Faith

The Fatherless Find Rest

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Unfortunately, I did not have the privilege to grow up in a household with my Father. Some ask how did it change you as a person? Were you angry? Were you sad? Do you feel like you have daddy issues? The answer is no.

I never thought, growing up without a father would determine my fate as a human being. Fortunately, God placed specific people in my life to encourage me to know better and do better. To reach for things beyond my community. To want more out of life than what was around me.

I first recognized that I didn’t have a dad when I was about 6 years old. I cried, asked my mom where was my dad, and why wasn’t he here? She explained the situation and I later to came to understand through a series of unfortunate events that my parents did not stay together, and unfortunately my dad was not in my life. I honestly felt like after that moment, I never felt sad about not having my dad around again.

Much later, I developed a relationship with my dad and for me, it honestly felt like no time had passed. We didn’t miss a beat. I was never angry. Being angry never felt like the “right” emotion to have towards my father. True, he wasn’t there, but I never felt like I was missing anything. I always felt like I had everything I needed from my mom and the community around me. I always felt spiritually and physically taken care of.

Feeling close to God at a young age also gave me comfort. For as long as I could remember I was always drawn to God and I’ve always had a relationship with Him. I’ve always felt safe, protected, and guided. Although, I didn’t have my physical father, I’ve always felt the presence of my spiritual Father.

So the words of this song resonate with me so well. “The fatherless, they find their rest at the sound of your great name.” Jesus died so that we could be sons and daughters of God. God knew before we were created that “though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” Psalm 27:10

“For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will.” If that doesn’t bring you joy inside, I don’t know what will. If you are feeling abandoned and like no one loves you, no one cares, look to God. Cliche and cheesy to some, but very true. I am proof. You already belong to Him and He will never leave you no matter how many times you try to run away.  Feel free to share your stories in the comments below. 

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Faith

Praise & Worship

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Have you ever been having a weird day and decided to turn on some music, and after a song or two your mood totally changes. Well, that’s the power of praise and worship for me.

Sometimes it takes some convincing from myself to actually turn the music on, but when I do my spirit is immediately lifted. In Isaiah 61:3 it describes God giving us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. We are constantly fighting this daily battle, to think positive, speak positive, do positive and be positive. This verse confirms that God knows us and loves us so much that he gives us an outlet to release all of that negative energy.

Praise not only makes us feel good but it makes God feel good as well. Psalm 147:1 The creator of all things loves when His creations worship Him and spend quality time with Him. Psalm 50:23 Praise and worship is a great way to commune with God and thank Him for who He is and what He has and will do in your life.

So I challenge you today, if you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or anything that’s keeping you down; turn on some music and begin to worship God. If you’re unsure where to start, I’ll list a few of my favorite praise and worship songs below.  Let me know in the comments below how your day has changed.

  1. Holy Spirit – Francesca Battistelli
  2. Here As in Heaven – Elevation Worship
  3. Do It Again – Elevation Worship
  4. The Anthem –  Todd Dulaney
  5. Fill Me Up – Tasha Cobb
  6. Heart Live Heaven – Hillsong United
  7. Oceans – Hillsong United
  8. Indescribable – Chris Tomlin
  9. Overcome – Tye Tribett
  10. Bless the Lord (Son of Man) – Tye Tribett

 

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Faith

My Problem with Forgiveness

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I have always been such a proponent for justice. In my mind things should always be fair and those who wrong others should always pay the consequences no matter what.

At 31 years young, I have come to the realization that I have a problem with forgiveness. Not only forgiving those that have wronged me, but those who have done wrong to those around me. In the past, if someone did wrong to me or my loved ones, it seems like God granted me grace and just removed them from my life. I no longer had to see that person or deal with that person again.

These days I feel like God is teaching me something. In recent years I have not had the pleasure of escaping those I feel have done wrong to me and my loved ones. I have had to see and interact with these people. So much so that I’ve actually had to be cordial and try not to let my emotions show about what they have done.

Injustice is such a hard pill for me to swallow. I know that eventually these people will pay for their sins against others, but it’s just difficult for me when I don’t see justice served sooner rather than later.

It’s such a hard concept for me to wrap my mind around. That God would allow people to get away with such evil and manipulative deeds. But thank God for Matthew 5:44-48. Love your enemies. Not only do we need to forgive others and show them the same grace that God has given us. We also need to love others as Christ loves us. Loving those who love us is easy, but loving those who are “hard” to love is something we can only do through the help of Christ.

Our greatest command is to love God with all our hearts and to love others. So instead of complaining about those who have wrong me and others, I need to be praying for them. My purpose is to spread the love of Jesus, not to judge and condemn people. Not to wish that I get to see them reap their comeuppance. Even though, to be honest, I really want to see justice served. I can only fully love everyone, the just and unjust, through God’s help. Through prayer and petition that He would soften my heart and win the souls of those who do evil not only to me, but to those around me.

If you can relate, let me know in the comments how you were able to overcome your personal feelings and forgive.

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Faith

Stepping Up & Stepping Out

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It’s so wonderful when God calls you out into the “great unknown, where feet may fail.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s terrifying, but also exciting. It’s always scary to step out of your comfort zone, but very exciting to see what God has in store for you.

It’s not always easy to leave what you know!

We get so comfortable in our day-to-day routines. Sometimes even stuck. Who in their right mind would want to leave what is familiar to them? Who in their right mind would go on a journey when they don’t know where their going, how long it will take, or where they will end up? I bet no one.

If we listen close enough, God will give you cues on when it’s time to go, when it’s time to stay, and when it’s time to leap! The great thing about being led by God is that he will always meet you along the way.  As you take the steps in the right direction (His direction), He will always send you confirmation that you’re on the right path. Little blessings here and there start to manifest. The path becomes clearer.

You have to Step up and Step out!

There is no way you can you can grow if you don’t Step Out! There is no way you will reach your full potential if you don’t go for it! Break the boxes others have tried to put you in. Start living out the wild plans God has for your life.

The great thing about God is that He’ll never tell you that you’re not good enough, not smart enough, don’t have enough because He has it all and has already given it to you and will always give you what you need along the way. It’s up to you to Step Up and accept it.

I know,  easier said than done. But I’d rather take a chance on God than live a mediocre and unfulfilling life.  

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Faith, Travel

The Trouble with Comparing

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Unfortunately, we now live in a society that revolves around social media. Getting as many likes and follows as we can. Everyone is so concerned about who likes them and who wants to hear what they have to say. What we don’t realize is we are fostering an environment for depression, self-pity, and self-doubt for those who feel like they can’t keep up.

I will be honest and say that I have fallen into the comparison trap before. Scrolling through social media, looking at the highlights of other people’s lives wishing I had what they have. Wishing I could be anyone but who I was. We can think someone’s life is perfect just by what they choose to show. Do you think people would choose to post their struggles? Most of the time, people only like to brag on their victories. It’s human nature.

The Problem:

The problem is perception. We perceive that the people we are “friends” with have better jobs, better money, better spouses, better cars, and just overall better lives than us. The truth is we don’t know what it took for those people to attain the things they have or if what we see is even really true.

Someone could post about the new home they bought. What we see is how we have failed at life because we don’t have a home (being facetious..lol).  What we don’t see is how much that person sacrificed for years, struggled to fix their credit, put off vacations and stuff they wanted to buy, just so they could have their dream home.

Someone could post about their fiancé or spouse and you feel like a failure because you don’t have one. The truth is you don’t know what goes on in their house behind closed doors. Their relationship could be a mess. They could have just settled on that person just so they could avoid being lonely. Just to have someone to post pictures with.

The Answer:

The answer is STOP COMPARING!!! We are all on different journeys in life. We just need to learn to appreciate the journey we are on. God has a specific path for all of us. It might not be the path we imagined, but we have to trust and believe that He will lead us to our desired end when the time is right.

We can never get to our future unless we live in our present. Our present is preparing and equipping us for our future. We can never be our best self in the future until we learn to master the small things that are building our character right now. Why rush God’s timing? I’d rather God develop me and take His time molding me than to end up in a situation that I regret or cannot maintain because I rushed into it.

Stop letting people’s highlight reels make you feel a certain way about yourself. No one’s life is perfect and no one has it all together. The only way to make yourself okay is to focus on God and focus on yourself. Start to work on the desires and passions God has placed in your heart now! Don’t wait until things are perfect, because they never will be. Don’t worry about how many likes and follows you get. Just keep going until you reach your goals.

 

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Faith

Wisdom Wednesday: Do Good and Share

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I was inspired by a verse I read today. Hebrews 13: 16, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

This verse spoke to my heart so much! Nowadays, we are all after our own agendas. It’s rare to find people who are willing to lend a helping hand without expecting anything in return, even from God. Unfortunately, most of us are taught every man for himself.

This word is teaching us that if we want to please God we must be selfless. We must be willing to give up what we have for others, even our lives. In the grand scheme of things, the more we help others the more we help ourselves and our world. If we genuinely give of our time, talents, and material possessions, we help to make the world a better place. We are setting an atmosphere for greatness; for our children and future generations.

You may think, ” I have nothing to share.” Think again! God has placed special gifts and talents inside all of us. He has even blessed some of us with material possessions, that He wants us to use to help others. Don’t ever believe your gift is not good enough. If God put you on this earth, He gave you a gift He wants you to use to fulfill your purpose. Whatever that gift is, only you may know, but don’t waste it. Share with others and help someone.

Not only does giving and sharing please God. It gives us a sense of personal fulfillment. Our first and foremost purpose is to share the love of Jesus. When we give of what we have, we are doing exactly that. When you walk in your purpose, you began to feel more fulfilled. We are constantly searching for our purpose in life. Start by giving and see how much it makes a difference in your life. 

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Faith

Loss

 

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Photo by Héctor Martínez on Unsplash

Unfortunately, I have already been to two funerals this year. I also just found out that a childhood friend of mine has recently passed away.  Just 31 years young. It really makes me put this life into perspective. We have all experienced loss at some point in our lives. Whenever it hits close to home for me, I constantly try to remind myself , “We are confident, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8.  In other words, if we are not here in our earthly body, we are present with the lord.  It’s really hard to cling to this when you are experiencing a loss, but it does bring some peace, at least for me.

Loss hit very close to home for me last year when I loss my cousin last spring, just before my birthday and then again last fall when I experienced a miscarriage. Both of these experiences were very hard and challenging to get through.

My cousin was such a bright light on this earth. I remember her always taking me with her and her sister when I was younger. They would do my hair, let me play in their clothes, and take me around town with them so I wasn’t bored at home. She led a praise dance team and was just such a great friend and loved one to everyone she met. I will admit as I got older we lost touch and were not as close as we used to be. Being able to celebrate her life for the time that I had her was a blessing. Losing her has taught me to try to cherish my family and friends as much as I can. It has also taught me to try to live a life that’s pleasing to God. To love others as you love yourself and always being kind in every situation. I have to admit this is something I’m still working on.

I was only pregnant for 10 short weeks. I didn’t find out I was pregnant until I was 6 weeks along. Having the doctor tell me that my baby did not have a heartbeat and that my pregnancy was not going to progress was heartbreaking. Although, we were not planning to have a baby, I had grown to love my unborn child such a short amount of time. I am confident that God has better plans for us! We will have a happy and healthy baby when the time is right. Lots of prayer and talking to close family members really helped me get through that time. Of course I had those normal feelings of fear and doubt. Fear that I had done something wrong and doubt that I would never be able to successfully carry a child in the future.  However, allowing myself to mourn, praying, and understanding God’s timing  really helped me through. It also helped to know I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t the only woman in the world that had experienced this. It really brought some comfort.

Getting closer to God and learning scripture helps us to cope with loss. You just have to trust and believe that the words you are reading are true. Below are a few scriptures that I have found comforting.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”  Psalm 34:17-20

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

If you have any tips or scriptures that have helped you with loss. Please feel free to share them below. ♥

 

 

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