Stop Being Ugly

Stop being ugly.

You heard me. No..this isn’t about your appearance. This is about the way you treat yourself.

So stop being ugly.

Those lies you’re believing? Remember. They are nothing but LIES. But you see, the more you listen to them,

the more you you consume them, the more that you allow them to cover you, the more you believe them and the

more they start sounding like truth instead of lies.

I’ve been there. I am there. And I will be there.

There’s not a moment where Satan is not coming after you. There’s not a moment he is not walking around

trying to devour you.

Have you had any of these thoughts before?

I’m not good enough

I’m not pretty enough

I’m not equipped to do this or equipped to do that

Something is wrong with me

My anxiety is too bad

My depression is too much

My acne is ridiculous

I don’t have a purpose

I’m too big

….etc

That’s ugly. The way you talk to yourself. The things you say to yourself. The things you believe.

It’s ugly. And it’s all a lie. God NEVER speaks lies over you or to you. God is not a liar. God is truth.

So all of those things you’ve been walking in lately, are not of the Lord.

And its hard. I know it is. You start beliving lies, and if you don’t combat them with truth from the Word and

cover yourself in prayer, before you know it you are DROWNING, gasping for air in an ocean full of lies.

But what I know is this. That amidst the lies all around me, and amidst the feelings inside of me, God is still with me.

And I don’t have to fight these lies alone. Because while Satan is roaming around me, God is within me. God is before me.

God is behind me and beside me. And his truth ALWAYS trumps over the lies of satan.

So stop being ugly. Stop being ugly and start surrendering. Surrender those lies. Surrender your feelings.

Surrender. Give up. Because YOU CANT DO IT. but GOD CAN. Because scripture says this,..

That “HE IS SUFFICIENT” not me, not you, but HE!! God is truth. And if we are going to stop being ugly

and start walking in the truth, freedom and grace of Christ then it starts with surrender.

Because when I surrender to the truth of Jesus,

and because of who He is,

I am good enough because He says I am worth it

I am pretty enough because i was fearfully and wonderfully made by Him

I am equipped because He is the one who lives in me and carries out His work in me

Nothing is wrong with me because I struggle, I am just not sufficient for myself. I have to rely on the One who is.

My anxiety, depressions, anxiety, and weight do not define who I am. JESUS does.

No matter what I do or where I am, my purpose never changes. To know Him and make Him known.

Stop functioning on lies. Start functioning on truth. Stop being ugly. And start living as the person that God says you are!!

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The Raw Truth About Brokenness.

Your brokenness can become your greatest ministry.

Let’s talk about broken things for a minute.

Have you ever broken anything? A glass? A bowl? A bone? Anything breakable can work for this analogy so take your pick. For now, let’s stick with broken bone.

Before you break a bone, you know that your bones are not resistant to breaking right? You know that there is always a chance you could break a bone one way or another, but you try your best to be careful and take precaution so that they don’t break.

So, what if it breaks? What are some reasons bones break? Maybe because the bones are weak. Maybe because you put yourself in a situation or did something that caused it to break. Maybe you didn’t even have an effect on the break of your bone. Sometimes bones are breaking from car wrecks in which you didn’t even cause.

Okay, so now we have a broken bone. It hurts, it’s broken. It is now struggling to work as it used to even though it remembers how to work and how it felt to work properly. But you must acknowledge the brokenness of your bone, right? Otherwise, it could get worse or never heal.

What happens after you acknowledge the brokenness? From there, you go through the healing process, which typically takes time and requires medicine, therapy, a cast, etc. My point here is that multiple things are involved in the healing process that are for the benefit of the broken bone. Each thing being just as important as the other.

So, let’s say that you’ve gone through the healing process and your bone is healed. It will still be a little weak at first, right? You must be careful with it and stay away from things that could cause it to hurt again.

The same thing happens with brokenness in our life. We know that there will be hard things in life. We know we will go through inconvenience. We know that we will get hurt. We know that we will sin. We know that other people’s sins will affect us. We do what we can to take care of ourselves and stay strong in our walk with the Lord, but sometimes it’s so hard and we know we are not resistant to life’s hardships. So, we do get hurt. We are broken.

But your brokenness can become your greatest ministry.

How?

We must acknowledge our brokenness. We must not sweep it under the rug or run from it.  The cool thing about being broken means that healing is around the corner. The cool thing about being the broken one is knowing THE HEALER. That doesn’t mean being broken or hurt is easy. That just means it’s worth it and something greater is coming.

You see, we are all going through something. We have all been hurt. We are all broken. Maybe this pain isn’t even self-inflicted. Maybe your broken because of the effects from someone else’s pain. But guess what? You aren’t alone.

We can start turning our pain into praise. The raw truth is this…the pain we go through is temporary. In Christ, the sufferings we go through are nothing in comparison to the glory we will experience with the Father in heaven. The raw truth is this…Jesus gladly takes on our pain and brokenness, so we don’t have to. The raw truth is this…our pain can reveal our purpose.

What wounds is God healing you from?

I challenge you to list them out.

I’m no longer ___________.

I am being healed from _________.

I am learning ___________.

I am grateful for _________.

Praise Him in the pain. Praise Him in the suffering. Praise Him in the brokenness. You’re not alone. He is holding you. He is healing you. He is with you. He is worthy. Thank you Jesus.

 

Joy is a Promise

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog. Honestly, over the past few months since the last time I posted, the Lord has done such a work in me. I wanted to share with y’all in hopes that it will encourage you – in hopes that my life will point you to Jesus.

Let me start by saying this: Joy is a choice.

But, wait.

Joy is also a promise. 

I have been believing so many lies. I have been allowing my thoughts to wander into deep sorrow as I create scenarios in my mind about things that could go wrong. I have been worrying instead of worshiping.

This is a bad spot to be in y’all. As a result, I have been more prone to wander than I already am and I have not been able to love others the way Jesus has called me to. I have been so self-centered and I have attempted to turn to self-sufficiency. I have not been resting in the joy of the Lord.

As much as I have grown in my walk with the Lord since I surrendered my life to Him on February 6th, these past nine months have also been challenging. Honestly, those challenges have made me rely more on the grace and sufficiency of Jesus though. While Satan has been pounding at my heart and my mind, Jesus has been with me. Jesus has been fighting with me and for me. Jesus has been there in the moments I give up and give in. He’s also been there in the moments I don’t, the moments I choose to believe truth and live freely in it. That’s the beauty of Jesus.

The beauty of Jesus is that He promises joy even in those moments where joy seems like the last thing available to us. His joy makes us complete. His joy is not dependent on our circumstances. His character is not dependent on our choices. He is faithful even when we are faithless.

So what do I do in moments where I don’t feel joy? I ask for more of His presence. Because in His presence there is fullness of joy. He is joy. He makes us complete and whole. Why would I want anything else if Jesus PROMISES joy in ALL circumstances?

Joy is a choice, but it is also a promise.

Choose joy. Choose Jesus. Today. Tomorrow. Every moment.

He turns our brokenness and turns it into beauty. So, if you’re like me and it feels like some days you don’t have joy…know this: You have JESUS who is the GIVER of JOY and who is ENOUGH. He is TRUTH.

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise;
Just to know, Thus saith the Lord.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er,
Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus!
  O for grace to trust Him more.

 

12 Years

In Luke 8:40-56, Luke writes about the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and about Jairus’ 12 year old daughter who was about to die. For as long as Jairus’ daughter had lived, this other woman had been bleeding for that period of time.

So the passage starts off with a crowd of people who knew Jesus was coming to town. They knew He was coming and they were EXPECTANT of Him. When He arrived, they WELCOMED Him. Woah. How many times do I go to church, sit down to do my devotions, go to serve in some way, pray, and yet do it without an expectant, welcoming heart for Jesus? Too many times. You see, these people were desperate for Jesus. They knew Jesus was coming to move and to heal. They knew Jesus was coming to serve them and save them. They knew Jesus was coming to love them and forgive them. Our hearts should be expectant of what Jesus is going to do in and through our lives!

The passage goes on to say that Jairus, who was a LEADER of the synagogue, came to Jesus and fell down at His feet and pleased with Him to come to his house because his 12 year old daughter was about to die. Did you catch that? A LEADER needed Jesus. He FELL at His feet. So many times leaders are so quick to hide their need for Jesus to fix or act as if they have it all together, including myself. We are supposed to be the ones leading others right? The ones that already have it all together so we can help others? WRONG. Leaders need Jesus just as much as the people they are leading do. And I love that Luke wanted us to know that Jairus was a leader who needed Jesus because Jairus knew that Jesus was the real leader, and he was His follower. I am a leader that needs Jesus, because I am following Him!

So as Jesus is on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter, the crowd begins to press against Him almost crushing Him and this woman who had been bleeding for 12 years comes up behind Jesus. She had seen a numerous amount of doctors yet wasn’t healed. You see, this woman…people saw her as unclean. People shamed this woman. No one wanted to be near her or around her. Can you imagine why she waited so long to approach Jesus? If event the lowly wanted nothing to do with her, why would Jesus? This woman finally had a little faith to approach Jesus. She had faith that He could heal her. I see myself when I read about this woman. No, I haven’t been bleeding for 12 years. But for almost 21 years of my life I was looking to other things and other people to heal me, to satisfy me, to fix me…when really, Jesus was and still is the only one who can. When this woman fell at Jesus’ feet and touched His robe, her bleeding stopped. When I cried out to Jesus to save me and forgive me, my “bleeding” stopped. Jesus felt this woman touch Him, yet He asked who it was. Why did He ask? I think about when God was walking in the garden in Genesis and asked Adam and Eve where they were. He knew where they were, but He wanted them to face their sin and stop hiding from Him. Jesus asked who touched Him because He wanted this woman to realize she had been noticed, He wanted her to see that even her little amount of faith in Him healed her. After 12 years of going unnoticed and unwanted by everyone else, Jesus noticed her…Jesus wanted her. When she saw she was noticed, she FELL DOWN TREMBLING, WORSHIPING JESUS. Before, this woman did not want anyone to know she was unclean. It was a shame for her to tell and a shame for anyone to know. But now…because of JESUS…she wanted people to know that she had been unclean but because of JESUS she was healed. That is beauty of Christ. It’s all because of Him, and not because of us, and He gives us the strength to speak boldly in His name!

So after this woman is healed, Jesus continuing on to Jairus’ house, someone comes to Jairus and tells him not to bother Jesus anymore because his daughter is dead. A few things come to my mind here.

  1. I am sure Jairus was impatient when Jesus stopped on the way to his house to heal the bleeding woman…I mean, his daughter was dying! God’s timing is perfect though even if we have to wait for His best to come when He is ready to give it to us.
  2. How many times do we “give up” on things we have prayed and asked Jesus for? Too many.
  3. How many times do we have people try and get us away from Christ? Someone came to Jairus and told him not to bother Jesus anymore. We need people who will encourage us, speak truth to us, and point us to Christ.

BUT WAIT. Jesus heard this, looked at Jairus and said, “Don’t be afraid, only believe.” Those five words we need to engrave into our hearts friends. I know I do anyway. If there is anything I feel like I struggle with the most, it’s fear. Jesus just wants us to trust Him in any and all circumstances.

So…he gets to Jairus’ house and everyone is crying and mourning for Jarius’ daughter. Jesus looks at them and says, “Stop crying, for SHE IS NOT DEAD BUT ASLEEP.” Okay…so JESUS just told them she WAS NOT DEAD right?

Get this…

They start LAUGHING at Jesus because they “knew” she was dead. Hold on. Wait.

Didn’t Jesus just tell them she wasn’t dead? And they start laughing because they thought they knew better than Jesus? Woah. How many times do I catch myself trying to tell God what I want or what I think I need or what is best for me? Too many. Yet, He continually tells me His ways are higher than mine and He knows best. We can be the same way these people were being. We need to realize that Jesus tells us over and over again in His Word that we just have to have faith and follow Him. We have got to believe what He tells us and stop thinking we know better than Jesus…because we don’t.

Anyways…Jesus takes Jairus’ daughter by the hand, calls her Child, and tells her to get up…and she got up!! She got up!!

We can approach Jesus with every need we have. We just need to have faith, trust His timing and His way.

An Unshakable Foundation

Foundation: The base on which something rests.
What is foundational in our lives?

  • Our home
  • Our family
  • Our church
  • Our health
  • Our relationships
  • Our job

What would happen if the very things that are so foundational to who we are were taken away?

Psalm 46 “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil. There is a river; its streams delight the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High. God is within her; she will not be toppled. God will help her when the morning dawns. Nations rage, kingdoms topple; the earth melts when He lifts His voice, The LORD of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Come, see the works of the Lord, who brings devastation on the earth. He makes wars cease throughout the earth. He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces; He burns up the chariots. ‘Stop your fighting and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.’ Yahweh of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our stronghold.”

Would we still believe that (if the foundational things of our life were shaken) God is our strength, always with us, and fighting for us? If everything foundational was gone, would we keep trusting God?

There are two things we must remember:
Never forget that God can calm the chaos.
God has delivered us in the past.

The mistake is when we try to calm the chaos ourselves. God has disarmed and defused the things that have hurt us. We must stop just believing the words on the page and believe in the God that really is those things. We must start TRUSTING WHO HE SAYS HE IS.

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God is our refuge. God is our strength. God is our helper in times of trouble. And our goal is to NOT FEAR. God enables us to run to the chaotic things that we once were a part of and laugh at them because He has calmed the waters. He takes what once was disastrous and makes it beautifully calm.

Not once, but twice David writes these words. . .
“The LORD of Hosts is WITH US. The God of Jacob is our STRONGHOLD.”

The Lord is with us!! Trust Him!! Let Him be your foundation, because He is the one foundation that CANNOT and WILL NOT be shaken.

It is Well with My Soul

It is well with my soul.

I did not truly understand what that meant until this year. I have sung those words over and over, said them over and over. . . but this year I truly came to mean it, to say it and sing it with a heart of worship.

This school year will definitely be my favorite for many reasons but the first and most important reason is because I met Jesus. I know Jesus! I have been saved by Jesus! My life has been radically changed by Jesus, for Jesus!

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I have peace. A peace that is a peace of wholeness and of wellness that only comes from JESUS. Jesus is my source of love, comfort, and peace! He is where I find myself always content, always satisfied yet still always desiring Him more and more!

His love never runs out. His love is relentless. His love is always pursuing us.

My life is not about me, my past, or my sin. But my life is about HIM and I exist to bring Him glory. I want my life, who I am, my past and my sin, ALL to point to HIS GOODNESS AND HIS MERCY AND HIS LOVE. His work in my life is nothing from myself, but all because of Him.

IT’S ALL BECAUSE OF YOU JESUS AND IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL.

Sins Consequences and God’s Plans

We all know the verse Jeremiah 29:11, right? I would even say that the majority of people I know have at one point or another either claimed this as their “life verse” or have had it plastered on the wall at their graduation party. Well if you didn’t, I did. And honestly, it’s okay if that was or is you too! This verse holds so much truth within it. But I am afraid that just as I once did, many people are looking at this verse without really grasping what the Lord was saying.

index“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you, not to harm you. To give you a hope and a future.”

For SIXTEEN WEEKS now, I have been studying Jeremiah 29:10-14. For sixteen weeks I have studied five verses as I have prepared to write a 60 page exegetical paper for my BIBL 350 Inductive Bible Study Course at school. Some of you are probably thinking that I have wasted my time. Some of you are probably thinking I am crazy. Some of you are probably asking why five verses needed sixteen weeks of my time. And this is why . . .For as long as I can remember, before I began this sixteen week study on this passage, I have quoted Jeremiah 29:11 in a way that it was not intended for. I used that scripture as a “good word” or as “personal encouragement” instead of paying attention to why the Lord said those words in the first place. I did not use this verse as truth from the mouth of GOD.

In Jeremiah 29:10-14, the Israelites had just been put into captivity because they continually disobeyed God. They were going to be in captivity for seventy years.

10 For this is what the Lord says: “When 70 years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm My promise concerning you to restore you to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “I will restore you to the place I deported you from.”

The Lord began speaking to them saying that once their time in captivity was over, He would restore them. He assured them of the good plans He had for them. He also told them that they need to pray to Him, seek Him, and search for Him whole-heartedly and if they do so then He will reveal His-self to them.

HERE IS MY POINT. Does God have good plans for your life? To prosper you and give you a hope and a future? ABSOLUTELY. But that’s not it! What was happening in this passage is that a group of people sinned and because of their sin, they had to face the consequences. And even in the midst of their sin and its consequences, God was still with them and forgave them but He had to let them go through a season  of facing the consequences of their sin so that they could be refined through Him, to realize that they needed Him. In order for them to receive the promise God had pronounced over them, they needed to turn back to Him and seek Him. AND ITS THE SAME FOR YOU AND ME. God does have perfect plans for our lives that are for our good, but we must be aware that our sin has consequences and if we want blessings that the Lord has in store for us, we must seek after Him. Remember, even in the midst of our sin and its consequences, He is still there and He is still good. He loves us enough to allow us to go through seasons of refining and seasons where we have nothing but Him to rely only on Him.