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Be Still…..

“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
One after another, choices needing decisions just keep coming.

Devotion GraphicHome decisions hang in the balance. When can I get this fixed? Who will follow through with the repairs? What will it take to get everything done?

Work decisions weigh on my mind. What are the next steps to take? Am I the only person who can do this? Do I need to bring in more help? How will this timeline come together?

Relationship decisions tug on my heart. Is “yes” the best answer? When can I spend time with them? Should I really be that honest with my thoughts and feelings?

Decision fatigue.

Even as I write these words, my mind feels so very tired of the many decisions that need to be made.

Weary, my heart turns to the only One who has the answers to each and every single decision.

I open to a blank page in my journal to share my tired heart with the Lord.

A prayer seeps from my heart, through my pen and onto the page. Weariness oozes from the ink: Lord, renew my awareness of Your presence. I need a fresh infilling of You in me. I need Your wisdom, for You to do a gentle, peaceful work in me that flows from me. No rushing. No pressure. Just peaceful guidance from You, leading to purposeful obedience from me.

As I pray I realize that in the natural, this pathway of making these decisions alone will not lead to peace. He is peace.

I make the best choice I can choose — turning to His Word to me: “Be still, and know that I am God …” (Psalm 46:10a).

Do you see that comma? It seemed to jump off the page.

A pause.

Be still, …

When I’m still, then I will know. I will know the peace He embodies. He will show me His will. I will know that He is God.

Not When I’m busy, When I’m productive or When I make all the right decisions, but When I’m still.

The word “still” in Hebrew (the original language of the Old Testament) means: to hang limp, sink down, be feeble, to be lazy, to leave alone, abandon, withdraw, to show oneself slack.

Am I reading this right? Could it be that God is endorsing this type of behavior?

Yes, I have read His word correctly.

Be still. Be patient. Be quiet. Be trustful and know. That is where He calls me to go: Pause and find Him. Peace.

Lord, being still, when there is so much to do, seems so wrong. Yet, Your ways are not my ways. Help me to breathe deep, be still and pause to take You in. I want to know that You are God. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Additional Cross Reference Scriptures:

Exodus 14:14, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (NIV)

Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (NIV)

Isaiah 30:15, “For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.’ But you were not willing.” (NASB)

 

 

 

Knowing Whose You Are Changes Everything

“I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8, New American Standard Bible, NASB)

We all have had one, two, or multiple momentous times in our life where we faced a storm that we thought we would never get out of. Maybe it was a dream you worked so hard to fulfill and instead it flip-flopped. Maybe your once rock-solid marriage starting crumbling. Maybe you were next in line and more qualified but didn’t receive the promotion. Maybe it was your health started declining again or something you were so positive God put on your heart to do didn’t quite turn out the way you expected.

I’ve learned and still am learning, it’s in our times of failure or losses that we need to be grounded in our identity in Jesus Christ. Sometimes we cave into cultural or societal pressure and allow the things and  people to define us and sometimes even destroy us.

We live in a world that’s full of competition. We’re defined by how we dress, what we look like, our education and socioeconomic status, what kind of car is parked in our driveway/garage, what title we hold at the office/church, how much money is in our bank account, marital status, and how many likes and followers we have on social media.

But as Jesus’ followers, none of these things define us. If they did, each one of us would be questioning our identity, because let’s be real the material things simply start to fade.

Looks fade, financial situations change, jobs come and go, and so do friends and followers, too. So who are we? Maybe the better question is, Whose are we? We are children of God. We were created by love, in love and for love. And because we belong to Him, we can endure even the toughest of times. Psalm 16:8, tells us, “I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

When life throws us curve balls or shatters into tiny bits before our eyes, it’s easy to doubt ourselves, God’s plan, even God himself. But when we’re hurt, dismayed, disappointed or frustrated by the negative side of thwarted plans, crushed dreams and painful losses, we can still hold on to God’s hand and truth.

We can set the Lord continually before us. We can choose over and over to trust God and believe He still has a plan for our lives, even when we don’t have a clue what that is. We may feel shaken by emotions and circumstances, but we’ll always have someone to hold on to who will never let us go.

When you know whose you are, it changes everything. You have a certain assurance and confidence that it doesn’t matter who/what comes against you, you know that God has you. I KNOW God has my back.

Closing Prayer:

Dear Jesus,

Thank you that you are my Father and I am your child. Thank you that I am not defined by the world or others, but by YOU. Remind me in times of doubt or confusion that you have a plan and purpose for my life. And no matter what comes my way, my faith will stand because YOU will NEVER let me go.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

 

Dear Hubby

To my future husband,

Despite all I have encountered with previous relationships and contact with men in general, even now I am still going to hold out for you. You are going to be worth it. I have decided to stop looking for you and to just focus on God. He will bring me to you in the right time. Furthermore, it is not my job to be looking or chasing. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22, King James Version). The New Living Translation replaces a good thing with treasure. I like both translations but either way you are already favored but wait until you find me. Imagine how many doors will be opened for you b/c of me. You better hurry up, lol. I know God has saved you for me, just like He is faithfully saving me for you.

I love you and I am doing my best. My heart is already yours. I am going to stop searching elsewhere b/c I know you are going to be so much better than what I have planned. While I am waiting, God is always looking after me so need to worry (of course I’m in good hands).

You are always in my thoughts and prayers and please continue to cover me in prayer. God is preparing our hearts, our finances, our dreams, our organization skills, and our physical bodies for each other. By faith, we know that God has perfect timing and even though we are distant right now, at the appointed time we will be together.

When you start pursuing me, I will start responding to you. I pray God gives you his patience, wisdom, perseverance, peace, and strength everyday. It is always my prayer that we work together as a team in furthering God’s kingdom.

I hope that we see the potential in each other and work constantly on bringing that potential out. We are each other’s motivation. I hope that we push each other in the areas where we are strong and encourage each other where we struggle.

May our love always be based off the never-ending love of our God and not based on temporary things. I hope that we constantly work toward knowing and fulfilling the fullness of the Gospel.

No matter what, I promise to always support you and your vision. Again, I can’t stress enough how I pray for you daily, sometimes even multiple times. I pray for you, your family, your job, etc. And then I cover us collectively and our future together.

I thank God that He is taking this time to work on us. I know that He is releasing in you past hurts and pains, disappointments and shame, and He’s doing the same in me.

I pray that God will equip us to be all that we need to be so we can have this AWESOME marriage and be what the World needs to see. Yes, we will have problems and face trials and tribulations but babe together with God we can conquer any enemy. The word says in Romans 8:31 (New International Version), “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, WHO can be against us?”

This journey is not always easy and I’m sure sometimes you feel like me and want to quit. But I’m also encouraged when I read and hear testimonies of God-sent love. I instantly regain hope and remember that God is no respecter of persons and if He did it for them then He CAN and WILL definitely do it for me (us).

There’s so much to tell you and I can’t wait to hear all about your journey. May you continue to make a stand and be unashamed bold with your faith.

P.S. I can’t wait to show off that beautiful diamond rock on my finger so get your funds together now (LOL).

I can’t help but always wonder if we already know each other. None the less whether we do or don’t, I can’t wait (not being anxious) until we meet at that aisle and say “I do”. Our wedding will be grand and beautiful Keep holding out and stay strong. Our time is very close. You’re always in my thoughts and prayers.

Love,

Your Future Wife (Mrs.__)

Single & Happy

It’s interesting to come across things you’ve written awhile back but have forgotten. Often times, when people ask are you dating and you say no, they act like that’s a problem. It could be for various reasons that you have chosen not to be involved with someone. Whatever the reason may be, never allow your status to define you. Being single, married, divorced, or widowed are all relationship status titles but they do not define who you are as an individual. Never forget that. So although this post/poem is dedicated to all my single sisters, be content and happy (although not always easy) in your status. You are not cursed but simply in preparation season and it will all be worth it if you don’t settle and wait for the best.

What makes you think that just because I am an attractive woman of Godly intelligence and confidence that I’m incomplete without a mate?

Who told you that

Without a man

Something’s missing from my life?

And if so,

What would that be?

Love?

I love myself and more importantly I love the Lord. He told me that when I delight in Him, He will give me the desires of my heart.

Security?

I have everything I need according to His riches in glory.

Intimacy?

Now, how’s a man going to get to know me when he doesn’t even know he is in the Lord. See my Father told me I’m above a ruby’s worth and a gem does not seek it is sought.

I’m single and that’s alright with me

See, it’s not that I oppose relationships. It’s that I detest co-dependency. As a woman, I know it’s not my role to chase after ANY man.

Esther 2:14 reads that I am to wait on my king and when he’s delighted in me, he will call me by my name.

My Lord does not intend for me to be needy or desperate. I am to be cherished, relished, valued, and honored. It’s not my job to convince or convict him of that. My mate will already know it and consistently show it. He will stay on his knees daily not just to adore me But to praise the Lord for the virtuous woman he has found.

So, when you see me by myself. I’m not alone. I know what I have coming to me. I’m single and saved, and right now that’s all I need to be.

Not Making Sense, Making Faith

How many times have you made a declaration that something was about to happen but there was no sign of it? Maybe it was you professing you’re about to get married and you’re single and don’t even have any potentials. Maybe it was a car, but you commuted via public transportation. Maybe it was for a house but you live in an apartment. You get the drift. None of this made any sense to yourself and especially to others you shared it with. Although you were not making sense, you were making faith.

According to Google, “faith is defined as belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof, complete trust, confidence, reliance or devotion. Faith is the opposite of doubt”. This all means that no matter who doubts your beliefs and confessions, you are strong- willed that what you’re believing will come to pass.

I will never forget the day when I was in high school and visited my alma mater for the first time. I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the school, the southern hospitality of the people, and the refreshing atmosphere. I instantly came home and told friends and family, I’m going to Liberty University. I received mixed reviews. At the time, it was very hurtful but I had to remember it wasn’t their decision, it was mine. Again, didn’t make sense to any of them, but I was making faith.

Entering into Liberty like any college/university was very competitive. Not to brag, but my grades were excellent, I submitted my application(s), reference letters, etc. on time, took the SAT/ACT tests now the hard part…..WAITING.

After some time, I received the confirmation letter from Liberty Admissions that my paperwork had been received BUT my SAT/ACT scores were not high enough to determine my eligibility as a prospective student. I remember being soooo devastated reading that letter and my mom encouraged me in the kitchen and said, “You will get in…believe if this is what you really want”. And guess what, I took the tests a few more times until I received a high enough score to get me in.

Then I received the congratulatory letter that I had been accepted BUT…. (here we go again). This time, the letter was explaining that I was accepted on a conditional basis and had to be on probation for my freshman year to “prove” that I was college material and I had to remain under a certain g.p.a.

None of this made sense to a certain extent. I was placed on a conditional basis all because of my test scores but I still had the faith that I was going to be a successful student and graduate of Liberty University.

Well guess what, not only did I pass my freshman year with success and came off on probation but graduated with honors with two degrees. When a situation or person tells you that you can’t, that’s when you get the determination that you can.

I leave with you a few lyrics from this song called, “not making sense, making faith” (hence the title). It’s by Donald Lawrence. Please take time to listen to its entirety, I promise it will encourage you and change your life.

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for,
The evidence of things not seen.
It lives beyond the senses,
You can’t see it, you can’t feel it, you just have it.
I’m in a season that requires GREAT faith.
Fear and doubt are all around me.
But I’m standing on what The Word says.
Faith is the evidence of what I can’t see.
And when people doubt the things that I do.
When I do what God told me to…
For the rest of my life I’m not making sense,
I’m making faith.”

So remember, it doesn’t matter what you come across in life. It will not always make sense but as long as you keep the determination and the faith, you will make it through.

P.S…..stay tuned for more parts of my testimony and how I overcame college/grad school and just some of my life experiences in general.

Keep the faith!!!

This Too Shall Pass

At one point in our lives we have all heard this phrase multiple times, this too shall pass….

Tell yourself that whatever you’re going through….THIS TWO SHALL PASS!!! Now, I know you’re probably saying to yourself, “it’s not that easy, or you don’t know what I’m going through” or something similar to that. But I don’t need to know-God knows and that’s all that matters.

THIS TOO SHALL PASS simply because whatever “it” is you probably were thinking/stressing about it last night. But guess what, I have good news. You made it through the night and now looking at a fresh start.

Joy comes in the morning. Tell whatever that issues is that it will pass simply because you have regained your joy this morning. The storm won’t last forever, sunshine is on the way even though  you can’t see or feel t.

So as I encourage myself, I encourage you to stay encouraged and stay strong. You can and you will make it because after while, this two shall pass.

YOU

This letter is to YOU:

The you that’s had a rough week.

The you that seems to be under constant storm clouds.

The you that feels invisible.

The you that doesn’t know how much longer you can hold on.

The you that always blames yourself for everything that goes wrong.

I want you to know:

You are incredible.

You make this world a little bit more wonderful.

You have so much potential and so many things left to do.

You have time.

Better things are coming your way, so please hang in there.

You can do it.

“The Curse is Broken”

 

We have all felt like we were cursed especially from something from our past. Maybe you had a child out-of-wedlock, used drugs, fornicated, etc. and that one dark secret still harbors over you from time to time or if we really want to be honest, maybe even everyday. Or maybe you’re a product of someone else mishaps. Your parents had you earlier than expected. You or your parents dropped out of high school. You never finished college. Whatever you tried your hand at, all you heard was negativity and criticism. Perhaps you even heard, “you’re going to be just like your mom or dad.” You felt like you would never amount to anything because of your background. Why do we feel stuck in our present from something from our past? It’s been 15 years and you have asked God and any of those you wronged for forgiveness but you can’t forgive yourself. Whatever your secret(s) or past hurt is, I want you to forgive yourself and declare that the curse is broken. Speak it into existence until it resonates in your spirit and you FINALLY believe it. I leave you with the lyrics to this song I recently heard and fell in love with which I encourage you to listen to it. The song’s title is, “The curse is broken” by James Fortune. I promise it will uplift you in some kind of way. Stay encouraged…..

“The enemy is trying to make me believe

That my past is who I am

That the mistakes I made from yesterday

Is all that I would ever be

They told me I would be nothing

Nobody in my family ever was

They said you’re just like your momma

Just like your daddy

Never amounted to anything

But that’s not me, that’s not who I am

God gave me a promise, on that I stand

The curse is broken

My past can’t hold me

I’m more than a conqueror

That’s what he told me

The curse is broken

My body’s healed

The devil’s a liar

It’s in his will

The mistake, is not who I am

The lies they told, is not who I am

My past, is not who I am

The curse is broken in my life

The abortion, I snot who I am

The misfortune, is not who I am

The disease, is not who I am

The curse is broken in my life

I’m healed, that’s who I am

I’m free, that’s who I am

I’m a conqueror, that’s who I am

The curse is broken in my life

I’m blessed, I’m delivered, I’m redeemed

The curse is broken in my life”

 

Meditating Moments

It’s in my meditating moments, that I feel peace, comfort, healing, and joy. A wonderful way of a mini mental vacation to pause for a minute. I often find myself meditating any and everywhere. Often it’s in the bathroom, on the subway, at work, etc. Even with people surrounding me and talking among me, it’s still a nice feeling being able to get away mentally and feeling alone but in a good way.

It’s in my meditating moments, when I can talk to you and the best part is I don’t have to get too expressive because you hear and know my internal thoughts. It’s in my meditating moments when I think of the good and bad going on in my life. Of course, there’s some agreements and disagreements but I remember to go with the flow.

It’s in my meditating moments, when I feel mixed emotions. Again, I can be happy and crying tears of joy because I can’t believe where I stand in life. Then another time, my attitude can flip, and I’m complaining, frustrated and tired of life (I’m just being real).

It’s in my meditating moments, no matter my emotions and current status, that my music keeps me sane. Whether its gospel or secular, the lyrics give me life to sustain that I can make it.

It’s in my meditating moments, I feel weak but strong. All my decisions seem to be going right but somehow I still feel wrong. It’s in my meditating moments, when I look to the sky saying, “Father, can you hear me? Yes, hush, watch and you will see”.

It’s in my meditating moments that you are everything to me….

-my air

-my strength

-my peace

-my comfort

-my love

I could go on and on but my words are indescribable.

It’s in my meditating moments that I see flaws, so quick to throw up my walls.

But you will perfect me for your glory

Because after all I have to share my story

It’s in my meditating moments where nothing seems to make sense

Even my language is tense

And while others are looking for fame

They misunderstand the power of your name

It’s in my meditating moments where I can only be me

I strive to be a better person everyday

Keep working on me and make a way

It’s moments like these that’s taught me how to pray

It’s in my meditating moments

I will obey

 

“To Please or Not to Please”

For as far as I can remember, I always had a mentality that I had to please people. I had to be on the honor roll not only because my mother was an educator but also because I didn’t want her mad at me or didn’t want her to whip me. The need of feeling I was going to have to attend a certain college/university because my aunts and cousins pledged in sororities and I sometimes felt they expected me to do the same, especially an AKA. (didn’t happen). The moment of sometimes feeling pressured of moving back home to Florida which was and still is a desire of mine but in my and God’s timing. I placed people’s feelings before my own. I remember my grandma telling me, “you can’t please everybody, learn how to please God and yourself”. It was awhile before I finally applied it. To be honest, I’m still not completely there.  I still try to please people to a certain extent but it depends on the situation and the person. Now I’m learning, if I have tried my best and know that I have done all that I can and you’re still mad, then it’s a personal problem on your end. I had to get to a point that I was going to make Danielle happy.

I was criticized for my school’s choice, the location of it, and my major just to name a few. I can recall so vividly, “why do you want to go there? Why did you switch your major to that? What kind of jobs will you be able to get? Now reminiscing back years later, I’m thankful that I pleased myself. I always tell people that my testimony in the short version is BUT GOD.

I’ll share bigger portions of my testimony at a later date or as I feel led to. I want to leave you with this encouraging note. Do not get dismayed when others get mad at you whether it’s family, friends, co-workers, etc. Put your feelings first because in the end, your happiness is what’s important.

Proverbs 16:7 (English Standard Version), “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him”. So stay encouraged that no matter who appears against you and your decisions, the Lord will give you peace. I want you to focus on YOU because you matter. Is your happiness worth to please or not to please?