what grace is for”, that’s putting yourself in charge of Gods grace, something that we don’t have the power to do. But what we do have the power to do, is relight the fire.

Relight that fire that was in you years ago, months ago, days ago, because that fire with make a difference. That fire can change the world. That fire will have you walking confidently with the Lord. Where we may fall at times, it’s okay, we just have to keep the ambers moving.