Falling in Love with Potential “I know who you think he can be… but who is he now?”

I remember doing this a couple of times if I can just go on ahead and be honest. You know what I’m talking about ladies. Maybe you see potential for him to be an awesome man of God, you see that he loves God, he reads his Word, enjoys going to church… but he continues to pressure you for sex, to drink a little too much for your liking, or likes to party with his friends. Or maybe you see potential for him to be a business owner or entrepreneur but he has no drive, he’s super talented at whatever his skill is but he thinks that that talent will magically get him from point A to B. Or another option is that he’s playing it too safe, you see big things for his future but he likes his cushy 9-5 and doesn’t want to go on to that next level interview or show interest in the vacancy at the job that could lead to a promotion of a lifetime. Whatever your situation may have been or may be currently, I’m sure you can relate to seeing so much more in a man than he was actually willing to act on for his own life.
I’m sort of a word nerd so I figured we’d pause for a minute and look at what potential means. Potential (noun)- latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness. Now the words that jumped out at me right away were “latent”, and “may be developed”. So plainly stated these qualities that we see in some men are dormant and untapped and more importantly there is no guarantee that they will ever be developed. Go ahead and let that sink in sis, if you’re currently in a relationship based on sheer potential. And I know some of you are thinking well that’s not fair to say because some people just need a little help and encouragement to become the person we know is already in existence deep down on the inside. And I totally agree with you but I also caution you because it is innate for us as women to want to “help” even if that is not the best decision for us to make.
Over in Genesis 2:18 God made “helping” one of our many purposes, take a look: “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” So you see we were created to help man with whatever God has purposed him to do. So it’s only natural that we as woman are so good at quickly identified and speaking to what needs to be done to help a man accomplish his goals to reach his purpose because our Creator made us that way! However, my problem comes in when we do this out of order and that “man” is not our man, meaning our husband. How many times have you walked away from a relationship feeling like you’ve “upgraded” him only for things not to work out and all of your work go to the next woman he’s with? Or you walked away from the relationship just feeling drained, like everything you tried to help him with didn’t pay off because he wasn’t willing to do the work? So how do we as well intentioned women of God, guard against our tendency to fall in love with potential without seeing present reality? I can’t say that I have all of the answers but I do have a couple tips that I think we can all follow and of course as always we can rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance and counsel.
Tip #1: Make sure he knows what his purpose is. Have a conversation about it and see where his head is at. Does he have a 5 year, 10 year, shoot even a 15 year plan, but does he have a plan? Do you believe in it? Is that plan what he believes God is leading him to do or just something he wants to do? Is it aligned with God’s plan for your life? (It’s not all about him!)
Tip #2: Pay close attention to see if he makes practical steps towards his goals on his own, without you needing to give a lot of advice and help along the way. And when you do give advice, does he take it and run with it or just sit on it with no drive?
Tip #3: Listen to your instincts. Listen to the still small voice (the voice of God) that tells you if the relationship itself has potential and is in fact what you should be investing time and energy into in the first place. As women we get that check from the Holy Spirit long before we’re willing to admit it. I’m suggesting that you be very in tune with ourselves and God and realize when it’s time to bow out gracefully or never step onto that stage to begin with.
As always I hoped you gained some insight, encouragement, inspiration, and all that good stuff as a result of reading this post. Comment below if you’re brave enough to admit that you fell in love with potential. Share your experience, I’m curious to know if it worked out for you! Love you guys and until next time, whatever you do, do it ALL for the glory of God!
-Adreeonah

How Long Do I Have to Wait? “An Open Letter to God”

I think this is probably one of the realest posts I have ever written. The enemy definitely wants me to stop typing NOW, as he taunts me with all the “what if’s”, and “you know people are going to judge you right?” But you know what? It doesn’t matter if this post can set someone free from the bondage of waiting and suffering in silence. As young single women of God it is easy to allow church folk, friends, family, and whomever else cause you to hide from your deep rooted desire to be married. I think the pressure and standards of women in my age range (27) to be married, naturally causes us to rebel and say well it is “not that big of a deal”, “I am on God’s perfect timing”, “My Adam is sleeping”, “I’ll be found one day”, “I am truly content in my singleness”, along with a whole other slew of responses. And while these responses are so true, I can’t help but be honest about my lack of communication with God on the matter. I think I long to be the women who is so wrapped up in Jesus that the man ordained for me has to be so entangled in Him as well, that that is the only way he will find me; that I deny and hide my struggles with my current season of singleness. I think if I talk about being lonely at times, growing frustrated, and sometimes hopeless, God will be disappointed with me or I will let others around me down. Well not anymore! Anything left untouched, buried, and unaddressed will only fester and continue to grow. Today I decided to be honest about my feelings and cry out to God regarding one of my deepest desires, marriage. Keep reading if you want to read my candid conversation with my Father.

“I have been waiting for a godly relationship/marriage for about 6 years. I admit I do not think I was ready all that time ago but that was when I took the vow of celibacy and the leap of faith to put my love life in your hands. I think I have had some beautiful moments on this journey, like growing closer to you, learning more about myself, about men, and life in general. But let’s not forget the rough times though lol, like thinking I found “the one” only to be disillusioned and heartbroken at the discovery of a counterfeit, seeing others around me be engaged, married, and engaging in the work of the Kingdom with their partners… which I so long to do one day. I think now more than ever before it’s just been tough. I long for companionship even though it pains me to say that. I get so stuck in guilt for desiring marriage because I know I should be praying for world affairs, begging you to save souls, my purpose, healing, and so many other things my mind tells me takes precedence over the matters of my heart, but my heartbeat just won’t be quiet any longer. If I can be honest God, sometimes I get angry, I get jealous, and I grow weary. I struggle with thinking “I’m doing all the right things” and I see others who are not even serving you, get what your servant has been asking you for. I know that your timing is perfect but sometimes I feel like we are on two different time zones. I know that somehow there is purpose in the pain but at times I just feel like this season is purposely painful. I know that you hear my cries and you know what’s best for me, after all you ordained my life before the foundations of the earth.

But somehow I can’t shake the thought of my gauge of your love for me being contingent on the gift of marriage. Ludicrous right? But I’m being honest here… and this is my truth. Replace it with your truth. Help me to find that healthy balance of a woman in waiting that is realistic in her desire for marriage but also not allowing the desire to overcome my desire to simply know and serve you. Lord help me to wait well, to get and stay business about the work of your Kingdom, and to sit at your feet every step of the way. Lord I beg you to show me how to navigate this myriad of mixed emotions and to still bring you honor and glory with my life. I know your word tells me to be anxious for nothing and to pray about ALL things, and today I am praying about the one area I often shy away from. Allow my transparency to free me and to cause me to see your love for me does not lie in the love of a man. Please guard my heart and mind. No longer am I going to meet guys or see random handsome men walking pass, and think “could it be him”? Today I lay my desire for marriage down and prayerfully one day you will allow me to pick it back up. Until then it’s just you and me God, and last time I checked that’s a majority. Take my heart in your hands and hold it until I am ready.”

Love,

Your Daughter

Well there you have it… my honest thoughts out here for all to see lol. The good thing is, God can handle it! If you have similar struggles with your current single season, don’t hide from it. Talk to God about it and ask for help on how to remain content yet expectant on the future. Life is so much more than our marital status and we have to live like it. Until next time, whatever you do, do it for the glory of God!

-Adreeonah

The Road from Discomfort to Destiny

Why God? Why have you taken me from bad to worse? How could this possibly be for the betterment of my future? These were the questions that were swirling through my mind as I contemplated why I was experiencing such extreme discomfort in this season of my life. For just a moment I want to share the answer God so graciously gave to my questions and how it put my current season in proper perspective.

Comfort… That is what I heard the Holy Spirit whisper as I pondered my current fate. I was thinking about how good I had it at my last job (which I walked away from because I believe God told me to), the paid days off, higher pay, minimal paperwork, more flexibility, shorter work day etc. In the middle of my reflection I know I heard the word, comfort. God downloaded the reason why He moved me from there was because I would have grown too comfortable. You see, the job I landed after leaving the one God told me leave, was no cakewalk. I felt overwhelmed, overworked, and completely over it! But it stretched me, taught me time management and effective juggling of multiple tasks, how to deal with difficult people, and most of all it taught me, how not to settle. This job led me to extreme discomfort, which is categorized as “slight pain”. The word slight means, small in degree, inconsiderable. I don’t know about you but this definition reminds me of a scripture over in Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”. God helped me to realize that that job, while uncomfortable, was serving a purpose. It led me to spiritual discontentment and pushed me to pursue God like never before. I was forced to step out in faith regarding the things He wants me to do, no matter how scary or daunting the tasks may seem.

You may be thinking that your life seems unbearable, extremely uncomfortable, and even inconvenient at times. But that is exactly what you need to catapult you into your calling. If you’d be honest, you know you would become stagnant and “okay” with living in the land of the in between (out of Egypt but not quite in the land flowing with milk and honey) if you were comfortable and cozy in your current phase of life. You know this, so you know God knows this as well. This is why I believe He allows certain situations to transpire so that you will have no choice but to pursue everything God is calling you to. Your season of discomfort is used for you to find your divine destiny… so embrace it! And like Paul said, your right now is not worth comparing with the glorious future God has for you when you do what He created you to do.

 

Love,

Adreeonah

Do I Really Have to Forgive?: Finding Freedom in Forgiveness

Hey y’all!! It’s been awhile but I’m back and so excited to share a few quick thoughts on the topic… of forgiveness. Yup, I said it, forgiveness. One of the most dreaded Christian principles and commandments from God because let’s face it, sometimes it’s just plain ol’ hard to forgive and quite frankly we just don’t want to! Once someone has wronged us, “it’s a wrap” and we can be brutal, thinking that the person or the act is just down right unforgivable. I’ve found that the number one reason that most people can’t forgive or let me rephrase that, they choose not to do so, is because they think “but I would have never done that to you”. I think it’s safe to say we have all basically held someone to an untouchable standard which is dangerous because newsflash, no one is going to be exactly like us and all human beings make mistakes, whether intentional or not. I know I have had situations where I have had the nerve to become self-righteous and actually think I have the right to say I won’t forgive someone because I think their action/s is somehow indicative of their entire character. We must not allow the need for reciprocity lead us to a heart of stone with no grace for those who wrong us. Every time I find myself thinking this same thought I challenge myself to stop and think about all the ways I have sinned against God and how He’d always have the right to say “but I’d never do that to you”. Let’s look at a couple of reasons why it’s pretty important and actually in your best interest to forgive.

  1. Give grace as it is given unto you– We have to learn to give people grace and forgive because we’re given unmerited grace and forgiveness by God. More importantly we have a duty to forgive if we want to be forgiven by God. Matthew 6:14-15 boldly states “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Ephesians 4:32 also states “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Now hear me loud and clear when I say “do not be naïve”. Always remember that forgiveness does not equal reconciliation. You must forgive and then you handle that person accordingly. Meaning if the friendship is severely broken and there is no way that the broken pieces can be mended, you pray, be led by the Holy Spirit, and learn how to love them from afar. When you take this approach, you don’t have to burn any bridges or get the “cut off spirit”, but rather that person simply takes on a new role in your life.
  2. Forgiveness isn’t for the person, it’s for you– The second reason we should all forgive is for the mere fact that forgiveness isn’t for the person it’s for us! Once you forgive, you’re essentially saying I am taking on this debt. The word “forgive” in Hebrew is “nasa” which literally means “to lift, carry, or take”. Forgiveness is very sacrificial in that way because you’re taking the blame and the weight up off of that person for whatever they have done and you are taking it to God and laying it at His feet. The act of forgiveness can be pretty transactional in that way, if you let it. The problem for some lies in the fact that you don’t always get anything in return (an apology) and that is okay. John 6:35 “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” God sees all and He won’t let it go unnoticed because you’re being obedient to His word! Don’t believe me? Take a look at some scriptures outlining God’s blessings for those who follow through with His Word: Romans 2:6-7 “God will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.” Luke 11:28 “He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
  1. If you want to love more like God, you MUST forgive– God forgives us because of His unwavering love for us! Just think about all the sins you’ve committed against God before you really knew.. and don’t stop there, no now think about all the times you’ve sinned (and still fall short) against Him and needed forgiveness once you became a part of the kingdom. I’ll wait… it’s a lot on the record isn’t it? And despite all of it, God sent His one and only Son who had no sin, to bear all of ours so we’d have relationship and endless connection with God the Father (Isaiah 53:3-5; John 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18). And do you know why He did that? Because of His LOVE. God forgives us through Christ simply because embedded in His very character is love, he is love and that love runs so deep for us that we’ll be forgiven if we repent and ask Him to do so (1 John 1:9).

 You might be thinking we’ll that’s wonderful and I’m eternally grateful… but I’m not God, I can’t just forgive people over and over again. My response to that is I get it and I often think the same thoughts BUT we can forgive if we practice LOVE.  In our quest to be more like Christ we must love like Him. Out of our love for people will flow our ability to grace them and bestow forgiveness upon them when we really think they least deserve it! One of the most beloved scriptures, 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, tells us “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” To some this depiction of love seems impossible to aspire and or live up to. However, I believe we all can! We are made in the image of God, which means He has given us some of His amazing characteristics, such as kindness, grace, love, mercy and even the big ones that come only through Christ, which are holiness and righteousness. We have to reflect the love of God even when it hurts and this very practice will enable you to forgive and truly mean it!

Okay that’s it for my spiel lol. I just want you all to remember it is not optional to forgive, it’s biblical and a commandment given to us by God. As a Christian man or woman you have to forgive, no matter how hard, no matter how “unforgivable” the offense or the grievance may seem, you have to take it to God and let Him heal your heart. He is always the answer to how we can achieve anything in this life, and forgiveness is no different. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to get to heaven and hear God tell me my sins have not been forgiven because back in 2017 I did not forgive such and such… no not me and I pray not you either!

Finally I have 3 things I want you to do:

  1. Think about the last time you had to forgive someone. How were you able to do so? How long did it take?
  2. Challenge yourself with this question: Is there anyone that I have yet to forgive?
  3. If your answer to number 2 is yes, get on your knees and talk to God about the situation and ask how you can do so through the strength and love of Christ.

Well until next time… whatever you do, do it all unto the glory of God!

Love,

Adreeonah

Maintaining Joy in a Dark Place

Hey y’all!!! It’s been awhile and I hope you all are doing well :). Well I thought I’d share a few things that have been going on with me and give you some words of encouragement in the process. I want to start off with a question: Have you ever been in such a dark place, that it literally steals your energy, your faith, and your joy? I can imagine that most of you are replaying the tapes of some period/s in your life where your answer to this question, is “girl yes!” So can I just be honest and say I found myself feeling a myriad of emotions within the past months when it came to my current job, and just overall direction in life. Just a few months ago I found that I was barely making it, faking a smile and trying to hang in there, but when anything big enough to discourage, irritate, or ruffle my feathers would occur, the facade came crumbling down faster than a game of Jenga on an unstable surface. I was thinking to myself “I’m trying God, I’m really trying to have joy and not see this season of my life as a death sentence (dramatic much? lol) but it’s so hard!” I came to realize through prayer that I was not casting all of my cares on Him and I was not explicitly asking for peace and joy that comes only from Him. Now what I was asking was for Him to make it clear whether I was to stay or leave my current position, and I wanted to make it abundantly clear that I wanted His will to be done, above all else. I believe these petitions were important, however, they were not all I should have been praying over. Needless to say once I made a conscious decision to stop worrying and pray for peace like Philippians 4:6-7 tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the God of peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” I was literally able to handle every curve ball life threw at me. Through this new perspective God allowed me to see that this season is to build my character and endurance but even more importantly, I believe God was allowing me to see a part of what I’m going through isn’t about me at all, but it’s to draw others to Christ and if I can be transparent, I wasn’t!

Think about it, how can you effectively draw others to Christ if you’re miserable yourself? I mean, let’s be honest, if you were an unbeliever and the so called believer on your job was always complaining and had no joy or hope to hang their hat on, why would you want to know more about their God? I think you’d probably figure “well we’re both in the same boat, so what good would their faith do for me?” I think it is important to remember what the bible tells us in 1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” People should be able to look at us as Christians and ask “how can you remain so hopeful in this distressing and bleak situation?” To this question, we should be able to say “it’s because the Lord lives in me and gives me a peace that surpasses all understanding”. I once heard someone say “I always have hope because “God is with me, God is in me, and God is for me”. No matter what the situation may be, never lose sight of the fact that the Lord is right there with you through it ALL. Another verse that I think we should all look to is James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy. My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”. This verse tells us that we should be rejoicing in those dark times because they are signs that we are getting closer to building some rock solid faith, persistence, tenacity, and endurance; these are the attributes we all need to be an effective Christian and witness of Christ Jesus. So, I implore everyone out there who answered “yes” to my first question, to read and meditate on these scriptures and pray for peace in whatever your dark place may be. The light of God within you is bright enough to shine through any pit of darkness you could ever find yourself in and lead others to Christ at the same time (Matthew 5:16).

I want to leave off with one more thing… God knows how much you can take and just when to pull you up out of whatever you’re going through. After I truly began to cast every single care on to Him and to seek joy that absolutely no one could take away, God heard my cry. I was laid off that same job a couple of weeks ago and I know that was nothing but the favor of God. Some may think, how are you praising God for being laid off? I’ll tell you why, it’s because He knows me better than I know myself. I could not bear to leave without knowing it was His will for my life, so He caused His divine intervention to let me know “it’s okay” and my life is in His hands. So even though this is my third time being laid off, unlike before (refer to my very first post) I’m no longer saying “what now Lord?” but rather “speak Lord your servant is listening” and wherever you send me “I’ll go”.

I love y’all! Until next time, whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Love,

Adreeonah

 

Stepping Out of the Boat

 

Hey y’all!! It’s been awhile and I’ve missed chatting with ya. I pray that this post finds you well and that you’ve been seeing the Lord working in your lives like never before. Well I have some really exciting news… well exciting to me at a least and I hope it will be for you too lol! I have a brand new series coming to my YouTube channel and I wanted to tell you all a little more about what you’ll be seeing if you choose to tune in.

The series is entitled LIT ( Living in Truth). I will be highlighting single Christian men who are truly men after God’s own heart. The idea came to me one day while minding my business getting ready for the day. I felt as if I heard the Lord tell me to showcase His sons. Not in those exact words but you get the gist. I have so many amazing single friends who are pretty much cynical when it comes to believing that REAL single Christian men exist. You know, the ones that actual attend church, bible study, have an active prayer life, are practicing celibacy, and truly living in Gods truth for their lives! So my task is to find these men and show they do in fact exist and that they are hope for women who are waiting on God’s best. Not only is my goal to encourage women but to encourage men who are struggling in their faith walk so that they will see faithfulness and obedience to God is in fact obtainable!

No I know you are probably wondering why I titled this post “Stepping out of the boat”. If you can recall over in Matthew 14:29 Jesus was standing in the middle of the sea just chilling and directed Peter to get out of the boat and walk on water in order to join Him. The verse reads “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.” Peter’s obedience took great faith seeing as how it’s humanly impossible to walk on water. Well even though what God is asking me to do with this series is no where near as miraculous and dramatic as walking on water… it’s very scary and it is requiring much faith on my part. I am a pretty shy woman especially when it comes to talking to men. Not to mention I don’t know many men who are truly living in truth, myself lol. But I’m not worried because where the Lord guides He will provide.

So that’s pretty much all I have for now. I just ask for your prayers and your support. I will put the link below to my YouTube page. Look out for series coming soon! I love y’all! Until next time, whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFvOqY9AmrmgnqXk3kfzB4A/videos

Love,

Adreeonah

Why Do We Fast?

Hey guys!! I hope this post finds you well! So I’m back with the topic of fasting! Lent starts tomorrow and I know many people all over the world, including myself are preparing to fast from Ash Wednesday until Resurrection Sunday. But that’s not even exactly why I’m writing this post. I had a conversation about beginning the Daniel fast (what my church family does every Lenten season) with a few close friends of mine whom I love and respect and one of them said something that immediately made me sad and angry all at the same time. She shared feelings that “fasting is becoming too commercial” and thinks people engage in the act of fasting but there is no true heart change or change in actions, just that they are “giving up something”. Me being me I had a righteous indignation rising up on the inside of me lol and I just couldn’t let it go. The fact that this society is so corrupted that they would even seek to taint, water down, trivialize, and “trend” if you will, the spiritual discipline of fasting, really grinds my gears. I started to think to myself, “why do we fast?” I am by no means a theologian or a bible scholar but just a girl who loves Jesus and wants to share what I came up with after pondering this question.

Let’s start with the obvious. What is the definition of fasting? After looking this up I came up with the following definition: “abstinence from food and/or drink as an element of private or public devotion”. In the Bible there is no set definition nor commandment to fast but it is done in the Old Testament quite a few times surrounding the following themes: repentance, mourning, and seeking God’s hand or guidance. Let’s look at a few examples! Joel 2:12 states “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” The Lord is telling the people to fast, weep, and mourn so that they may turn their hearts back to Him and not on others things of this world. When we fast it is to purify our hearts and surrender them back to God. In Jonah 3:5 the people repented and “a fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth”. In the Old Testament it was customary to fast while in mourning, 2 Samuel 1:12 states, “They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan and for the people of the LORD and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.” When it comes to seeking the Lord and discerning His direction I always look back at Esther and Jehoshaphat. 2 Chronicles 20:3 tells us “Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the LORD for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting.” In Esther 4:16 she urges “”Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Jehoshaphat and Esther not only fasted themselves but called upon their entire communities because they were desperate to hear from God and probably realized the importance, power, and significance of solidarity and agreement of believers.

In the New Testament Jesus does not explicitly say that we must fast but His words and actions imply that we must lol. So what does He say? In Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus says “When you fast, do not look gloomy like hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” So the first major thing to point out here is that Jesus says “when you” not “if you”. He is giving instructions on how fasting should be done when you do so because you are most certainly going to do so. Also, Jesus is specifically letting us know that fasting isn’t a trend or something we do to impress others like my friend was stating society has made it, but rather that it is to be strictly between us and God. We are not to brag and boast about fasting and we should actually keep it to ourselves as much as we can.

So now that we’ve gone over what He says, what does Jesus do? He practices the very spiritual discipline of fasting HIMSELF. Now for every Christian who cries out or who has ever cried out “Lord I just want to be more like Christ, help me to live like Jesus did, and the all-time favorite “what would Jesus do?”, this should be proof enough as to why you should fast. Jesus prayed and abstained from food for 40 days in the wilderness and was tempted by Satan (Luke 4:1-2). Now Jesus is God and has a divine connection with God the Father as His only begotten Son and He prayed and sacrificed food and drink to communicate and commune with God the Father. I don’t know about you but that immediately convicts me. I pray to get closer to God daily but how many times am I willing to sacrifice and get in true seclusion in order to seek His face? Not as often as I should. Another cue I think we should take from Jesus is that His fasting was preceded by the Spirit. Matthew 4:1 tells us “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil”. I think it is very important that we are led by the Holy Spirit in our fasting. We should not simply fast because everyone else is doing so or just to find favor in God’s eyes, or definitely not to appease others. Now I also want to point out that we need to be careful about saying what we are “led” to do and not to do. Sometimes we are led by our feelings and not the Holy Spirit, but that’s another topic for another time! Just be authentic in what you do for the Lord because He is the only one that knows our deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9-10).

I also wanted to give some background on the Lenten season as a bonus. As I stated previously, this topic of fasting was only discussed because of Lent season quickly approaching. So here is a little overview I came up with after doing some research:

What is Lent?

The Lenten season lasts for a total of 40 days. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends Resurrection Sunday (Easter Sunday). During this time Christians reflect on Christ (life, death and burial, and resurrection). This is a time where we emulate Christ’s many sacrifices through performing our own by giving up food, social media, t.v., drinking, shopping, etc… anything that we truly enjoy for the purposes of replacing that with prayer, worship, and devotion to God. The 40 days is representative of the 40 days Jesus fasted and prayed in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-2). Throughout the entire season we are mediating, repenting, fasting, praying, and preparing for the joyous celebration of Christ resurrection.

What is Ash Wednesday?

The first day of Lent which is 40 days (not including Sundays) prior to Resurrection Sunday. The name comes from the practice of taking the ashes from the previous year’s Palm Sunday (derives from Jesus triumphantly entering into Jerusalem and the crowd scattering palm branches in front of Him as he was riding in on a donkey) blessing them and placing them on the head of members of the church. At this time the person performing this act will tell the member to “repent, and believe the gospel” or “remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.

I hope you all gained some knowledge about why we fast, through reading this long post lol! It was on my heart to share and so that’s what I did. Love you all! Until next time! Whatever you do, do it ALL to the glory of God.
Love,

Allthingsjesus

Unplug to Get Recharged

Hey ladies! I pray this post finds you well. I just wanted to pop in briefly to share my thoughts on unplugging and going on a mini detox if you will, in order to be recharged, refreshed, and rejuvenated by our main power source, Jesus Christ. Sometimes I think we go over board on the technology and too much of any good thing can become a bad thing if you let it. I love Instagram, I mean lovvveeee it! And I don’t play foolishness on my IG feed, for the most part my feed is inspiring and uplifting. However, in spite of this fact I recently found myself warring against the pesky opponent of… that’s right you guessed it, comparison! I would go on my feed and be genuinely happy for the newly engaged couples, newlyweds, first time parents, homeowners, business owners, and so much more but along with that happiness was the undeniable feeling of insecurity in the pit of my stomach that I just couldn’t shake. The enemy would begin whispering in my ear, “you will never reach their level of success”, “you are not good enough”, “you are not worthy enough to receive the blessings you’re praying for” “give up”. Just plain ol’ demonic, evil, and deceitful! But I must admit that I found myself listening and falling into his web of lies. I wonder if you’ve ever felt that way looking at someone else’s “highlight reel” on social media?

I think it is safe to say we have all been there and the remedy for that is to simply mind our business and fix our eyes on Jesus instead of on what everyone else around us are doing. I know that sounds real simple and sophomoric but I truly believe it is the key to contentment. Stop looking at the blessings they are receiving, the money they are making, the man they have that you don’t, the new house, the new car and asking “what about  me Jesus? Why are you blessing them and not me?” Stop looking, stay in your lane and look not to the right or to the left but straight ahead on Jesus (Proverbs 4:27).

I love how Jesus broke this very concept all the way down for Peter in John 21:21-22. He basically told him do not worry about him and what I have in store for him down the line, instead you worry about me because I am who you follow, who you try to duplicate, and compare for the sole purposes of becoming better. Jesus is not only speaking to Peter in this verse but to every one of us when we decide to get tangled up in the web of comparison. Hear me when I say, comparison literally kills! It kills your joy. It kills your dreams. It kills your confidence. It kills your assurance of who God created you to be. It kills your progression as well, because you cannot possibly fully focus of you and who God is calling you to be, if your eyes are on everybody else. We must remember to drive in our own lanes because swerving into others only cause accidents that prolong us from reaching our destinations.

I decided that I ain’t going out like that and the devil will not catch me slippin! So I decided to erase all of my social media outlets from my phone and instead read the word and listen to sermons when I would have reached for my IG, twitter, or Facebook… for one week. That is not long at all so I’m hoping you all will join me if you’ve been feeling some of the same feelings of comparison, discontentment, and insecurity. Let’s unplug from the world and get connected to the one and only true vine (John 15:1).

Love y’all! Praying for you daily!

-allthingsjesus

I Promise You… You are Loved

Hey ladies!!! It’s been a while and I hope you all are doing great! So we all know the holiday that is around the corner. You know the one that starts with a V and rhymes with Malentines (okay so I made that up but you get the point). So yeah Valentine’s day is quickly approaching and I know of a lot of beautiful women who are dreading it L. Soooo I decided the write a lil something. I think it is such a shame that many women are left feeling unloved, insecure, and even depressed due to a silly ol’ holiday. But I get it, it’s a day for lovers and seemingly happy couples (even the fake ones) and yet another reminder that you are single and still… waiting on God. However, I want to change your perspective a little and hopefully help you to see that you are loved and the depths of this love extends far beyond some roses, a 40 dollar dinner, and you having to explain that you ain’t “putting out” cause he spent a few dollars.

Have you ever experienced the love of God? Like really felt His presence? When the presence of the Lord comes into the room, you undoubtedly feel it. His presence is palpable, almost too much to bare. I remember feeling His presence for the first time and I just couldn’t stop crying, it was uncontrollable and I’m a g lol. But no really, my heart felt like it would just explode, I could barely breathe but in a good way. You know the way a person explains being in a love relationship and their partner “takes their breath away”, yeah that’s the feeling. If you’ve never experienced true love, get into a relationship with Jesus. Nothing else compares, and I mean NOTHING. Now I know you may be thinking I know God loves me and that is great but I can’t post of pic of me and Jesus at the movies or at a fancy restaurant on my Instagram. But my response to that is, why is posting pics a concern of yours if you are truly content in your single season? I’m not saying it is a sin or a crime to desire companionship but if you should ever let yourself reach the point of depression, hopelessness, and frustration over singleness it is a problem and a sure fire way to discern if you really have experienced the love of God. Stop and ask yourself if a date for Valentine’s Day is just something that would be nice or if you are really upset over spending another V Day alone? Only you and God knows the answer to that question but I want to give a few suggestions on how you can celebrate the holiday and not give two cares that you are single.

Tip #1: Go on a date with Jesus. I’m sure you all have heard of lunch and dinner dates with Jesus. This is where you unplug from all other human contact and share a meal with the Lord. You can cook or go out. I went to Chick-fil-a one time and it was great (now its Valentine’s Day so you can treat God to somewhere a tad bit fancier)! But you can make it fun, get dressed up, grab your bible, headphones, and journal and fully immerse yourself in the Lord.

Tip #2: #ladiesnightout Make reservations to a nice restaurant, put on something fly, grab your girls and head out for a night on the town. If you and your girls are single you should relish in this time. One day there will be babies, a man to think of, a household to keep, and not enough hours in a day to sit quietly for 5 minutes let alone hang out.

Tip #3: Do something kind for someone else. During this month the 12th-18th is National Random Acts of Kindness week. Instead of thinking about how you will be dateless, take someone out, by someone a little gift. Think of a single mother at your church or a widowed grandmother, anybody really and perform a random act of kindness. I promise you, you will feel great. Altruism is like a drug when you really begin to love to see others happy.

So I’m done with my rant and I hope you are more excited about V Day then maybe you were before reading this. Just remember that God loves you and He expresses that every day of the year and not just one day made up by man.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us– Augustine

Love,

-Allthingsjesus

Broken Before the King: Power of Prayer

Hey y’all! I’m back with the first blog post of the year, let’s dive right in. Lately God has been stirring my heart about prayer. I must admit, in the past I’ve had a love hate relationship with praying. Sounds horrible, I know! But I have to keep it real because that’s just who I am. I used to be worried about saying all the right things, praying scriptures, praying for my friends, family, co-workers, enemies, the trash truck driver, the person in the drive thru window— the whole world. It was a lot of pressure!  My ludicrous standards and way of thinking, hindered my precious moments with the King. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who now speaks to me and gentle guides me in prayer time. I no longer have to worry about what to say or wonder what should I pray for today?? I simply ask Him to teach me how to pray (Romans 8:26), I sit silently and I wait for my heart to hear the response, and I simply speak. One of the new ways I have been developing my prayer muscles is by writing my prayers out in a prayer journal rather than only speaking them aloud. In doing this, I’ve found that I have opened a new vortex in my prayer life. When I begin to write my heart is connected to my pen and the words are an outpouring of everything I so desperately want to share with my Father. I don’t have to think, I just write. I am actually writing this blog now as a direct result of writing a prayer this evening. As I sat in my car balling my eyes out while writing, I felt the Lord say that the things that I am experiencing now are all a part of my testimony and that I should rejoice and share my struggles with His other daughters. So that is just what I am going to do. There are 4 prayer topics that I want to share with you and challenge you to take time out over next few days during your quiet time, to pen your own. One of the ways I have learned to write my prayers is through the acronym PRAY: Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield. Here we go!

 

  1. Prayer for engaged faith: Much like the title suggests, this prayer is where I am encouraging you to pour your heart out and pray to have your faith stretched further than just believing God’s will but doing His will, whatever and wherever that may take you. Go all in! Here is a little piece of what I wrote: Lord I come before You first to give thanks. You are Lord of Lords and King of Kings. You are alpha and omega, You sit on high and You still look low. You are my provider, my protector, my strong tower, my confidant, my refuge, and my strength. Thank You for my life and Your mercies that are new every day. Thank You for Your loving-kindness towards me. Lord I pray to have engaged faith. I pray that I don’t sit around and expect for You to do things You have already given me the power to do. Help me to see where You would have me to step out on faith so that I’ll go. Lead me and I’ll follow. Lord go with me, allow me to experience Your manifest presence before me so that I know I have Your favor and approval. Lord I pray to have a faith like Abraham and go wherever You tell me to go and sacrifice whatever You tell me to sacrifice. Lord help me to have engaged faith like the woman who had no oil (2 Kings 4). Help me to get the empty jars in my life so that You can fill them by my act of faith…
  1. Prayer of Surrender: Surrender means to acquiesce, yield, and submit to authority. This is a powerful prayer (at least it was for me). I want you to get down to every little aspect of your life that you’ve been relentlessly holding on to… and yup you guessed it, place them all at His feet. I’m talking about your love life and that man you’ve been with but shouldn’t be with or the healthy desire you have for a husband that’s become an idol because you won’t give it to God, that job you’re going crazy over, that love one that works your last nerve and you want so desperately to be saved, your husband, your kids, and whatever else you’ve been holding onto. You know what those things are and I trust that you will get naked before God and finally let go of the baggage you were never intended to carry. If you have any trouble surrendering and submitting all of who you are to God, take a look to Jesus as an example (John 6:38, Matthew 12:50, Matthew 26:39).
  1. Prayer of Repentance: It is so important that we take time every day to repent of our sins, known and unknown. We must confess our sins and vow to turn away from them each and every day. I want you to be brave enough to repent of sins past, present, and future. Ask God to reveal hidden areas of sin to you, go deeper than you’ve ever gone before! I promise you it will be therapeutic and freeing. 1 John 1:19 tells us “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us of all unrighteousness”. Get cleansed!
  1. Prayer for freedom from people bondage and hidden insecurities: I don’t know about you but I’ve noticed that I care wayyyy too much about what people think about me and I have begun to look to their approval as my guide to if what I am doing is good enough. The Lord wants us to serve Him and serve His people, not have the people serve our egos. Galatians 1:10 is where Paul sums it up best, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ”. BOOM, you cannot please both people and God, point, blank, and the period! Another verse to look to before writing your prayer is Isaiah 2:22. There is absolutely no use in trying to please people who change daily. We serve an immutable, unchanging God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so break free of the chains of people and any other bondage.

Okay that’s all I have for now. My prayer is that these 4 prayers grow you deeper in your relationship with Christ and sincere dialogue with our heavenly Father. I pray that they are the gateway to a more fulfilling and freeing Christian experience. Please share if you’ve found my suggestions useful. Praying for you!!

 

Love,

-allthingsjeus