I’m Good!

Hey y’all, hey!!! Summer is finally coming to a close here in Arizona and we’ve entered into full time school year happenings. Life has definitely taken some swings, but we’re still here and God is still teaching and moving.

I gotta have a truth moment with you, though. I hit a rough patch and let it get a few hits on me! Instead of pressing through, I gave in and began to sink. But God!

My husband and I have gone through this season of one hit after another and we both have had moments where we’ve looked at each other like, What is happening?! We’ve fought anger, depression, confusion, and the urge to flat out walk away from it all. We even allowed life to make us unhappy in ways we never thought we would be. I’ve struggled with habits I thought I let go of a long time ago in an effort to cope with this unknown feeling of blah.

Funny thing about old habits is that even though we expect the same result, when we know better, God requires more. We can’t drink ourselves to sleep or pop enough pills to get that numbing feeling anymore. It’s that relentless love… Even in my most darkest night, God found ways to speak to me.

Today our pastor said something that made me wonder which window he was peaking through this morning to eavesdrop on me and my husband’s conversation.

We spent our morning talking about how rough life’s been and how we couldn’t see how things changed so dramatically. On the flip side, we brought up how even though things were different and hard, we’ve also been blessed.

When we got to church, the first thing our pastor said after worship is How’s everyone doing? Then he goes on to say that no matter how things look, whether it’s how we hoped or not, we should always be able to say, I’m good! Why? Because as long as you’re in God’s will, you ARE good!

Paul did most of his writing while sitting in a prison, yet he learned what it was to be content in whatever situation he was in because he trusted in the God he served. Joseph came face to face with the very brothers who betrayed him years prior and instead of dwelling on his past and what they did, he chose to love them and help them during the famine.

I think of David and how even though some of his writings in the book of Psalms start with him crying out in fear, distress or anger, there’s always a turning point in that very same chapter where he has his But God moment. It’s where David refocuses on the One who has the ability to get him through. Notice I said through, and not out.

Does life hurt sometimes? Like heck. Is it confusing most days? Yep. Does it frustrate the heck out of you not knowing how things will turn out or where life will end up? Always! Especially for a planning freak like me! But when you make a decision to serve the One who wrote your story before you were even a thought in your mother’s head, that requires you to TRUST that very same God!

So why dwell on what you have no control over? Why stress over stuff thats fleeting? What seems impossible to us is nothing but pure reality to God. We just have to trust that God is able. My question for you today is, Do you trust God? I mean, really?

Believe me, I’ve had to question myself as well. A few times! I’m speaking to myself first and foremost before anyone else!

Today I want to encourage you to really open your heart and have a truth moment between you and God. Do you trust Him? I mean really trust God enough to not be completely railroaded by life and all its twists and turns?

What’s holding you back or making you pause when people ask you how you’re doing? Are you playing the movie of all the bad situations going on instead of smiling while reminding yourself of how God is keeping you and yours through it all?

Choose to be intentional about what you respond to and how you respond. Choose to trust God even when you can’t make sense of any of it. Choose to pray and submit it all to the God who can keep you and grow you through life’s ride. Choose to smile and sincerely say, I’m Good!

Until next time,

Be Blessed!

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I KNOW WHO I AM!

As we bring this summer series to an end, please allow me one more week to pour into you.
I remember being younger and in that prison cell in my mind. I had gotten so used to faking it, that I honestly couldn’t tell my truth from a lie. I had been through so much in my life, both caused by myself and others.
When I hit rock bottom, I was in a messed up place. Never in a million years did I think I could do a thing to make up for the things I had done or the people I had hurt. But God.
As much as I thought my diagnosis of LGL Leukemia was a rightful punishment from God, it was actually my saving grace. It was through that experience (among a few others along the way) that I came to see God as a God of wholeness and freedom. You see, I spent too many years imagining in my mind how I truly wanted to worship, but never did a thing because I was my own worst critic. How could someone like me worship so freely? Do you not remember all the messed up things you’ve done? What makes you think you can be that free??
I not only had an issue with unforgiveness, I had an issue with my identity. I didn’t know who I was or WHOSE I was.
To be quite honest, even to this day I have my moments of struggling to remember who I am in Christ. Especially when rough times hit.
My husband recently had the gastric sleeve and the recovery has been one of the worst ones I’ve ever seen. We’ve had some bad days and some even worse days where I thought I was going to lose my husband. I’ve experienced all sorts of feelings watching him endure such a dreadful recovery from anger to fear to heart wrenching pain. I’ve felt it all.
In those moments, God has reminded me over and over again that I have to look to Him. I literally have no choice. Living here in Arizona has my husband and I in a place where my we literally have each other and our kids. We don’t have super reliable friends or people in general that we can call, so it’s been a very eye opening experience to go through this recovery. We’ve taken turns encouraging each other and even encouraging ourselves to press through, but we’ve made it. Not by our own efforts, but solely WITH GOD. God’s grace, mercy and love has been the driving force of our survival through all this.

This week I want to end this summer series with encouragement.

Know that:

God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all any of us could ever ask or think. Ephesians 3:20
He will supply ALL of your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
If He can feed the foul of the air and clothe the lilies of the field, SURELY He will take care of you! Matthew 6:26-28
I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor God’s seed begging bread. Psalm 37:25
God takes an account of your every tear Psalm 56:8
Those who see the Lord lack NO GOOD THING Psalm 34:10
If you keep your mind on God and trust Him, He will keep you in perfect peace. Isaiah 26:3-4
You may have troubles, but the Lord will deliver you from them all Psalm 34:19
You can cast your cares and worries on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will not let you be shaken. Psalm 55:22
If you trust in the Lord and not on your own understanding, submit to Him and He will make your path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
God has great plans for you;Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
God works all things out for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
If you hope in the Lord, He will renew your strength. Isaiah 40:31
If you seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, all these things will be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
We walk by faith and not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
If God is for you, who can be against you?! Romans 8:31
We can have confidence knowing if we ask anything according to God’s will, He hears us. And if we know He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15

For this week and ongoing, Be Encouraged, Speak AND BELIEVE God’s Word over your life and the lives of those around you, and most importantly, Be Blessed!

I AM: WHOLE AND FREE

The one thing I learned in my experience of healing was that healing in itself does not automatically make a person whole. I still had so many things I needed to work through even after my healing that I honestly thought would just disappear once the healing took place…it didn’t.

I know I was and still am healed. I see it and feel it with every passing day when I don’t have to make another testing appointment or take another pain pill for those excruciating joint pains or get yet another iron infusion because I’m minutes away from passing out from exhaustion. However in all the hoopla of being healed, I never took into consideration one single question: Am I whole?

You see, the Bible says where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom, but it leaves out one crucial element. Are you whole enough within yourself to acknowledge and accept that freedom? Imagine a person sitting in a jail cell for years upon years while the key is sitting on the floor right outside. Unless they’re willing to believe that they can be free, nothing is encouraging them to get those keys and be free. You have to know Whose you are in order to know yourself and your worth.

I remember growing up in a family of very dominant women. I treated men and people in general a certain way because I knew I was a strong woman. I watched the women in my family endure a lot and come out on top, so why I would I be any different? I had an undeniable confidence in who I was from a very young age because I knew where I came from and the type of strength they showed me.

The same should be with us and Christ. When we actually tap into Whose we are and what He’s capable of, it should make us unstoppable. It’s in knowing who God is in our lives and what He’s placed in us that we are able to see things as they truly are and conquer all that comes our way. The enemy will try his hardest to throw things our way to discourage us, but when we make it a priority to seek out our Source and know God in a more intimate way, there is nothing the enemy can do to deter us.

When I was sick, I allowed the enemy to distract me in such a way, I began to make preparations for my death. As excited as I was to hear the news of my healing, I can’t lie, there was a part of me that feared it would come back and bite me.

I began to read a book by Pastor Toure’ Roberts called Wholeness and man! It opened my eyes to the fact that I was so far from whole. It was a pure shame. I began to see more and more the nooks and cracks of places I needed to fill with Christ so He could make me completely whole and in essence, free.

When we truly learn to love and seek God with our whole heart, mind, and spirit, He brings a sense of wholeness and confidence in Him that no devil can take away.

This week as you go about your days, I pray you will take time to seek God with all your heart, mind and spirit. In doing so, I pray God will reveal to you the very nook and cracks that need to be filled by Him so that you can become whole in Him. I speak wholeness and freedom over you from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. I speak wholeness and freedom to every area of your life, including your family. I pray God makes you so whole that it spills over to the people around you and they come to you wanting to have and know the freedom you display in your life.

Until next week, Be Blessed, Be Whole, and BE FREE!

I AM: HEALED

This week’s theme is especially important to me given the events that took place in my life this past March.
In 2015, I became very sick and was later diagnosed with Large Granular Lymphocytic Leukemia in January of 2016.  My life along with the lives of everyone connected to me was forever changed by that diagnosis.  By God’s grace, I did not have to undergo chemotherapy as this was a rare form of Leukemia that chemo could not cure or push into remission.  I had a lot of ups and downs, both emotionally and physically as it was an open door to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s disease.
When my husband Deric and I took the step in obedience to move from South Carolina to Arizona, I became even more sick to the point of not being able to work for months which was completely out of the normal for me.  Until that point, I braved the many appointments, tests and infusions all while still working a full time job and going to school full time online, but this time was different.  I had days where I could barely get out of bed and it was horrifying to me to think that I wouldn’t be able to work anymore.
In December, I began to visit a church where I know God sent me to be strengthened in my faith and belief that He would heal me.  I had gone through so much that I had pretty much given up hope of having a normal life again. After a few months of going to the church, my faith was revived.  I remember in March going to a service and the speaker deciding to do a prayer line for healing.  One thing he said before we lined up was that half the time, we’re holding on to a word we were given long ago that we interpreted the wrong way.  God immediately brought me back to a word I got from one of the church intercessors right before I was diagnosed.  She said, You’re gonna go through this for a long time, but it won’t be unto death.  In my mind, that meant I would go through this roller coaster at least the net 10 to 20 years, so my healing was the farthest thing from my mind.
I remember talking to my husband about it and him turn to me and say, Hasn’t this felt like an eternity to you?! It has to me!
That night in service as I went through that prayer line, I began to decree and declare healing over myself.  I remember screaming It’s done!
When the service was over, the speaker said God has healed people tonight.  If you were believing God for a healing, go get your proof!
I left both determined and crazy scared, but I was going to get my proof!
I called my oncologist’s office and asked to get blood work done.  I went in, did the blood work, and went home waiting for a call.
Then….this happened:
This week, I’m praying that God will rekindle that fire again in you.  The fire that believes for the impossible knowing that if God said it, it’s set in stone!  Know that I’m praying with and for each and every one of you! God has some great things in store for those will be unashamed to put His works on display!
For those interested in reading the whole story of my road to healing, you can purchase my book, The Rare Kind
Until Next Time, Be Blessed!