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. 

Design 

A year ago I had no idea what I was doing. I was thrown into an opportunity that I had no formal training in and not getting trained in something for me was hard. I like guidelines, I like bullet points to what I need to achieve to do well in a role or project. But there was no bullet points, no checkboxes. I literally just had to be me. But it was hard because I see so many flaws in myself that the idea of being me was scary. So last year I did my job and interacted when I had to or if they they needed help. It was very hard for me to be me in front of them so I put on a facade and I tried not to let them see the broken me inside because I was afraid they’d find out how I really felt, fake. 
But this year, God moved mountains in my life. I’ve learned to embrace my flaws as who God designed me as. I’m not perfect, I never will be. I have a tendency to tell myself, “If I only talked more maybe people would like more. If I wasn’t so awkward maybe people would invite more to things and I’d have more friends. If I wasn’t so big maybe then I’d win a guy over. If I lost weight maybe then I’ll love myself.” I could go on, the criteria I put on myself to be able to accept myself is not God ordained, it’s pure evil. I could never obtain it. I’m seeking perfection when God says ‘no, you weren’t designed to be perfect. You weren’t designed not to have flaws, you weren’t designed to get everything right the first time. You were designed to love and to care for others. You were designed to teach others about my Son. You were designed to lead the way for young believers. You were designed to be you. But do you trust me enough to let me use the person I designed you to be? Or do you want to try to constantly aim for something you never hit and live a life we’re all you see are failures because the criteria of perfection is too high to be obtained?’

Don’t live a life of failure. Live of life full of grace and love. One of the hardest things for me is allowing myself to have grace, I’m the hardest person on myself, but there’s freedom found in it. Be who God designed you to be and allow him to mold you to be exactly who he made you to be. Trust in him. 

Don’t be your own worst enemy

Don’t be your own worst enemy. I’m sure you are questioning that last part. Let me tell you what I am talking about.

Over the past few months, I haven’t felt motivated to dig deep. I haven’t felt motivated to grow. I haven’t really felt connected to God, at times I felt abandoned and alone. I tried to do my personal Bible readings,  but it was a complete struggle. I stopped listening to sermons online, I stopped listening to Podcasts, to me I just didn’t “feel” like it. However, those moments began to add up and soon I “forgot” about them.

Then my personal Bible readings, I noticed only happening Sunday mornings. As much as I longed for the Word, I noticed the Word began to feel like only words as if it was just a book.  I felt numb and pulling away from my walk.

I didn’t know what was going on. I felt like I was slipping down in a spiral and that I couldn’t stop myself. But I began to journal and I figured out what I was longing for, love. Just to feel loved, because over the past few months I felt empty and alone. I didn’t go out and search for it like I did in the past, but the temptation starred at me in the face.  Instead, I isolated myself. I became my own worst enemy.

Here are the problems with isolation; temptation, thoughts, and forgetting who God says we are. Temptation stares at you in the face and the flesh is quicker to win when you remain isolated. Those negative thoughts speak louder. Who God says you are gets put away and you begin to believe the thoughts that you are worthless, unloveable, no good…etc. I could go on, but those words reply over and over in your head and you begin to believe them.

But we are sons and daughters of God. We are His children. He loves us. He never has stopped loving us. Just because you slip into isolation and you slip into darkness. Doesn’t mean God has forgotten about you. It doesn’t mean that God has given up on you. It doesn’t mean all of a sudden you are unqualified to be His Child. What it means is that it is time to stop thinking about your OWN wants, your OWN desires, just stop thinking about YOU.  And start focusing on who GOD wants us to love, OTHERS.

So when I say don’t become your own worst enemy, what I am saying is selfishness will only lead to isolation and separation from God, but LOVE, love will lead to God because “if we love God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:12b)

So wipe the tears away, get off your bed, and start walking towards who God called you to be.

 

 

Who God Says We Are: The Light

A Christian cliché, you are the light. It’s a commonly used phrase in todays world. But do we really know what it means. Do we really know what God truly intended for us to know about being the light.

I say cliché because it’s so over used and so under defined. God uses the light to represent him, we all know that. BUT do we really believe it. We can say it, because God says it but doesn’t mean we believe it.

Many of us struggle with who we are in God’s eyes but yet to him we a prince and princess, we are redeemed and saved by God’s glory through Jesus. But many of us still go on day after day and do not practice who God says we are, we simply go by who we say we are.

But God doesn’t want us to do that. He doesn’t want us to sit in our daily lives and repeatedly beat ourselves up over the lies we tell ourselves who God says we are. We don’t believe it enough that God says we are His children, we don’t believe we are worthy, we don’t believe we are good enough, we don’t believe in ourselves, we simply don’t believe we are the light.

Some of us believe the light is someone who has it all together, it’s the “perfect” christian, it’s the “non-sinner”. But that’s all wrong. We are the light because we are BROKEN and we are far from perfect. We are the light because God saved us.

It maybe hard at times to remember we are the light because momentarily we are battling darkness, and that’s okay. But the more we are the light, the more we are who God called us to be, the more we are like who God says we are.

Let’s get the walking shoes on. Let’s start walking in a different manor. We don’t sit sidelines any more. We be His disciples. We be His light shining for the world to see.

 

The Age Gap

As an almost 29 year-old, I am struggling. I am at an age gap where I want to be able to meet people, but a bar is not the place. I am at the age where I have to find a group of people who love me, and will be there when I need them, because its time to grow up, even though I’m stuck in my teens at heart. It’s time to realize the lies I’ve told myself were not true. The judgement I placed on people were my own fears reflected back to me. The lack of love I felt from people was not that it wasn’t there, it was because I was turning away from it, not looking at it straight on because I was afraid.

The lies I’ve told myself are lies of a teenagers mind, the lies that people tell you because of their insecurities. I’ve told myself I’m worthless, but I’m not. I’m worthy of everything as I am a daughter of a King. I’ve told myself I’m a failure, but I’m not because I have a purpose in my life to the will of my Father, and I can’t fail until the day I stop breathing. I’m told myself that no one will like me because I’m too ugly or too fat, that lies of a teenager still haunts me today, but the mere fact is they are not true. I’m a beautiful woman who may struggle with her eating habits, there’s help for me there, but God doesn’t judge me on my size, he doesn’t judge me on whether or not I have brunette hair or blonde hair or even if I put an effort on getting ready. He simply doesn’t care, only I care what other’s will think.

I’ve judged people, a lot of people, Lord please forgive me. I have misjudged people based on their attitudes that day, or their personality. Here is the thing, most of those judgments are a reflection of myself, attributes of myself, that I don’t like to see pawned out, whether it’s anger, bitterness, or any other fowl feeling mood. I am afraid that I will be the old me, full of anger and bitterness. So seeing those people I see myself and I judge them as not being loving, but it may just be there way of loving in the moment. Regardless, it doesn’t matter, because the old me is dead, where some attributes will forever haunt me, they do not define me anymore.

There are people out there who love me because I am me, not because I look a certain way or was born with their DNA. There is a Father in heaven who never once stopped loving me. There is my Savior who died for me, the ultimate love and sacrifice, dying for the sins I struggle with on a daily basis, who is seated at the right hand of the Father who loves me.

I maybe struggling right now in the age gap. But it doesn’t change who I am in Christ. I’m still a child of God. I am still pursuing a deeper relationship with Jesus. I am full of joy knowing that I am loved through all my struggles and all my ups.

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.

Personal Invitation

Your Personal Invitation….

I had to have a personal invitation to go to church. I wasn’t going to go just because you mentioned it. I had to have a specific date, a specific time, and you had to be coming with me. I was not going to go to a place foreign to me without some figuratively hand holding. I was scared.

I was scared of rejection, I was scared of feeling alone, I was scared to go anywhere like a “church” by myself. I wasn’t good enough. I was not confident enough. I was 26 at the time, I was all grown up, but yet a child. I was acting like a child when it came to church, I was acting like a child when I had to get my “feet wet” and to try new things. I had to have a personal invitation and an excuse to go.

Let me tell you, God does not require an invitation! Jesus was tortured and died on a cross for our sins, his love for us is so strong, yet we require a personal invitation to spread his love? Serving is the greatest thing you can do in your walk, serving allows others to see Jesus through you. That is what Jesus did, he served others and asked for nothing in return.

Through my faith walk I have struggled with invitations. I was “shoulder-tapped” to be on our welcoming team just a few months after starting the church, another personal invitation that I required. I was new to the faith at this point, I had no bible verses memorized, no bible to call my own,  just an example of others serving and loving others. I wanted that.

I joined. I started serving. Events go by, I ignore them, like every other new church goer. My thoughts: “Why do they need my help? They already have this bond, I don’t want to break it. I am going to be alone. I need to be with someone I know, (I needed my hand held again).” But yet I didn’t.

As my faith grew and my relationship with Jesus was building, I realized that it’s not about me. It’s not about me at ALL. We are to strive to be  Christ-like. It’s states in scripture, multiple times, for instance, 1 John 2:6 – “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”, We must walk to serve God, to serve others, to love on others, to help others, to pray for others, to lift others up when they are down.

Jesus did not require a personal invitation to walk they he walked and to love the way he loved. He did it because he was God in flesh. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. “ John 1:14.  God himself invited you to His kingdom through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.
I may have required an invitation to church, but I do not require an invitation to serve. I do not require a personal email or phone call from someone. It’s not all about you.  You want to be personally invited to something to volunteer your time and/or skill set. Why? You want to be acknowledge by that person who invited you hat you were there. You want someone to praise you for showing up, or doing well. That is not an act of a true Christ follower. Do it because you love others, Do it because you love Jesus. Do it because you WANT to serve the Lord not because you HAVE to.