Those Deep Dark Secrets

Everyone has them whether they like to admit to them or not. For some, they are fears. Others, they are vices. And for others, they are embarrassments. The list goes on. God forgives us for those things in our past without a doubt if we ask. However, in order to receive forgiveness, we must also give it.

Matthew 6:14-15
“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.”

What about the things we struggle with on a daily basis? The things we feel like we just can’t let go of? For some it’s jealousy, or lust, or envy. For others it might be theft of small things, white lies, or turning a blind eye to something. You think it’s harmless, so what does it matter? What about things like ignoring phone calls because it inconveniences you, or not giving respect where respect is due, or even holding a grudge? Again, you think it’s harmless so what does it matter? What if one of the times you do this someone dies because of it? Or someone sees you doing it, so they do it, then someone dies on their conscience? You lead by example, so how do they know any better? You receive a phone call asking you to help someone move some furniture. Oh! You just can’t bring yourself to interrupt your day of doing nothing, so you tell them no. Because you didn’t help them, they ended up calling someone else, get into a car accident and die. To add salt to a wound, they didn’t know Christ. So now… things might have been different because you had gone and not that other friend AND you could have witnessed to them but you chose not to because it was going to interrupt your day of sitting at home and doing nothing.

How do you feel now?

While my personal struggle is not one of those, it’s enough that I’m praying for deliverance of it. On a daily basis, I think about food that I take in or lack of. So much of my issue stems from self-image problems which is a completely different subject matter; however, it all ties together. A few years ago I suffered from the beginning stages of Anorexia. I did not get so bad that I could not function, thank you LORD! But I did get to a point where I was eating a piece of toast and drinking a cup of coffee per day for about 6 months. Everyone around me said I was looking sick – with cheekbones drawn in, collar bones sticking out… but I felt thin! If I woke up feeling fat, it was a horrible day. If I woke up feeling thin, it was a wonderful day. My body felt great, I was in smaller sizes, dropped from a D cup to a C cup which was a dream come true! But then that feeling great turned into no energy, being depressed because no one else thought I looked good and always being sick to my stomach. The final straw for me to admit I had a problem was the loss of my hair. When showering or brushing my hair, clump fulls of hair were coming out. I couldn’t take it any more. I told a few people closest to me — which started a turn around.

Psalm 39:7
“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.”

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

When I began my regiment to become healthy again, I was shocked at the amount of weight I gained back(double what I had lost), which in and of itself was so hard for me to deal with. I learned how to deal and cope with things easier, doing research to understand the body and how to effectively live healthy and feel healthy towards myself. My sister was a huge support system in this — we signed up at a gym together and began taking classes. We averaged 3-4 days a week of fitness classes. What I didn’t do, was dive into the spiritual healing of this like I should have. While physically, I was losing weight, toning muscle, and developing a shape to my body which pleased me, I had this internal and psychological fear of gaining it back. A fear existed almost like a cloud over my head… My fear of eating turned into a fear of if I don’t work out after I eat, I’ll get fat. This fear also turned into a worse self-image problem of constantly looking in the mirror and picking my body apart, arms, legs, butt, stomach, whatever, and how awful it looked. Nothing pleased me. Nothing on my body made me feel proud because it wasn’t good enough.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

As you can imagine, this is not healthy. I have had this tiny inner voice that has kept me exercising, for the most part eating well and feeling in control. But I’m not. I’m not in control at all if I have to listen to this inner voice to keep my body maintained.  This inner voice is NOT GOD. It’s SATAN. He knows my weakness; he knows the whole in my heart and how to get to me. I am not saying by any means I am over this, but I am a work in progress now. I am acknowledging that I have this issue and opening up about it in hopes that another girl (or guy) will see that this IS NOT normal and NOT okay. I’m praying for God to help me accept myself for who I am as I am created in HIS image.

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image,in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

So who am I to tell God I’m not made well enough? Or thin enough? Don’t get me wrong, we need to take care of our bodies, exercise them, feed them and cherish them. However, this is a fine line of doing this and being obsessive. I’m obsessive. God is going to deliver me of this – I believe this. Don’t feel like your alone if you are struggling with this and don’t keep it quiet. The possibility of something like this becoming severe is extremely easy!!  Using it to keep yourself motivated is the wrong way to view this — it’s just manipulation by Satan. Don’t let him win at this – we can get through it together 🙂


Ready or Not: Change Is Coming

It’s a feeling I can’t describe, or preface, or even really understand myself. When the pit of your stomach tells you something is going on… something is happening around you… you can’t quite put your finger on it… but you sense it, you sense that your world is getting ready to take a new season. As you could imagine, this is where I am. Part of me is sad, but part of me is excited. I can feel that my life is getting ready to change, in what direction, I’m not sure; however, I do know that it’s not the final step for me, but a stepping stone for sure. When things start to twist and turn, you don’t understand what is happening, can’t make sense of it…. then you look up and God smiles really big and tells you that it’s all going to be okay.

My life has changed so much in the past year. I have married my best friend; our marriage is the most amazing thing I have ever felt. Sure, I had things to learn, he had things to learn as well… but who doesn’t. If you are not learning anything then I would venture to say you are doing something wrong or nothing at all. I have so many realities coming to a close, such as graduating college. But it’s not just those major changes that make me feel like a change is coming. Everything is different. People are different, relationships are different, my spiritual life is different. It’s such a lonely feeling and sometimes a very lonely road to know that God has placed you at a certain place and a certain time but only for a short time. You can get as comfortable as you want but you know in the midst of eventually He is going to move you. You’re not meant to stay there, only to be used for a season, His season. I look at my life, the blueprints that I can see in my past leading me to where I’m going and I must admit it’s scary. But these desires I have in my heart are coming to fruition. The desires I have in my heart are now focused in the right direction and I know HE placed them there. Not me. I know He is really giving me my opportunity to be in the world but not of the world. In a single week He gave me three opportunities to do this.

You are going to be seeing some blogs that open up about my testimony hopefully soon. I have been struggling to open up about it here in a public blog — but if I can’t share my testimony in a blog how will I ever share my testimony on a platform? On a stage? To a group of people I don’t know? I can’t. So I have to take a step of faith and go to the next level feeding His sheep as he commanded me to do last October. Today in church, my Pastor spoke from Peter, and how he was told he would deny Christ three times. Peter never believed himself to be that type of person. I am praying for strength I will NEVER be put in a situation so bad that I deny Christ. I am making a stand here and now that I will stand for Christ no matter what it means I may lose. Because just when I think I have lost what could be the most precious thing to my heart, God will prevail and bless me with something even better than that specifically BECAUSE I stood for Him.

I have no clue how many people read this blog but I have a favor to ask you. Please subscribe to this blog and join me in prayer. I have never felt the urge to ask for corporate prayer so strongly as I do now. I am asking you to pray with me that God will bring these desires He has placed in my heart into play, with the perfectness He is capable of. I am asking for your prayer for me to stay grounded in His word, held accountable by those around me. And if I happen to fail, because I’m human, to help me get back up and continue my fight for My God. The vision I see is strong, possible to change the world on a monumental scale because I have God on my side and HE is worthy of ALL glorification whether I’m singing the National Anthem, a church hymn, a nursery rhyme, or a secular song. My talent is for Him, from Him and intended to shine light on Him. Please pray for the strength, wisdom, knowledge and clarification God provides for me. I have an understanding of the next thing I am supposed to do, but I don’t dare step out without His protection. That includes you reading this. I am praying for His blessing and His blinders to be placed on my eyes to see only the things He wants me to see and not what my flesh wants me to see. My desires are burning a hole in my heart they are so strong.

Not everyone will agree with my vision, but my vision is not necessarily for someone else, it’s the vision God has given me. As I heard it said, “we can’t all be on a deacon board or a pastor behind a pulpit.” It’s the best quote I have heard in a long time because there has to be different types of Christians in different areas of this life. Someone has to teach new comer’s, someone has to help lead them into a new life with Christ, someone has to counsel them, someone has to hold them accountable, someone has to help them relate to why they need it, someone has to answer their questions, someone has to help them through the transition, someone has to be the friend, someone has to be the confidant, someone has to be their prayer warrior, someone has to be the example, and someone has to do the missions work to be the bridge they cross over. I want to be the bridge. Someone else made the comment to me (which I thought was so wise) “as a bridge, be careful, because lots of different people will have to walk over you”… my support system is God. Enough said.

Grace Undeserved

Have you ever had something happen to you that you just couldn’t stop thanking God for? I can’t stop thanking Him for the blessing I received this morning. Moreover, I can’t stop thanking Him because I know I didn’t deserve it. But here is the wonderful thing about God… He graces us even when we don’t deserve it.

Romans 6:3
That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.

I got to work this morning and realized I had not seen anything in my email about a “remaining balance” regarding my summer tuition bill with KSU. I logged in and saw that nothing had been posted to my account yet. So, I called KSU and to my astonishment was told I had capped in what I could receive for Hope Scholarship. Today is June 8th, in order to be able to stay in school this semester, I had to find a way to pay $1,916 within 24 hours or my classes would be cancelled. I lost it. I am 7 weeks away from graduating college and now there was a chance I might not be able to. Devastating. I made some phone calls wondering if I had some other scholarship offers or federal aid, but nothing. There was nothing I could do. I really thought my world had just ended – 8 years of working towards my degree and seven weeks away from my graduation date and now it might not happen.

After a few moments of bawling my eyes out, the biggest shock of my life happened. My parents told me they would loan me the money. The shock came from my astonishment. My parents are very big on learning, making it on your own, that’s how you learn sort of thing. It’s exactly why I am the way I am today – and looking back I didn’t always like that mentality but today I appreciate that mentality. I’m glad they didn’t bail me out of a lot of situations I have been through (like my $20,000 of credit card debt!) This morning, I was completely humbled. In a moment when I least expected (and probably least deserved it), my parents selflessly gave me the amount I needed to maintain my classes this semester. When you work with people you are related to many times you have one type of relationship “inside” the job and another “outside” the job. Business is business – personal is personal. My family and I are no different. I get mad, they get mad, we all get frustrated, but we all have good days of laughter and stress as well. On the personal side to know that my parents were that gracious was humbling because I have plenty of moments where I have felt like a horrible daughter. I blur the lines of personal and business a lot. But even though I am not perfect, they still helped their daughter. They didn’t have any strings attached or obligations to have to do what they did — they did it out of love and out of our relationship.

What God does for us is no different. God loves us regardless of how many times we screw up – or how many times we stumble and scrape our knees. God brings a band-aid, places it on, and picks us up, tells us to be more careful, kisses us on the forehead and off we go. But no one really thinks about it like that… They take for granted what He does for us – just like I did with my parents. I’m wrong for that. My parents and God both gave me grace undeserved to me.

Hebrews 13:9
Don’t be lured away from him by the latest speculations about him. The grace of Christ is the only good ground for life. Products named after Christ don’t seem to do much for those who buy them.

Romans 12:3
I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

2 Corinthians 4:16
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

I’m grateful for what has been given to me. By HIS grace – I am blessed. By HIS suffering – I am saved. By HIS light – I can see.

Hello Mustard Seed! Goodbye Mountain!

I haven’t blogged in a while and yet I have so much to say! So much has happen in the past few weeks, I can’t even wrap my head around it. I feel like I have been in this “spiritual slump” since last year. I’m doing everything God has said we should do as Christians but still feel like my life is stagnant. It gets frustrating! Then you start to question whether or not you are in fact doing things right – or maybe you have gotten off course a little but you can’t really pinpoint where. This was me. But it’s like when you are exercising and dieting. You get to this plateau where it’s not coming off anymore and you feel like you have hit a brick wall. But you keep exercising anyways, keep watching what you are eating and feed yourself healthy things… then one day you wake up and BAM! You have lost 5 more pounds!! This is what happen to me spiritually. I feel like things are coming at me so fast (which is a good thing) that I can’t keep the knowledge in my head long enough before I have to push it out for something else to have room. God is showing me a list of things I must learn and put into practice for what is coming. Opportunity after opportunity has opened up and it’s amazing when you look back and see the line of events that have transpired equaling where you are now. But knowing God’s perfect hand was in it and by continuing to “diet and exercise” I was able to prove myself worthy of receiving these blessings? Oh my gosh, it’s overwhelming. But at the same time it’s so exciting. I know the blog today is short but I wanted to share just how God has worked in my life. If you in a rut spiritually, keep pressing on. Don’t give up because “nothing is happening.” Be happy God doesn’t work on act-by-act time line. We would all  receive more punishment than blessings that’s for sure! Instead he works based on our love and faith. Faith is what gets you through — and the bad times you experience is where your faith has to count most! I had a breakdown about two weeks ago one morning before I went to church. I sat and cried and cried because I could not handle the adversity which was coming against me. I sat down, placed the bible in my lap and just opened it. It opened to 1 Peter chapter 4. A verse was underlined in my bible that read,

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you.
13 But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

I took this verse to heart. When I sat down in church for the morning message, the pastor repeated the same verse! How’s that for God speaking to me?! My point of view changed that day, and the lessons started flowing in abundantly! My faith was looking up. I am ready to move the mountains with my faith because I know that MY GOD AND SAVIOR is going to prevail and give me the desires of my heart, the desires he placed within me to make a difference and stand up for what is true, what is right, and what is expected of us.

If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you can move mountains, Matt. 17: 20.