#Ihaveissues

Tonight I literally sat in service at a church I’ve been watching for a few years online. Tonight was one of the hardest messages I’ve heard, maybe it was impact of the message of being at the church or maybe I was SUPPOSE to be there and the Holy Spirit just spoke clearer than watching it online. Either way, God had his hand in every aspect of the message that was delivered to me.

First off, the message was titled, “Hidden Issues”.  Issues that I’m hiding from, not you but me. What am I hiding from, & what am I hiding behind, were the questions asked. My self inclined  reaction was nothing, I’m not hiding, everyone knows everything, right?  Wrong.

As Pastor Steven was preaching my insecurities, my fears, my self-doubt, my reactions to things, how I personally respond to situations that I tell no one about just started playing over and over in my head. I was hiding. My selfishness and self centered ways showed off its ugly head this evening.

My issues go all the way back from early childhood. It’s not my family’s fault. I can blame them but the reality of it all, it’s my own fault to be holding on to things  that I don’t even realize I hold on to. My issues are my issues, it’s not their burden to carry. 

I have to get over my ownself. I have to literally spend time with God away from all the distractions in this world, and just be one with my father. I’ve been longing for this for so long, I can do it for a few moments but then everytime I get distracted, I reconnect, I put my focus on anywhere but my Father 

I recently took that jump, I trusted God, and quit at the time my only income source, my job. I felt God was calling me to, but I quickly forgot as to why. Where there may be several reasons, the number one reason was my relationship with my Father was struggling. I told my pastor that all I was doing was working, and I get inclined to do so, I loved my coworkers and why not bend over backwards for them? It’s who I am, it’s who God made me. But here’s the thing, it started destroying the very thing that I hold as an anchor in my life, my relationship with my Father. So what won there my gifts or my Father? My Father ultimately got the way, and I quit my job. But it stopped there. 

I prayed but not the extent I should. Recently, I was asked “What is God telling you to do?”. I couldn’t answer it. I didn’t know because I was focusing so much energy to my freedom that I neglected to remember why God called me out of my job to begin with, to build up and mend my relationship with him, so that I can do and serve with gifts he gave me to better His Kingdom, to live on mission with God. 

So when I say, I need to get over myself, and have that personal time with God, I do. I have to get over me because I know for fact I am what is holding me back, no one or nothing else. 

Saying “Yes” to God: Freedom

 

Recently, I devoted my life to saying “yes” more to God and less time ignoring Him. Saying Yes is hard sometimes, even when you are in the most uncomfortable situation.

Saying Yes means you are following the path God has hand picked for you. It means you are living for God and not yourself and allowing the Holy Spirit that dwells within you shine through you.

My experience as of late has been incredible. Do you know the feeling you have when someone grabs your wrist? The feeling of being forced not to move or when to move you have to do it only by their hand, but when they let go, you realize how important it is to have freedom from the bondage they were creating.  That’s the feeling, freedom.

Freedom from chains. The chains that lets things of this world define you. Each link shows a moment, a moment that scared you, a moment that you hold on to, because you do not know how to let it go or even if you want to let it go.  But saying yes, is freedom from all of that.

Everyone knows the song, “Amazing Grace”, but the Chris Tomlin version, “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” is simply about that. It’s about surrendering it all, surrendering your life to Jesus and when you do so, your chains are let go.  You have freedom.

The more you let go, the more your life will shine. It will get harder, you will go through tough times, but remember God has overcome the world.

Say Yes. Jump. Don’t passively wait. God will make you soar, even if you hit rock bottom a few times.

 

Defining Moments

Most of us all have this defining moment or series of moment in our childhood, they let us to believe who we are today. We constantly replay them in our minds, repeating the negative comments over and over again, we start to believe it about ourselves.

Mine was moments of verbal abuse from my father. As a little girl, my father told me I would amount to nothing, my father told me I was worthless. My father told me I was ugly and dumb and that no guy would ever want to be with me.

Do you know what happened? I believed all that my entire life. I let the negative comments define me. I let my father define me. So I never tried, because I knew I’d always fail at whatever it was. I had no confidence in myself, I didn’t know how to gain it. I felt like I was living for someone else, not for me. 

I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be in politics. I wanted to make a difference. But people told me that it’s too much, it’s not for me that I should go into nursing instead because I had compassion for others. I did neither. 

10 years later I look back on my life decisions, the decisions that I didn’t really make for myself and I realized it’s okay. God has a plan for me. I can still make a difference but with Jesus, not with laws and regulation. My compassion is still there striving, never skipping a beat.

If I had to go through those times of negativity, to become who God called me to be, then I am okay with that. My life isn’t perfect, but I wouldn’t change it. I want to be a living testimony of how God can use a broken little girl, to make a difference in this world. 

People are people, they can’t define you. Don’t let them win. God created you, He is the only one that can define you. You are to be part of His kingdom. You are worthy of everything. You are a daughter or son of the King. Live like you are, not by the moments you like dwell in.

God Doesn’t Make Junk

Did you know God doesn’t make junk? Did you know God created you?…yes YOU!

God knows every detail about you, even the scars you hide from your past to every hair on your head. He knows it all.

As a new believer it was easy to grasps the logic theoretically but hard the grasp  in reality. Did He really knit us together in our mothers womb? Did God carefully knit together the DNA and genetics that make you and me up? Did he really give you and I all the flaws and weaknesses and all the strengths? We both can sit back and simply say yes He did.

I have discovered recently, it’s been a long time coming, that it honestly doesn’t matter how hard I try to figure out who I am, because simply I am who I am. God will change me, God will mold me, but ultimately I can’t change me, and saying I want to change and trying to become someone I am not, simply make it seem as if I am shouting “God you didn’t do a good job creating me… ” I’m sorry but God doesn’t make mistakes and God doesn’t create junk.

I’ve battled with the concept that I am not good enough or I am not worth it. I surrender. I may be awkward even awkwardly quiet sometimes it doesn’t make me any less valuable, any less of a creation of Gods. People may judge me because I am not like them, I don’t work like them, I don’t live like them, I don’t have the same background, regardless of how they judging me, regardless if they don’t even like me, I’m not meant to please them. I meant to serve and worship and praise our God.

I’m not junk. You are not junk. You are beautiful because God created you. You are unique because you have gifts that only God gave YOU, yes just you. You are an amazing person, even the times you feel the lowest. Because sometimes struggles happen, sometimes we have fall into the pit so we remember who created us and who has control of our lives, but it doesn’t make less amazing because you needed a reminder.

God loves you no matter what you look like on the inside or out. As my pastor might say, “You are perfection in progress”. 

Jump in the Pool 

Are you really wanting to be healed? Are willing to go to any measure and any circumstances to get the miracle? 
John 5:1-17 talks about a man by the pool of water, in which in the pool at times Angels would bless the water and the first one in was healed. This guy was by the water wanting to be healed for 38 years, but always left a gap between where he was and the water pool. This allowed others to always be in front of him. He wasn’t going above and beyond to attempt to be healed. He could’ve fell into the water if he was at the waters edge, he could done something more than just be on his bed.  However, in reality he became comfortable where he was. He didn’t really want to change, regardless of what his word spoken may have been.

How many of us today do the same thing? We sit there and we go and we wonder why God isn’t moving in our life and why things are not changing?  Why are we still struggling with the same things over and over again? Some say it’s a pattern, but from just this scripture it’s because we may have temporarily given things up to God but we slowly go back into the same stuff. 

For instance, I battle with loneliness. Why? Because I don’t think God is enough for me. That’s the true answer. But I have told myself it’s because I’m an introvert, it’s because I have no friends, it’s because no one cares, it’s because of this or that. Things begin to change, communication channels begin to open and I don’t feel lonely anymore but it’s only for a moment. I go back being insecure, I go back to thinking I’m not good enough, I go back to tiptoeing with my faith, I go back trying to please everyone. 

I don’t want to change because I’m comfortable being insecure, sad enough to say. I’m comfortable being this broken woman. I’m comfortable in all things. I see fear and I run from it rather then trying to overcome it. I see great things, I see potential in my self, which is a battle in itself,  and I run. I run because why would God use this woman. Why would God use me? Why am I special? Why am I chosen? 

I have this feeling that I can go great things; that I was born to help change this world, at least the city of Baltimore. God has placed me in a great place to start my journey. But I can’t even accomplish any of this if I don’t jump into the pool of water, even if I’m not the first one the first time, it’s okay because God will give me another chance. I just have to be willing to move when it’s time. 

God is enough for me. God can do all things. 

The Enemy Within

Life. 
You may be single like me, you might be married, you might be a single mother, you might be a single father or even widowed, but each of us face challenges on a daily basis. One of them simply being the enemy within ourselves, the natural sin we were born with.  

I have a tendency to be selfish, I have a tendency to be doing my own will and not seeking God and doing His will through me. Yet, I long to do His will and not my own.  I am not saying that I don’t seek God on a daily basis, I’m not saying I don’t get into the Word of God but what I am saying is that if I look back on my decisions and my life I see more my own decisions then His. There are times when I know it’s Him, because I never would have the strength to run the obstacle and to overcome those challenges to break down the walls.

Yesterday, I sat in my car in tears. I cried because I wanted to feel loved by someone. I was lonely. I reached out but everyone was busy. But I reminded myself, repeating scriptures in my head, that I don’t need anyone. That I need to seek Him first because everything else will be added to those who seek Him.  Even if it’s not in this world it’s okay. The point is, I may have had a breakdown, but it’s okay because it pointed me back to the Messiah, Jesus. 

That challenges we face are only temporary. Jesus has be the Lord of your life. You need to let go of control of every decision. Let go and let him use you. 

I wouldn’t be where I am without Jesus. In a mere 3 years of a Christian, I have witnessed miracles, death, and new life in Christ. I have learned that living for me is lonely and depressing because it does not fulfill me. Living for Jesus, bringing him up in everyday conversation, brings forth life and joy. Being the light for others in darkness, that’s life fulfilling. Being your own light in your own world casts only your own shadow.

I will forever, till the day the Lord takes me home, battle with the enemy of my soul. But if  I fill myself up with things that give life and Gods word then it will quiet the enemy telling me: I’m not worthy, I’m ugly, no one likes me, I have no friends, if only I had one more thing then life would be perfect. Life isn’t perfect and it never will be. Stop searching and start seeking.

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.