Saying “Yes” to God: The Journey

The Journey

I don’t know where you are in your faith walk, maybe you just accepted Christ in your heart and you’re searching, maybe you’ve been a Christ follower for years, maybe you are just struggling right now, but regardless of where you are or who you are, God is there with you. Like what it is written, God will never leave you nor forsake you. He is always be there, you cannot hide from Him, even when we think we can.

I say this because there are many times I struggle and I feel like God hasn’t been with me, that if God was in it would not be this particular way. But that’s just me trying to control my own destiny.Which my path was already written by God, he knows when I’ll  fall, he knows when I rise up. He knows it all. He knows your path too, he knows what he is doing.

But if you don’t trust him, if you don’t hand the reigns over to God, and you try to steer,  your life just keeps repeating it self and you wonder why things are not going anywhere. It’s because you’ve been spinning in circles trying to control your own life. Listen, God has a path for you. There will be some rockiness, there will be storms, but there is also light, joy, happiness. Trust God no matter which direction he calls you.

I’ve recently battled on of my worst depressions of my life. I felt that God was not with me, I felt that abandonment. I had followed what God had called me to do, and I end up in a dark pit. I was scared, I was worn out, I was curled up and was done with life. But here is the beauty of it, God was there the whole time. He never left me. I just had to look up.  I was so focused on my own self pity and my own self worth, that I never realized how much God was trying to steer me, I just had to let him.

If you would have told me that today July 1st would be the last day of my job, that I didn’t hold at the time, if you would have told me that I would start working on July 5th in the administrative side of ministry, I would call you completely crazy, but not to God. If I didn’t follow his calling to quit my job, I would not be here right now, I may have not fallen into that pit, but I followed Him. God was there the entire time, even in my darkest moments.  God is not done with me yet, and he definitely is not done with you yet.

God is on the move in your life. Just trust in Him. Lean on Him.

 

 

 

 

Harden Heart

I was flipping back and saw this old picture of myself…

 
I was 19 at the time. I was immature. I was dark. I thought I knew it all. I thought I was a nobody. I thought I wasn’t worth anything.

These lies I remember telling myself over and over again. I’m worthless. No one likes or loves me. No one even cares. 

But the problem I have found its not that no one does, it’s because I didn’t allow them to. I closed myself off from anyone who had a glimpse of possible hurting me, and it all started in childhood.

Growing up with a mother who loves me dearly but a father who was barely home and said horrible things when he was around. But all I wanted was daddy’s love. 

So I inadvertently gave up all together. I fought my mom about not wanting to get out of bed, I didn’t want to face the world of harsh and nasty people. I even failed a grade because of it. 

Through it all, I lost Tanya. I lost the girl I used to be before my heart became stone.  I lost communication with world. I lost the ability to communicate. In groups I wouldn’t take charge or hardly communicate because the lies people I loved just played over and over in my head. I was the “quiet” one. I was the one no one noticed because it was easier for me to not talk and not be noticed then to have to bare the chance of being hurt. It wasn’t worth it, because I felt I wasn’t worth it.

One day my parents found a poem of mine talking about death and taking my own life. It’s the only day I remember as a kid when my parents both told me they loved me and they were sorry for ignoring me and for everything I’ve been through. Life didn’t change much after that, there was more people tiptoeing around the truth that made me feel more unloved.

I say all of this because 10 years ago I was still that little girl. I didn’t mature from the point at which my heart harden, which was around the age of 10. I simply grew in age and the voices in my head just grew stronger.

It wasn’t until I allowed Christ to soften my heart did anything even begin to change. He began to work in me through the Word and he began to replace the lies I tend to tell myself. I still hear them today, I still battle this but the more I replace the lies with God promises the less and less I hear the lies. The more I see the core of who God made me and it’s beautiful.

I am a flawed person and it’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to think what comes to mind and not everyone will judge you. It’s okay to open your heart and to let people in. It’s okay to be me and there is no one better to play the role of me in the story God has already written for me. 
 

The Battle Within

There have been multiple attempts to write over the last couple of months. Unfortunately I sized everything, I judged myself, I didn’t find myself adequate to write. Mentally and spiritually  maybe I wasn’t.

I’ve been battling a lot lately. I have been going down a path of darkness. I started to see habits of my old ways that I got scared and hid. I started convincing myself that my new self was just  a facade. That  maybe I was never made new in Christ. Maybe this entire thing of who God says I am is not who I am.

It’s not that I didn’t try to stop my thinking. I listened to sermons. I read the Word of God. I still attended church. Still nothing stopped me from thinking I was a complete phony, that my old self was better than my new self. It was like the enemy  hitting me were the soft spot is the armor I have on repeatedly and I just couldn’t recover from the battle.

The crazy thing through all of this God never left my side. Even when I never got the connection, never felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, doubted the mere existence of Him, even when I battled through darkness and with the enemy; He was there. It was Psalm 139 where no matter where you try to hid, He is always with you. He created you.

Even if you have moments when you try to battle the negative thoughts, the depressed thoughts, the thought that you are not made new in Christ and you are not who God says you are, you still are. You are beautiful. You a princess. You are forgiven. You are a child of God. He will never leave you. Wherever you may go regardless if you don’t feel him, or don’t feel like anything, God is with you. 

Getting Stuck in a Valley

I don’t know where to even begin.

Life has its ups and downs. But right now I’m in a valley, I may look like I’m climbing the hill, but every day there’s a struggle to even begin the first step.

The saying is “it’s just one foot in front of another”. Yes that is true but those who are in dark places, are learning to walk again. They need someone to hold on to, someone to help them up if they fall down. 

I’ve been battling depression lately, it’s been really hard. I’m not going to lie and tell you, I’m okay. I’m not.  It’s been hard to get out of bed in the mornings. It’s been hard to open the Word of God in the mornings. It’s been hard repeating the promises of God over and over again. BUT it doesn’t mean I don’t overcome and do it. It may not feel right in the moment, but it’s okay. 

The hardest thing is I feel alone even when I’m not. I sat a Rend Collective concert last weekend, and I literally felt like I brought only myself to the concert. I brought 3 other people and there was  some of my church family sitting beside me. I’ve begun to keep to myself more, and isolate myself. It’s dangerous. 

Today at church pastor touched on some topics near and dear to me and my struggles. He was reading from Hebrews 10:19-25; below are a few verses:

“let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” -‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:22-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Pastor stated  “Jesus is faithful, even when we’re not full of faith.”   So I may struggled and I may have some dark places and sometimes I will get stuck in a valley. BUT it doesn’t mean I give up. It doesn’t mean that God has given up on me. It means that some days may be hard, but God still has hold of me. I may fall but Jesus is still my anchor. I’m not less than or more than because I struggle with depression. I’m a human being who has flaws and struggles. God still loves me. Jesus is still faithful. 

Break Free

In a series called Break Free a few years ago, before I even dreamed that I had enough audacity to step-out and let others know what I was thinking, I was challenged. Break Free was about breaking free from the chains that we hold onto, that God did not put there, so that we can be the person God called us to be.

April 2013 I posted on Facebook, “I didn’t realize until today that I’ve been holding on to something that should’ve been let go awhile go. Thanks to Captivate Church and Pastor Tally I will try to break free from it.” No one knew what it was, I honestly thought no one really cared.  That one thing I was trying to break free from was an event that happened in the past. An event that took the little bit of self image and worth that I had and crushed it in just moments.

As I began my adult life, I took that image and my worth and I let it define me. I let it eat at me, I let it take me to the bedroom with random men, I let it tell me  that I wasn’t worth succeeding, I wasn’t worthy starting my own life. I honestly, don’t know if I wanted to change because I was comfortable. I told myself it was who I was and I was just living life. Instead I was filling myself with emptiness, not love, not support, but dead dreams and lack of hope.

As Jesus came into the picture and I started feeding myself with God’s promises and with God’s love. I no longer became an empty lost vessel. I was filling up with God, and it was amazing. God was stirring things up inside of me. I felt love like I have never felt before. God was using me.

Then all of a sudden it stopped. God’s voice became quieter. I felt my faith was on a brink of falling apart. I was going back to the darkness that I was in when the event happened. I felt alone, unloved, unworthy of everything. But I was still praising and still seeking Him, I was not giving up. I took a leap of faith and asked for help.

I came across this quote my pastor stated back in the Break Free series in 2013 that says “Self-Image without God’s Image is a broken image”. I thought this was completely true. That I cannot be the person God created me to be without Him, otherwise I am just trying to fulfil my own self righteousness and worthiness, I am trying define myself.

If I let myself define me, I am unworthy, lonely, unloved. It is only with God that I can see myself loved, worthy of all, and most of all never lonely because He is always there. So I was letting myself define me and not letting God have any say in the matter. I stopped hearing God’s voice because I didn’t think I was worthy of it, I felt alone because I felt like no one cared, but I didn’t even give them a chance. It is a cyclic pathway that just leads down a spiral that I replay everyday and it’s dangerous.

I am not going to say it’s going to easy climbing back out of the spiral and trying to create new pathways on how to communicate and how to build a relationships. It’s going to be hard seeking truth of the way God sees me versus the lies the enemy wants me to believe. I have to break free from the chains that I am still letting the define me. It is only with God’s help and grace that I will be able to do it.

A Glimpse into Darkness

If you were given a story to tell, would you tell it?

I have a story, everyone has a story. When I first became a believer I stated I didn’t have much of a story, that I just went to church to support a friend and got captivated by the church. However, my story is much more then that.

God gave me a story of darkness to light. When I when I was 14, I had the worst year of my life. I was beyond depressed and I slipped into a darkness that I could not pull myself out of. I failed 9th grade that year because I refused to go to school. I had no respect for authority, I was addicted to the internet and the computer and everything that came with it. I stayed in my room, I hardly moved,  I hardly ate, I hardly did anything. 

However, I did write. It’s when I first started writing, but I wrote on, poetry.com, not on paper and I am glad I did. I got to a point in my life where darkness was in my eyes and I was staring satan in the face. I told myself it was the end for me. I wrote a suicide note and poetry.com mailed it to my house, with it right on the from of the envelope. My parents saw and rushed to help me.  As much as I would say they helped me out of it. I know it wasn’t them. God had a better plan for me.

I still sometimes slip into depression but I catch myself and remind myself that I do not want to end up there. I remind myself there is one love that I know is real, God’s love and one light that will forever remain shinning because he is with me, God is light. So when I hear someone is depressed and is falling down, I want to show them that light that I have found years after my darkness, I want to show them the one person who forever will not leave them and will always love them.

God will Pull You Through

Has anyone experience death or close to death?

First off, I do not like this topic because the idea of death, death is just a new beginning, not an end.  I cannot say I suffered through any specific disease but I can say the suicide was in the picture many years back.

I think back to when I was at my darkness moments, when I thought my life was worthless, when I thought I had nothing to offer this world, when I thought I was just not suppose to be here, when I thought suicide was my way out of this hell that I was living.

I wrote a poem as my suicide letter. I wrote a poem about how much my life simply sucked and how much happier people would be and how much more at ease I would be. My parents saw the poem, told me they “loved” me and they told me “everything would be okay”. I didn’t care what they said. I reassured them that “I am fine”. I was not fine. I was lost and lonely. I didn’t know where to turn, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have God to help me, because I didn’t know Him. I felt like Jesus when he was dying on the cross, “…My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46). I felt abandoned. At this point of my life I was questioning, “If he really existed, I would not be near death.” I was so down, I didn’t know what to do, I somehow managed to pull myself out of this hell whole, or so I thought.

Now I take a step back and analyze my life that I realize that not only was He there, He held my hand to make sure I didn’t go all the way through with it. He made sure that I got pulled out of my darkness. Therefore, God is my light. God has been there with me by my side. God has a great plan for my life. He’s not done with me yet. It took me many years to find out who my true Father was, I am not going to leave Him and He will not leave me for I have eternal life with Him. 

I get down, but I NEVER allow myself to get down enough to say I am unworthy, I NEVER allow myself to say I am not loved or that I am lonely. I NEVER allow myself to do that. If I start down that path, I turn to Jesus and be lifted high because with Him I have everything, I am loved, I am worthy of everything, I am a daughter of a king, I am not lonely because forever I will have Him, forever He will be there. God is the reason I am living.