We imagine life to be some sort of obstacle course. You get pass certain places and gain certain things and you feel accomplished... and in a way it’s like that.
The thing about an obstacle course is the key word—OBSTACLE. There is no avoiding them.
We do our best to avoid the obstacles with hope that we will still get the prizes.
I’ve learned a lot over the past months to a year...
The obstacles though i don’t welcome them and i know NO ONE does BUT they are the only things that get us our greatest prize.
We look at earthly things as rewards and although they are AMAZING don’t get me wrong AT all... i love the blessings i have been given. Earthly things are ONLY temporary. They will pass away.
We have to see the bigger picture. The bigger picture always being Jesus... living in eternity with him. Appreciating our earthly gifts. Showing Christ in all we do and adoring him with all we have.
Our lives as Christians are not meant to be without issues. QUITE THE CONTRARY.
This walk means obstacles... suffering... hurt... all the stuff that we try to avoid.
Our greatest prize comes with these things though. Our issues produce character. They give us great perspective.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:3-5 ESV
Want the true fullness of life... ENDURE THE UNIMAGINABLE.
No one imagines miscarriage, divorce, a child’s death, job loss, never finding love...
Those are considered the unimaginable.
Those instances give us CHARACTER.
Y’all... don’t think i am just around here welcoming all the problems BUT i am learning to embrace the bad... how can i make the most out of it. How can it draw me closer to my savior.
The unimaginable is not ever really fun BUT YOU CANT IMAGINE HOW IT PAYS OFF IN THE END.
Let’s make the choice to learn to deal with the unimaginable. With the help of our savior... of Course.
Don’t live a life running away from obstacles because you think it will make life better... avoiding situations only makes you live in a state of denial and quite frankly it makes you FAKE. Whenever the obstacles arise... find God in them.
Learn to let him help you deal with the unimaginable.
Until Nothing’s Left,
One thing i don’t understand is why God constantly pursues me and i am so not worthy...
My heart gets overwhelmed when i think about how i am just nothing. I am absolutely nothing and God sees me as the most beautiful thing on this earth.
My heart is overwhelmed with gratefulness and conviction all at once.
The more i learn about the God that i have known pretty much my whole life i understand more how blessed i am to be pursues by him.
When you are dating your partner chases after you but eventually that fades or it waxes and wanes throughout the relationship- You get comfortable. You get complacent.
God NEVER gets comfortable with where you are... there is always another level to go to IN HIM!
That’s where i have fallen short. I thought getting married and having a child and being a nurse checked all my “what i want in life” boxes until i realized that if He isn’t the TRUE foundation he will uproot and make his way in.
We call ourselves believers and we say we have faith BUT as soon as we get a hiccup, we trip. We get mad at God and think “how dare he allow this”...
This was/ is me. I struggled with it bad months ago... i stayed bitter and mad.
One day i was so angry and a person who i am very close to was listening to me vent and she said “who do you think you are that you can’t go through anything” and it knocked me off my feet.
Another instance i heard something similar- as Christians we are fed so much prosperity gospel that we forget why the true meaning of being a follower of Christ is— WE SUFFER for the cause. We take up our cross. Taking up a cross isn’t pretty. We literally suffer daily.
The concept of do this and that right and God will bless you... that’s really cute until... you start struggling and you think BUT didn’t i do everything right.
HOW MANY TIMES MUST God tell us “works” mean NOTHING to Him. There is NOTHING we can do to make him do more for us and love us more.
I have been learning so much more recently during this time of isolation and “silence”... who God is and why things happen.
I am learning that anything i go through is not just for me. Somebody else will benefit from my life lesson.
Why would i try and rush something that could eventually set my great great granddaughter free.
God doesn’t want my works- he wants my heart. He chases after my heart. He wants me to seek him like i sought after that man to be my husband or that degree to be a nurse.
AND EVEN WHEN I DON’T take that approach he still chases me... until i run back to him.
We don’t deserve God’s goodness. We don’t deserve for him to pursue us.
If i have rambled on in this blog and you wonder what’s the point— get this- GOD IS BETTER THAN ANYTHING YOU COULD IMAGINE IN YOUR WILDEST DREAM.
He is bigger than the best thing ever. When you think you’ve arrived- he’s better. When you think you no longer need him— you need him the most.
Don’t let him just chase you... chase Him. Run after him. Find him in all the things. It won’t make for flawless life but i promise it will make EVERYTHING else so much more worth it.
I’m no where near perfect. But i am learning.
Learning is not easy.
But it’s necessary.
Until Nothing’s Left.
Worship Song: Refiner- Maverick City
“holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”
Philippians 2:16 ESV
“and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;”
1 Corinthians 4:12 ESV
“who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,”
2 Timothy 1:9 ESV
“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,”
2 Corinthians 3:5 ESV
Most little ones love bandaids.
I know i did when i was younger. The bandaid fixed any ailment. The scrapped knee. The tummy ache. Everything. I’m sure many of you were like me, too.
I recently learned through my own child that bandaids don’t always help. Sometimes they bring on more pain.
I put a bandaid on my baby’s foot and few minutes later he was crying. I asked what was wrong and he proceeded to snatch the bandaid off- which reopened the small wound... the bandaid was too tight and just making the situation worse.
Life’s like that.
We get into some issue and we use a bandaid to cover it up. Notice i didn’t say we use a bandaid heal it.
Bandaids are only used to make a wound be less exposed. More pleasing to the eye.
As a nurse i have seen some HORRIBLE wounds. But i have never seen i simple bandaid heal them. I have seen a bandaid with something added to it aid in healing. I have also seen stitches used to hold the wound together. I have seen things used to clean the wound out to make a clean area BUT none of these heal. They just assist. Healing takes place over time and it starts with an inside change.
Some fully healed Wounds leave scars. Those scars are reminders. Some people can look at their scars and say i will NEVER ride another motorcycle. Others can say i will never touch a hot stove. Some wounds don’t leave a scar... sometimes the circumstance wasn’t worth remembering. (Take that how you may).
When we settle for “bandaid healing” we settle for quick. We skip pass the intricacies that need to take place to slowly remind us to never do whatever it was we did again. We want our situation/ mistake/ flaw to just be covered up and made pretty BUT not healed. When we take this approach we only risk a longer healing duration or an infection. Both of which can lead to bad outcomes. We rather look good on the outside and slowly die within.
Re-injury can occur.
In this case- healing begins again and a new route for healing takes place giving the scar a different look and causing new pain. In life when this happens- We are reminded to step back and reevaluate. We are given a different perspective of how to approach the situation.
As i mentioned earlier sometimes wounds need a little help healing. When this is the case stitches are placed. Stitches hold the sides of the wound together. They aid in healing. Stitches may be needed because the wound is so jagged that it can’t come back together on it’s own. Sometimes our emotional and mental wounds need stitches because our thoughts are so jagged. We can’t seem to find what’s wrong or right, real or fake. The use of Scripture, prayer and people of God aid us. The assistance used to pull us together. Stitches add another layer to a scar. A reminder that we couldn’t do it on our own BUT God provided what we needed.
Using a bandaid only covers up. It never fixes the root issue. Until everything that is restricting healing is uprooted and thoroughly cleaned out the proper healing cannot take place. All foreign substances and debris. The negative thoughts and defeating mindsets must go!
Healing can be uncomfortable.
Wounds that heal from the inside out cause itching. It’s a natural thing. Irritation of this sort is sometimes unbearable and the only thing we feel that can help us is scratching. This only adds to the problem. Scratching or should i say bringing up the past. Listening to that song. Calling that person. In this case in the medical field a doctor will prescribe an antipruritic (or anti itching med) to ease the irritation. In the spiritual realm Our irritations present as worry and anxiety and our antipruritics are prayer and scripture...
Burning or pain can sometimes reoccur in the healing process. These can be Slight reminders of what happened and what we don’t want to go back into.
Healing is a process.
The ONLY TRUE healer is Jesus. EVERYTHING ELSE JUST HELPS.
When we see how people have healed we rejoice with them. They can give advice and encourage anyone else going through a similar situation.
Everything seems so nice in the end.
But no one talks about the process. We cover it up. We are ashamed. We put bandaids of makeup and nice STUFF over it. We hide it.
Sometimes it takes people SEEING how we endured to get the best picture. Just seeing the end results is misleading. Then everyone is just living for their end result. They don’t want to hurt or endure.
We must go through things. We must stop using the bandaids of STUFF to cover up our stories. The bandaids of stuff to make our testimonies pretty.
Stop using bandaids to cover up what can heal you and others.
Embarrassing, maybe. Hard, yes. Necessary, ABSOLUTELY.
Until Nothing’s Left.
Scripture of encouragement:
“He always comes alongside us to comfort us in every suffering so that we can come alongside those who are in any painful trial. We can bring them this same comfort that God has poured out upon us.”
2 Corinthians 1:4 TPT
Song of Encouragement: Desert Song- Hillsong
I heard the words “The Joy of the Lord is My Strength” this morning. I have heard those words a few times and I knew it was scripture but I never looked up the actual verse and the context surrounding it. The Lord put it on my heart to look it up. He told me “don’t get so comfortable with just repeating words without knowing the TRUE context.”
There are so many quotes that we have heard growing up that we took as “bible” but they are nowhere to be found in the word.
“Cleanliness is next to godliness”
“Money is the root of all evil” (before you come for me and say “Brittany that is in the bible- NO IT ISN’T- It’s “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil”, 1 Tim 6:10)
“God will not give you more than you can handle”- wrong AGAIN!- the scripture is: We all experience[a] times of testing,[b] which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face[c] so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape[d] that will bring you out of it victoriously. 1Cor 10:13
These are just a few that I know I have heard said SO MANY times and since they sound good and are encouraging in the moment I would go along with them. WELL IT IS TIME OUT FOR THAT.
(This post is not about me trying to get everybody together to be biblically sound although there would be nothing wrong with that.)
I am writing this post actually as encouragement. For you, for me, FOR WHOEVER needs it.
When I went and looked up the scripture surrounding the words “The Joy of the Lord is My strength” I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it wasn’t just its own scripture. It follows other dialogue from Nehemiah to the Israelites. Here it is- see it for yourself.
Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go and eat what is rich, drink what is sweet, and send portions to those who have nothing prepared, since today is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, because the joy of the Lord is your stronghold.”
I am going to be honest I didn’t really understand what Nehemiah meant. Call me slow but I needed more explanation.
I did a little research. Checked out some commentaries.
THEN IT CLICKED.
I have always looked at these words as encouragement- and don’t get me wrong they are but not necessarily how we view JOY.
I am going to be PRETTY frank with you all right now. I am going through A LOT. This is what would probably be considered a wilderness season for me. I am in a valley. I am facing the “shadows” of death. TIMES ARE HARD.
BUT I am the closest to God that I have ever been. This was by force at first BUT now I am making a deliberate choice to be closer to Him.
I am at a place where HE alone is my source. Not neglecting the people that he has given me to uplift me because they are absolutely necessary and a TRUE BLESSING to me but this season requires more of me to be quiet and kneel before God rather than running my mouth and running to people.
In this hard season I have started to learn what it means to worship God through all circumstances. I am not saying that in the midst of me crying and asking God why that I just break out into a song and dance praising God. That is not the case but it amazes me that I can be in the midst of tears or a full blown anxiety attack and I can feel the Holy Spirit telling me to worship and think about how good God has been. Slowly but surely I feel my soul shifting from utter devastation and hurt to complete surrender to the goodness and faithfulness of God. This has come with a lot of rejection to my flesh and sometimes my flesh STILL wins but lately the Holy Spirit has been the victor.
So when I saw what these words from Nehemiah actual meant I was SO ENCOURAGED.
See usually when we view joy we see it as “rainbows and butterflies”. We see joy as laying on the beach, sipping something fruity. We see it as the birth of a baby or a wedding day. We see it as whatever you could think of the best thing happening to you is. This is what we as humans consider joy but really these circumstances provoke joy.
BUT THE JOY OF THE LORD— it’s… well it’s different.
The joy of the Lord is when you are stuck in the house for 65 days because we are in a pandemic and you choose to see the brighter side anyway. It’s when you THOUGHT you would have 3 or 4 kids by now but you have none and you still can love on your best friend’s kids through you hurt. It’s when you thought marriage was lasting and it ends abruptly and you still find a way to not be bitter and to support others in their marriages.
IT IS STRENGTH.
This joy comes with restoration. With realizing that your circumstances are NOT ideal but God is still faithful.
This joy reminds us of how you walked through the valley of the “shadow” of death before and you didn’t fear ANY evil because your Shepard was guiding you.
This joy reminds you that although you want things to look pretty on the outside that the inside is where you must rebuild from and until that happens you are living a lie.
THIS joy shifts your perspective from WHOA is ME to WORSHIPPING!
This is the joy that I am asking God to lather on me. In this time of uncertainty and disappointment. I need the joy that comes directly from GOD that doesn’t make me happy BUT makes me stronger.
It makes me stand in the face of my issue with the entire armor of Christ on. It shows me when the mountain is in my way- in the midst of the valley-- HE IS MY STRENGTH.
My prayer for you is the same. That you can find “Joy” in the hardest of situation and the most amazing situations-- in ALL of your circumstances.
Scriptures to reference:
Song of Encouragement: Hillsong United- Highlands (Song of Ascent)
Until Nothing’s Left
In the early 90s Mariah Carey’s album Emotions came out. It was a CHART TOPPER to say the least. There were a few songs that were HUGE. One being “Can’t Let Go”.
I have always loved this album and this just happened to be my favorite song. Little did i know back in 1991 when i was just about 4 years old singing these lyrics that they would translate to a deeper meaning at the age of 30...
If you have read my blog before then you know i am not afraid to use a secular song to express my heart for Jesus. It’s almost like He allows me to see him in everything.
Towards the end of the song on the bridge she sings:
“Do you even realize the sorrow I have inside Everyday of my life Do you know the way it feels When all you have just dies I try and try to deny that I need you But still you remain on my mind”
She was clearly singing about a love she lost.... and her lyrics were HIGHLY exaggerated. ( we women are VERY dramatic— i know)
But the more i looked at those lyrics i realized the damaging affects that NOT letting go can have on you.
To experience sorrow daily, to die inside, to constantly dwell on something that has happened and you can never change it...
Well let me just say this... i been there.
I’ve held grudges. I have thrown things from WAYYYYYY in the past back up to prove a point. I have pulled out the thesaurus of wrongs. I have done it all. And to what avail?
It helped NOTHING. Holding onto problems solved nothing. They actually made things so much worse.
Here recently i have learned the blessing in letting go. I have learned the benefit of casting certain things away and NEVER bringing them up again. I have learned that being able to hold something over someone’s held brings you just as much pain and it brings them. And these words have horrible lasting affects.
Paul said in Philippians- “To truly know him meant letting go of everything from my past and throwing all my boasting on the garbage heap. It’s all like a pile of manure to me now, so that I may be enriched in the reality of knowing Jesus Christ and embrace him as Lord in all of his greatness.” Philippians 3:8 TPT
I gain nothing from holding on to the past. I literally just wallow in more anguish and make myself miserable. Mariah said it herself- she died inside. It is true. The more hurt and pain and whatever negative you continue to cling to just slowly kills you... it just rots your mindset and your soul... and no matter how dramatic it may sound... this happens— mentally and sometimes physically.
LET IT GO!
LET IT GO!
Find a way to push it out your psyche- pray, meditate, scream— but do something to push it out.
People are fragile. We all make mistakes. We all do things that hurt one another but the best thing we can do for our mental health is let stuff go quickly when it’s done to us. For our peace of mind and for the healing of our heart.
Y’all, trust me when i say holding on to it so you can eventually prove a point isn’t going to make you win... it’s going to break you. LET IT GO.
So, although this song will forever remain a favorite of mine... and I will hear her melodic voice and still sing along with her in a more non melodic voice lol...i will look at it a little differently. I know she wasn’t trying to hold on but she also wasn’t trying to let go... and that makes all the difference.
Letting go takes effort... it takes feeling hurt and negativity and still pushing through. IT IS HARD BUT IT IS WORTH IT.
Until Nothing’s Left
Would it be easier to go through your struggle seasons if you knew that one day that situation would be used to help someone you love?
Would you be able to stomach a situation a little longer in order to be that strength for your child in the future when they go through a similar situation?
Would heartache be worth it if you understood that one day your sister would be in the same position and you could help her through her situation so she would never feel what you felt?
I think anyone with a good heart would endure a little more so that their loved ones wouldn’t have to.
Unfortunately, when we are going through hard situations our first thoughts aren’t to suffer longer so we can help someone in the future. We want to get through it and be done. And a lot of times we never want to think about it again.
I know this because i have been there.
I was so over nursing school when i graduated that even talking about any kind of further schooling made me mad. Hadn’t i already endured enough through those 2 years... goodness!
Or let’s not talk about those stupid breakups that i endured throughout college. Yuck!
Postpartum depression— THE WORST TIME IN MY WHOLE LIFE SO FAR.
I look at those hard times and think “dang i learned a lot”, but when i was going through i couldn’t see straight. I would beg God to make the situation go away or be mad at him for even making me go through it at all.
Since I’ve come through those situations i have seen many reasons as to why they have made me better and what’s crazy is I see how they have also helped some people close to me.
Our experiences aren’t just for us.
Somebody is meant to grow from something you have gone though or are going through.
Somebody will avoid a terrible outcome because they can see what you went through, how you handled it and where you are now.
Your best friend won’t have to go through postpartum depression alone because you will be able to spot it from the jump and help her help herself— whether that means referring her to a counselor or simply praying with her.
Your little cousin won’t lose her virginity in high school because you can help her see her worth before any little dude gets in her ear.
You son won’t be feel the need to “be a player” because you can tell him how you lost one that could been “the one”.
So... what are you going to do with your experiences, with your struggles? How are you going to handle them when they arise?
Are you going to use them as stepping stones or are you going to allow them to be the stones that knock your loved ones down.
I know...i know...i know it’s hard to be selfless in your times of distress... but imagine, just imagine being able to break generational curses all because you endured a little longer... that’s definitely worth it is the end.
Push through those times. Build that character. Make the changes that could better not only you, but your family for years to come.
Until Nothing’s Left
*A few scriptures for encouragement*
“But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope.”Romans 5:3-4 TPT
“Now, those who are mature in their faith can easily be recognized, for they don’t live to please themselves but have learned to patiently embrace others in their immaturity.”Romans 15:1 TPT
“Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times.”Romans 12:12
“If your faith remains strong, even while surrounded by life’s difficulties, you will continue to experience the untold blessings of God! True happiness comes as you pass the test with faith, and receive the victorious crown of life promised to every lover of God!”
James (Jacob) 1:12 TPT
There are so many things in my life that have been a “struggle” for me. Things that have clearly knocked my wind out- literally and figuratively. Pregnancy/ labor, nursing school, maintaining friendships, breaking off friendships, balancing work and home life... i could go on and on. But nothing has affected me as heavily as insecurity has. It has been like a wet blanket just laying over me. It has followed me for years. Made me feel like i wasn’t good enough for some people and made me wear so much pride that it was ridiculous.
Although insecurity has plagued me heavily since i was in high school it really hit me hard last year. Which was weird because i was losing weight and supposedly “getting back to myself” but that wasn’t the case at all.
I was letting so much stuff seep into my psyche. Social media was killing me if i can just be honest. It was making me crave things that were just ridiculous and it really had me thinking i wasn’t “ living my best life”. It was horrible.
Now I can’t wholeheartedly just blame it on social media because i can choose what i want to look at and dwell on and ultimately i know that social media is a highlight reel. Social media CAN BE VERY AWESOME when used appropriately.
Truthfully, Much of my insecurity came from the enemy himself.
I know that might sound super religious and naive but i am a FIRM believer that the enemy plays on your weaknesses. Once he knows where you struggle and you actually give into it then it’s an open door for him to come tap dance all over your life and continuously heighten your issues. The enemy is very methodical in the way he moves. He slowly creeps in and wrecks havoc. (1Peter 5:8-9)
Well since insecurity was so heavy on me last year the enemy took it and ran with it.
Every SINGLE aspect of my life suffered. My personal life, my marriage, motherhood, friendships, work... you name it... insecurity was all over it.
Y’all i prayed and cried so much... i asked God to remove it so much but i just lingered.
I kept wondering why my prayers weren’t getting answered. I kept feeling neglected and rejected and just BLAH!
It took some SIMPLE truths to get me to state of understanding that i could only get my life/ security back if i really wanted to. I had to understand that with God i had to power to push these negative thoughts and feelings away. It would take me dying to self, restricting certain things in my life, lessening communication with some people. It took me making changes that i didn’t want to make but HAD TO MAKE.
I HAD TO LEARN TO BE HAPPY WHERE I WAS REGARDING WEIGHT-LOSS.
This sounds so so so simple, right? Wrong. If i was constantly scouring social media checking this persons weight loss and that persons eating habits and why haven’t i gotten as far as they have. I was comparing EVERYTHING. It was tiring and overwhelming. I had to look in the mirror and tell myself— God has brought me so far and i can’t even be happy about that because i want more, more, more. How ungrateful and sickening. It has taken some time but I am truly learning to make a deliberate effort to embrace and enjoy where i am. 1Samuel 16:7
LOVE MY HUSBAND FOR HOW HE LOVES ME NOT HOW I WANT HIM TO LOVE ME.
I have a REALLLLLLLL good man! Like a no lie! A good provider. Comes home at night. Doesn’t do anything crazy. All he wants to do is play his video game. Lol. He is so simple and GOOD! He doesn’t complain. He doesn’t trip. He is GOOD! But i use to be livid with George y’all. He wasn’t taking me here or buying me this or surprising me with this or that. My mind was screwed up. Paying attention to everyone’s stuff and not embracing what i have. It took me talking to him and not expecting him to read my mind to realize that he wants me to be happy and he is TRYING AND WORKING WITH ALL GOD HAS GIVEN HIM. A wise, more experienced husband told me that embracing him as he is and not putting MY unnecessary expectations on him will change my heart towards him. AND IT IS! I still struggle. I still slip. But he deserves to express love the way he knows how to without me making him feel “insecure” about it.
Motherhood is a whole MESS OF EMOTIONS. I love me some George Solomon. He is the best blessing. But that little boy with make me feel so small. When i snap because he is whining or when i cry because he is crying. Then i jump on the “why do all these other mothers have it together” Bandwagon. I use to feel like a failure. No lie i still do at times. Well recently my baby has learned what “crying” or what it “looks like” to cry is and he ain’t here for it. He doesn’t want me to put my head down. He doesn’t want to see me wiping my eyes. He wants a happy mama. And that has mad me reevaluate myself. I don’t just want to play “happy mama” for my baby. I want to be a happy mama. And if that means i just have to only talk to a handful of other mamas about motherhood advice and not seek the advice of the all knowing Facebook then that’s what i have to do. To protect my peace and be happy with how i am doing things and not looking to do it like everybody else.
I CANT WAIT ON SOMEONE ELSE TO GET ME CLOSER TO GOD— only me and God can do that.
The biggest thing that my insecurity affected was my walk with Christ. I didn’t even realize it early on. I was leaning on this to help me with everything else so how in the world was it possible for me to be suffering the most in this area. Well because i was relying on other people to get me closer to God and NOT GOD HIMSELF to be bring me closer to him. Let me explain. I was looking at all the social media ministers, encouragers, evangelist... all their encouraging words and stuff. I wasn’t encouraging myself i needed them to encourage me. I waited for that next post or that next sermon snippet to boost me instead of praying for myself and reading myself. My heart posture towards God was contingent on whether or not i heard the right sermon at the right time or did something hit me right when i needed. All this began to come to fruition when God told me that “surrender” would be the word i needed to focus on this year. I was journaling about it one night and My heart became so full of emotion. And i was wondering why did i feel so blocked from God but yet and still he wanted me to surrender. He quietly told me... you don’t have a personal relationship with me... you live off of what others have with me. You focus on what everyone else’s relationship “looks like”. You’ve lessened me to a quote or a timely scripture. NOT THE BIG GOD I REALLY AM.
Shortly after that i removed myself from all the outside influences that were overtaking my mind and emotions. Yeah...the pressure for a “certain” marriage was big and to be “that kind” of mother was too but when it started affecting my heart toward Jesus it was just too much.
The world had overtaken my mindset on every single level. I was tired.
Now i am moving forward. I still get hung up. But I’m pressing on.
I want to encourage you. You might not be struggling with insecurities like i am but in case you are, ask God to pinpoint to you exactly what’s triggering your insecurities. Step back. Redirect. Take a breath. Remove the triggers. That might mean deleting every social media app on your phone or it might just mean limiting your screen time. Either way do it. For your peace of mind. For your happiness. For your security.
Until Nothing’s Left
Some scriptures for you to check out:
“But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
“Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour. Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith. For you know that your believing brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing the same kinds of troubles you endure.”
1 Peter 5:8-9 TPT
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” Romans 12:2 TPT
“But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 TPT
A word that is hard to swallow...
A word that is almost frightening in my opinion.
But as A Christian this word is completely necessary to fully relying on God.
I looked up some definitions for this word and the one that stuck out to me the most was “ abandon oneself entirely to (a powerful emotion or influence); give in to.”
Well obviously our surrendering as Christians is bigger than just to an emotion— we give in to something bigger than something that can change from one moment to the next.
Our surrendering is to a constant, Never wavering, never changing, sustaining God.
So why is it so hard to surrender if we know that God is constant and he will never fail us by any means...
Because we are frail. We are fragile. And we are control freaks.
We like to look at ourselves as strong but outside of God we are weak... but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Matter of fact it isn’t bad at all... we get the best gift in our most fragile places... 2 Corinthians 2:10 says “So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.”
How edifying is that. To know that when we are at our lowest low God is strongest and he will literally carry you through your storm. But you can only get the full joy in this by surrendering.
Yes, I know it’s hard but just imagine how it would be to have life’s problems pop up and you not even ponder over them getting solved or fixed... you just know God’s got you. Think about how you won’t have as many headaches, sleepless nights, queasy stomach feelings... think about how relieving it will be when it’s all said and done.
Don’t think that i am just a guru at surrendering... trust me. I STRUGGLE!
But God spoke to me through a song— So Will I, Hillsong United.
One part simply says “If you gladly chose surrender so will i.” It is speaking of Jesus Christ surrendering himself to the cross and death and the grave... but y’all... i got a secret.
That’s not how the story end... Jesus rose and defeated death.
Hear me when i say this. If Jesus defeated death... then what makes you think your little problems here on earth cannot be solved with HIS POWER AND MIGHT.
You win! With Him by your side, you win!
Truly surrendering to Him brings about such comfort and peace. So as the new year approaches allow yourself to surrender to a God that doesn’t fail. Find peace in knowing that when problems arise HE is already taking care of them. Don’t allow your mind to be bogged down with trying to tackle every issue this year but in the words of one of my favorite hymns... take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there.
Happy New Year All!
Until Nothing’s Left,
I didn’t want to come to you all cliche...
I didn’t want to sound fake...
I had been asking God what i was going to write about for my 30th birthday... how i would elaborate on my life over the years...
I am not going to act like everything has been so good and wonderful but ALL IN ALL i have truly been very fortunate.
This is my first “milestone” birthday that i have been actively writing this blog... and i don’t know why it has been so hard for me to get the words to express the accuracy of my feelings.
I am struggling because i am trying to make things complicated and profound. But the things that matter in life aren’t complicated. They are like little flickers that we miss while we look at our phone... they are what we try to get on camera the second time around...they are things we deem small in the grand scheme of things. They are the moments that remind us of how powerful the simplicity of our stories can be.
Small things are big things to me now because i have a toddler running around my house... every little new word and new action he does is huge to me and George regardless of how minuscule would be to someone else.
I think about different instances throughout my life that were HUGE. Things that make me wonder if they would have gone a different way how would my life have turned out...
We tend to harp on the bigger things because they define our life.
It’s the smaller things that get pushed aside or forgotten about almost as soon as they happen. But these small moments allowed the bigger moments to have more meaning.
I remember my last semester at UNA. They were having the day where high school students come view the campus and go to the football game. Well i had to work the college of nursing booth... and afterward i was walking to my dorm room talking to my parents. They were telling me that they were just out and about around BIrmingham not doing much and not 10 mins later they pulled up. Y’all have no clue what that did to my spirit. Just a simple day trip to come see me. See they had no clue how lonely i was that day. They had no clue how lonely i had been that whole last semester. Not because i didn’t have people around me that loved me but because so much change was happening in my life. That small gesture framed the rest of my semester. It let me know they were always there.
Oh what about that time my brother picked me up from school when i was still at Ramsay and he had come home from UNA and i had no clue he was in town and we laughed at the man whose windshield wipers couldn’t stop going no matter how hard he tried to turn them off— lame i know but hilarious to us.
Or that time George and i sat at the table in the fellowship hall of my church and he told me he was going to make me fall in love with him. The moment i knew i wanted that guy forever.
That time me and Daphne and SDot sat in the parking lot of Hawthorne and watched super moon for hours...
What about when my Grandma use to pick me and my brother up from school and we use to go by the gas station and get candy...
Or when my Aunt Audrey use to let me on her lap and drive in Tuskegee...
The many times Justin and I rode through Birmingham listening to 90s R&B and people watching...
Let’s not forget that 3lb 12 oz small baby that i could pick up with one hand. That small baby that allowed me to see that God really does work miracles. That tiny foot with the IV in it. That already tiny onesie that still swallowed his body. That tiny human being gave my life more meaning than anything i have ever thought of.
I can think of so many of these little things that made me feel loved or appreciated or whole. It wasn’t a grand moment that all the stars aligned it was a simple thing that made my heart flutter and my eyes water from pure happiness.
Simple things are truly what makes up this amazing life God has granted us. They make the big things bigger. They make you appreciate people more. They make you realize that life is made up of things that aren’t all meant to be shared on social media but kept in the special corners of your heart and the photo albums of our minds.
So when i think of turning 30... nothing big and complex comes to mind... only the simple things that have taken place in my life that.
Cherishing these things is something i have done over the years and something i will continue to do.
Although turning 30 is huge... what really matters is the small memories i will continue to make with my family. Those small things i can do on my job to make sure my patients go home without any worries. Those tiny instances that God shows me he is ALWAYS looking out for me.
I don’t plan on making big things happen now that i have entered into my 30s i plan holding tightly to those things that really matter.
Happy Birthday to me!!
Until Nothing’s Left...
*the way to that area*
It’s funny how things work out…
For a long time I wouldn’t walk to the other side of the hospital I worked in. It was still very traumatizing. For those who don’t know I was in the hospital for a month due to preeclampsia and although our outcome was very good the area in the hospital was still very daunting. It made my heart skip a beat… and not in a good way.
I am a nurse… like most of you know and for the last 6 years I worked on the same floor and didn’t have much movement around other parts of the hospital so it was easy to not really be affected by that certain area in the hospital. The first time I walked that way when I finally got off maternity leave I was going to the cafeteria… so I started bringing my food from home more and that kept me from walking over there for that. So my interaction with that part of the hospital was slim to none.
Well recently I started a new position and I was able to move to a new area of the hospital, still not near that area though, so I was good. Well with a new position come some new things. New things like: fellowshipping with new coworkers and dealing with a different patient load.
When I first started my new position I didn’t really think twice about that stuff. I mean that usually comes with the territory of newness. The hospital I work in is huge so moving around—literally from one floor to another will allow you to enter into a whole new world. It’s pretty awesome. So with my new patientload I quickly realized they could be placed anywhere which means I might have to go anywhere. Well the first thing I thought about was… cool I can get my daily steps in. BUT I never considered that I would have to go over there!
With the new fellowships I acquired I was able to get an awesome woman of God that I am able to talk to and WALK with!! Right up my alley! We can get our steps in together and talk about Jesus and vent about being working wives and mamas. It was great. But I never thought we would walk over there.
Welp… it happened. We went walking one day and she went a “new way” and BAM! Right there in my face is the CCN—the Continuing Care Nursery- the place my baby stayed for a week and where George and I resided until my baby was released. Although it was an amazing place… It’s nowhere I ever want to go again. Not even to visit another baby.
When I initially saw the sign my heart beat so fast and my eyes weld up with tears and SO MANY memories flooded my mind. My baby on monitors, sleeping in recliners, waiting to see if George Solomon can transfer to an open crib, my best friend eating burgers with me while George was at work, crying cause I was there, making necklaces for my babies’ milestones, being comforted by many amazing nurses, crying a lot more, family coming to see us, wanting to leave but not wanting to leave. SO many memories.
As the feels started to take over I could feel myself suppressing them and playing them off… Making a little remark to act like I was stronger than I was. I felt myself becoming extremely overwhelmed, my mind was saying I wasn’t ready to see this again… and then I remember God saying…” It’s okay…look how far you all have come… you can handle this… I got you… you’re ready”. Those words reassured me. They calmed me down like no other.
I realized how Good of a father God really is and how he literally catches you when you are about to fall. Literally and figuratively.
God literally caught me as I was tripping up on my feelings .
It’s so funny because dealing with that part of the hospital it’spretty much inevitable now because a small portion of my patient load will always be in that area.
I know it might seem like a small feat but trauma is trauma… big or small. How our minds process things is specific to each individual.
I tell you all this to say… God knows when you are ready. He will gracefully help you jump hurdles you are avoiding. He will show you the brighter side of that oh so dark time in your life. He will provide comfort for you through allowing you to take care of someone else and make the situation they are going through a tad bit easier.
If I had my way with things I wouldn’t have gone back over there unless I had a doctor’s appointment or was having another baby; it would have literally been a point A to B type thing. But there is no way healing can come with that. I needed to passthrough… I needed to wade in that area to have time to soak in the goodness of my father.(Isaiah 43:2)
Typing this literally brings me to tears because I think about how far my baby has come and I know my God is true, so true to his promises.
Let God work through you and heal you… but let Him do it His way… and let him tell you When You’re Ready.
Until Nothing’s Left,
A Few Scripture for some encouragement.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2
I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work[a] in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you[b] and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling[c] of our Lord Jesus Christ! Phil 1:6
So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose. Romans 8:28
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.