Stay in the Closet

“Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children.”

Today’s morning devotional led me to this scripture in Ephesians 5:1. The Holy Spirit suspended my heart within the words as he painted a picture of a young girl playing dress up in her mother’s closet. I still remember being a child, awkwardly stumbling around in my mother’s high heels trying to emanate her femininity. I never got farther than two or three steps without losing my balance and my feet spent more time outside of the pumps as my size fours struggled to remain grounded in a size I won’t mention. As I think back to those glorious days of exploration in my mom’s closet, I’m drawn to the absence of the one emotion that seems most befitting to the experience. Fear.

In a closet completely packed with things too big for me, I never once felt swallowed. The thought never crossed my mind that I should be afraid of putting on things that weren’t my size. Why? Well, there’s a few reasons.

One: my mother was my safe place. My trust in her far outweighed my own inabilities. If she wore these things, how could they be harmful to me? Two: more than anyone in the world, I wanted to be like my mother and the force of that drive blocked out any would be fears from stopping me. And finally three: running pretty concurrently with my previous reason, I simply wanted to be like my mom and in my childish head, the best way to do that was to imitate her.

God is ushering us to step into His closet: put on the patience you have to hold up as you trip over its length, slip into the selflessness that seems to slow your pace, and try on the kindness that overwhelms your own will. Christ has invited us to put on His attributes as our own and in that invitation lies trust, fearlessness and the grace to don the character of the savior. And hear this, you don’t have to feel capable of being like Christ in order to be like Christ. You just have to trust Christ and take Him at His word. You have been redeemed. There have been many times in my walk with God that I’ve wanted to throw in the towel because being patient, kind, and putting others before myself felt too difficult. That’s because I was trying to wear my own version of God’s character. I felt overtaken by my inability to mirror Christ. Yet, I never left His closet. I never stopped putting on His clothes, no matter how much they hung. I played dress up until the dress fit. I stayed, seeking God and drawing closer to Him as I matured into (some of ) the garments. Just as the little girl in her mother’s closet will one day walk confidently in the shoes she once stumbled in, so can we mature into the articles of Christ’s love.

A final note…

In order to be like someone, we have to know them. When actors take on roles where they have to portray real people, they delve deep into the life of that person. In preparation for biopics, actors will study the way a person speaks, their mannerisms, and they even try to get a grasp on the proclivities of their mind. If people trying to portray other people go to such great lengths for the sake of a believable work of art, how much more should we draw closer to our creator, so that we may imitate Him in all holiness, righteousness, truth, and love?

Hidden Idols

An idol, simply put, is a false god. Although scripture warns us time and time again not to fall prey to idolatrous behavior, it’s one of the most prevalent sins. Over time, the meaning of the word has evolved, allowing its true denotation to be hidden. For instance, in the old testament of the bible, we see the original meaning of the word in action through carved idols, such as Israel’s golden calf. In the new testament, however, we find a world a bit more paralleled to our own where idolatry takes the form of physical pleasures and worldly pursuits. Still, today’s iteration of the word proves itself more cunning through shows like, “American Idol,” where we are encouraged to idolize others for their talents and abilities.

The connotative evolution of the word has made the act of idolization difficult to spot. While the church has gotten comfortable with the lie that idolatry exists only in worldly behavior, satan has weaved this sin into the body of Christ in ways undetected. To be clear, anything we put before God in our life is an idol. This includes, but is not limited to: marriage, spouses, children, careers, obsessions, entertainment that doesn’t glorify God, and… fear. Yes, fear. That’s what I want to talk about.

As I was having QT with God a week or so ago, I was mulling over some ideas He had inspired within me. I tried to tip toe around addressing why I’d been dragging my feet in pursuing them but before I could deflect into more pleasant conversation, God outed me: you have made an idol of fear. It took me a moment to grasp that reality because I’d never thought of negative emotions as idolatry. I viewed them as struggles to overcome, not idols to strike down. But as I pondered God’s revelation, I began to understand that idolatry is not limited. Anything outside of God has the potential to be an idol; anything we place over God IS an idol. Even things of God. Hear me. Marriage, for instance was created by God as something good. However, If I were to obsess over a desire to be married, I would then be worshiping the creation (of marriage in this instance) and not the creator Himself. In my case, God didn’t even create the fear I had, and yet I bowed to it. I allowed it to dictate my decisions, define my abilities, and appraise my worth. I was living in light of my fear, not my faith.

My faith will not be belittled by my fear. I don’t want that for you, I don’t want it for myself, and it’s not what God has for either of us. But it’s important that we keep our spirits alert and our armor fastened tightly about us because satan will enter in through whatever door is open.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1Peter 5:8

I wanted to shed light on fear as an idol, specifically, because I think Christians accept it too easily. Yet God has called us to war against the spirit of fear through His Word, prayer, and worship. Take heart in knowing that, God has already defeated the enemy, we are simply at war with his lies.

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

What Stays and What Goes?

In the midst of the urgent call to stay put, I’m moving— literally. Shoes, folded curtains, and notebooks lay strewn about my apartment floor awaiting their temporary cardboard homes. Although exhausting and chaotic, relocating brings about a freedom rarely found in the comfort of familiarity. It’s a fresh start that paves the way for me to decide what stays and what goes.

With packing, comes purging.

Tonight was movie night. I eighty-sixed the popcorn—in my case, kettle corn—and cozy blanket and grabbed a cute cuddly brown box instead. I pulled in a deep breath as I plopped down in front of my t.v. stand. Faux fireplace ablaze, I popped open the entertainment door and grabbed the first handful of DVD’s, of which only a few made it into the box. I didn’t linger on the titles that were placed into the toss pile for fear that I’d lose my nerve to really throw them away. Both my favorite movie and show found themselves among the discards and to be honest, I was pretty sad about it.

As I scanned the covers of my newly departed, a question was breathed into my spirit: Are these movies worth separation from me?

I firmly placed the remainder of the gotta go DVD’s into the pile in which they belonged. I couldn’t trade intimacy with God for a few carnal laughs and a fight in the back of a limousine. Every single day, I pray for God to purge my heart of everything that separates me from Him, and almost everyday, I feel like I’m being told to let go of something else. My eyes are welling as I write this because sometimes, I feel like I’m losing myself to God. With His righteousness living on the inside of me, at times I’m barely recognizable to myself. And on the brink of 30, having to choose a new favorite movie has me a little unglued.

Though I sometimes feel lost, I know that I am never more found than when I am lost in the savior’s love. This move isn’t just about a physical relocation, God is calling me to a deeper level in Him. But there are things I’m holding onto currently that will have no place in this next phase. So just as I am getting rid of all the items in my home that don’t serve a purpose to the person I am in Christ, God is ridding me of carnal ways that don’t serve a purpose in His kingdom.

Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.

Luke 17:33

Desert Jewels

The year is 1850 and the town is Bucktown, Maryland. After escaping slavery and fleeing to Philadelphia one year earlier, Harriet Tubman returns to Dorchester County to guide her family through the same wilderness that led her to freedom. Both her life and liberty are at stake as she risks being discovered on her trek back into the place that had long imprisoned her freedom. Upon her arrival to Bucktown, Harriet is greeted by a grim reality: Her husband has remarried, is expecting a child, and has no desire to return to Philadelphia with her. In her anguish, Harriet questioned why God would allow her safe passage all the way to Maryland for a husband who no longer wanted her. Her plans shattered and heart bewildered, Harriet beseeched her savior:

Why, Lord, did you bring me all this way to rub mud in my face?

Have you ever ended up in a desert when you thought God was leading you to a promised land?

Desert: Any area in which few forms of life can exist because of lack of water, permanent frost, or absence of soil.

Believe it or not, there are many creatures who have adapted to the desert’s environment and are able to withstand its harsh conditions. According to San Diego Zoo, desert critters rest in burrows during the heat of the day and some creatures get the moisture they need from the foods they eat, so they don’t need to drink much water. How does all this desert mumbo jumbo apply to you and me, and what did it mean for Harriet Tubman at a time when her own plans had come to an abrupt standstill?

Let’s see if we can piece this together.

The total collapse of Harriet’s plans gave way to momentary stillness. It was an opportunity for God to interject and reveal to her his purpose, despite her plans; a way for Him to redirect her course. Sometimes, we become so headstrong in contriving our own paths, that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is muted by our desires. However, Romans 8:28 tells us that all things (even our missteps) work together for good to those who love God and to those who are called according to His purpose. God used the fuel of Harriet’s desires to reposition her onto the course He’d carved out for her. When her husband declined her invitation to return to Philadelphia with her, although heart broken, she instead gathered many other slaves and helped them escape to their freedom. This act (according to the movie, “Harriet.”) was her unofficial inauguration to the underground railroad. And thus, by way of the desert, the heartbreak, the struggle, and the devastation, Harriet stepped into the plan God had predestined for her all along.

So, what about you and me?

As the insect burrows itself beneath the ground during the heat of the day, has God not called His children to take refuge in the shade of His love and protection when our spirits are exhausted? Psalm 46:1 declares that God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble. Likewise, John 4:14 tells us that he who drinks the water given by Christ will never thirst. The desert creature is not at all dependent upon the desert’s conditions for its water, for its thirst is met by the food it eats. As Christians, we must learn not to look to our circumstances to clothe, feed, or provide shelter to us. All that we need will come from the hand of our Father and His bounty is not dependent on our surroundings. In all seasons of life, have faith that God is working on something far more eternal than our temporary discomfort and pain. Even when it doesn’t feel like it.

In writing this post, I did some research on the desert and what benefits (if any) lie in its perceived wastelands. I can’t lie, it took me more than a few google searches to find the desert’s advantageous side, but I was able to gather a little somethin’ somethin’ for us. According to Science.com, “The dry condition of deserts helps promote the formation and concentration of important minerals.” Furthermore, “Minimal vegetation has also made it easier to extract important minerals from desert regions.”

Any particular Bible verse coming to mind?

Okay, there’s a few, but I’m going to go with Romans 5:3-4.

Ya’ll. There are jewels in the desert!!! My lowest moments have produced my greatest faith. My relationship with God has grown far more during my seasons of drought than when I am replete in all my needs. I’m telling you, it’s something about the trenches that extracts the gold. It’s the testing. It’s the stark realization that what we think we are capable of obtaining on our own, will be lost at our hands. It’s the straight up desperation. Stripped of a job, a home, a husband, a wife, or our health, we come to realize that what we are left with is all we need. Don’t worry, that sentence got stuck in my throat too. God, His will, and the fruits of His spirit are all we NEED to survive and receive the crown of a faithful servant. Everything else, and I mean everything else is gravy.

Let’s not circumvent the desert in order to swim in empty seas, because sometimes it’s the desert road we’ll have to take if it’s the promised land we wish to see. And really, an ocean is just a desert in disguise.

Gird your loins, and get to digging, for there are jewels in the desert!

I Choose Purpose (Pt II)

Alright, you’ve convinced me. I’m ready to wake from this dream and step into my purpose! Now what?

Now begins the journey.

The first order of business: surrender.

You’ve accepted God’s invitation to go beyond the borders of your dreams and into the land of Destiny. Don’t be ashamed at your hesitance to call this new place home. Resistance to change is natural and your flesh will make every excuse to send you back to the familiarity of your previous residence. Don’t give in. Strengthen your resolve through prayer and meditation on the infallible truth of God’s word. God is calling you to lay your worries and fears at the foot of His throne and step into the life He has called you to live.

After surrender comes action. You’ve committed to living God’s purpose for your life, but what does that actually look like? As I was praying for direction and insight on what needed to be addressed in part two of this post, God revealed to me three major hurdles people face when choosing to live a life of purpose. I pray that as we cover these three struggles, God would give you peace, direction, and courage of heart to embrace His will for your life.

Let’s get into it!

1. I don’t know what my purpose is.

Don’t panic if you don’t know what your calling is, God knows. A good starting point, however, is to explore your interests: what are you naturally good at that you’re afraid to admit or pursue? Put yourself in an environment (Church is a great option!) that will foster those interests and see where it leads. Discovery may not happen right away. That’s okay, keep at it. I recently read a quote that really stuck with me.

A struggle I still grapple with. What if I’m not good at it? What if people make fun of me or don’t take me seriously? Drop the what ifs and just go for it! So what if people laugh at you. Not one servant of Christ has been called to please people. In fact, Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” And really, looking stupid comes down to a matter of pride, and you must let that go if it’s purpose you’re after. Above all else, seek the Lord through prayer in regards to His vision for your life. One of my favorite prayers over my own life is asking God to take away any wants or desires I have that don’t align with who He’s purposed me to be. Be patient. The journey is just as much a part of your purpose as the purpose itself. Read it again ya’ll. Delight in inching closer to you’re destiny, not arriving overnight.

2. I have responsibilities preventing me from living my purpose.

If this is you, check your priorities. God has not given you a purpose that you are too busy or tied up to fulfill. A while ago, I read a book called, “Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets them Free,” and it truly changed my outlook on so many things I thought I understood. One of my favorite topics from the book dismantled the idea that we don’t have enough time to do all the things life requires. The truth: we have enough time to do the things God requires.

“The truth is that all I have to do is what God assigns me to do. What a freedom it has been for me to accept that there is time for me to do everything that is on God’s “to do” list for my day, for my week, and for my life.”

If you feel your plate is too full, talk to God about what’s suppose to be on it and what’s not. Now, lean in close for this one: STOP MAKING EXCUSES, STOP MAKING EXCUSES, STOP MAKING EXCUSES. Excuse me—no pun intended—for shouting, but for real, you’re not fooling anyone but yourself hiding behind your why nots.

3. Fear.

The most intimidating four letter word there ever was, fear is written over five hundred times in the Bible. In each verse, we are either being instructed to fear God or incited not to fall prey to it. The verse I remember most comes by way of a worship song I sang in church as a little girl.

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

You have no reason to fear because God goes before you in all things. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul even goes as far as to say, “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” As you journey into your purpose, God will call you to places that go far beyond your own abilities. Remember the story of Jesus calling the disciples from the boat to walk on water with Him in the midst of a stormy sea? God will test your faith in the same way and if you fail to step out, you will be giving your fear power over your faith. Steady your sight on the author and finisher of your faith and rest in the knowledge that He has already overcome your fears.

Please understand that living in God’s will for your life will require constant sacrifice. Get ready to be uncomfortable, tested, and pushed to your limit. You will quickly learn the depth of your inadequacies. But God has not a called you to a purpose you are capable of fulfilling on your own. It is solely through Him that you will accomplish the things He has set before you.

Wanna know where I got my inspiration for this two part, “I Choose Purpose,” post?! Be on the lookout for a post about the movie that encouraged me to encourage you to choose purpose!

I Choose Purpose (Part I)

What’s the difference between a dream and a purpose?

Dictionary.com defines the word dream as “An aspiration; goal; aim.” Also, “A wild or vain fancy.” It defines the word purpose as, “The reason for which something exists, or is done, made, used, etc.”

Dreams are centered around what we want out of life, while purpose seeks what humanity needs out of us. The thorn in the side of human existence has forever been that we are a tragically self-serving race. We get so consumed by our ambitions and dreams that rarely do we stop to consider whether our goals are in alignment with our purpose. It’s not in the genetic construction of our souls to contemplate whether what we want is actually what we were created to be. Our dreams are spun into gold from the ideals, desires, and innate passions that fuel our notion of what it means to be happy. Purpose however, exists outside of what we want; it lives in the space of who God created us to be.

Why choose your purpose over your dream?

Dreams are man-made and temporary. No matter how long they last, we eventually wake up. For example, a successful vocalist may one day realize that her voice can no longer carry notes—smooth and effortless— the way it once had. And if said singer had made this vocal career her entire world and depended upon herself to nurture it, what would remain of her life once she awakened from her dream? Dreams fashioned, pursued, and purposed by human intentions will always have a shorter life expectancy than a God given destiny. As Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 informs us, the entire human experience is fleeting when under self-direction.

10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.
I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure,
For my heart rejoiced in all my labor;
And this was my reward from all my labor.
11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done
And on the labor in which I had toiled;
And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.
There was no profit under the sun.

Another incentive for choosing God’s purpose over our dreams is that we have more freedom in His plan. When we hand over our raw materials to Christ, he can make us into anything in this whole wide world. After all, Moses tells us in Genesis 2:7, that “…The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” Could we have done more with that dust than God himself? Perhaps we would’ve fancied ourselves cooks and made mud pies or sculptors and created elaborate sand castles. Though, our most feeble nor our greatest hypothetical use of the sand can be acknowledged, because without the breath of life filling a heaping pile of dirt, we don’t exist.

Are our talents worthless?

Absolutely not. God gifts us with all manner of talent and skill and He certainly intends for us to use them. However, it is our choice to decide how we wield these gifts. God created all things to glorify Him: If you sing, sing unto the Lord. If you dance, dance unto the Lord. It took me a long time to admit that I was passionate about writing because I was afraid of loving something I wouldn’t be good at. And even when I finally mustered up the guts to create this blog, I was in it for my own benefit. I wanted to prove to myself that I was good at writing by being validated by others. My pride and need for approval made me overly critical of my writing. It became more of a burden than a joy or gift, and I’d go stretches of weeks, often months without writing a single word. I was misusing my gift by allowing it and not God to define me and eventually, it made me miserable.

I hadn’t realized how deeply I associated my self-worth to my writing until I wrote that last paragraph.

Only up until a few weeks ago did God deliver me from that mindset. He told me to stop thinking that I had to achieve man- made merits and putting undue stress on something He gave me to enjoy. Whatever His will is for my gift will be accomplished through Him, not me. So, I let go. I gave my gift to God and ever since that day, I feel more free than I’ve ever been in regards to my writing. I traded in a gift; a talent; a dream, for a purpose. No, I don’t know the details and my purpose may not bear any resemblance to the dream I thought I needed, but it will be everything I never knew was waiting for me. It may not be bright and shiny, with flashing lights like I had dreamed, but it will be eternally fulfilling, spiritually satisfying, and a life that was hand chosen for me before I ever thought to dream my own dream.

I choose God’s purpose for my life over my dream(s).

Are You Willing to Give up Your Dreams for God’s Purpose?

Stay tuned for part II... 🙂

These are the Good ole Days

‘Tis a shame that tomorrow, I’ll long for today. While today, I long for tomorrow. And yesterday I longed for the day before. Can happiness truly be that elusive? I shudder to think that felicity exists everywhere but here and now. I can’t recall, ever, a time in my young life where I was content with the present beyond brief highs. Bursts of pleasure when surrounded by the warm laughter and company of my loved ones. I’ve known bliss in the moments when I received jobs I desperately wanted— and eventually hated— or when strolling down the magical streets of cities unknown. My contentment has always been dependent on the constant demand of something new. The millennial Y2K of THIRTY, is encroaching and I don’t want to enter it wishing for anymore than the present. In high school, I had grand ideas of what my life is suppose to look like a year from now. In reality, my life couldn’t be farther from what I anticipated. And I’m supremely delighted to be totally okay with it! I’m looking forward to the treasures of the unknown and the beauty of God wrecking my plans. Life is never, ever what we plan but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. Today, filled with mostly rest, “Designing Women” reruns, absence from church, shortcomings and nothing new except a new day is still, “The good ole days.” ✌🏾

Delayed Obedience is Disobedience

Instead of attending church and licking the plate of a home cooked meal, I spent Easter Sunday in Rochester, New York, held up in a hotel room binge-watching the first season of “Gilmore Girls.” As usual, I’m late to the amazing television series party.

Relax. It’s not like I’ve never heard of the show. A few of my friends watch the reruns on Netflix. I’m a, “Law and Order: SVU” kinda girl myself, so the idea of romance and drama in a small town named Stars Hollow was never all that riveting to me in the first place.

Anyhow, I digress.

During a discussion with my two flying partners the day before, the topic of mother-daughter relationships came up and the less than perfect bond between Emily and Lorelai Gilmore was referenced. The flight attendant who had seen,”Gilmore Girls” raved about how great it was and assured me that it was “clean” and “You could watch it with a five year old.” A wholesome show at least in part about a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship? Now the Gilmores had my attention. I figured, what the heck? I’ve got thirty hours to kill in Rochester, why not give it a try. So I committed to watching at least one episode of, “Gilmore Girls” on my layover.

Then I watched eight.

In the days following my newfound obsession, I found myself being constantly lulled to sleep by the heart warming banter between Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Night after night, I was peeling my body from the sofa and dragging myself to bed. One morning, after one of those nights, I commenced my quiet time with God. Propped up against the chaise at the end of my bed, I bowed my head and began with thanksgiving. As my prayers transitioned from one topic to the next, the Holy Spirit began to interrupt my thoughts. I stopped talking and listened. Then, I heard. Per the command of God, I had to stop watching, “Gilmore Girls.”

Yes, fully involved and several episodes into the second season, God said no. Completely crushed, I told God, Okay. I’ll give it up…next week. What I heard next was as clear as the cloudless blue sky currently hiding behind my living room curtains: “Delayed obedience is disobedience.” I knew then that I had to decide in that moment whether I was going to heed the voice of God or give in to my own desires. And so, my short lived affair with, “Gilmore Girls” came to an abrupt halt.

It may seem silly that God would ask me to give up something as seemingly harmless as a t.v. show, but it didn’t come as a complete surprise to me. My spirit had already been stirred by some of the minor themes in the show. I’d simply chosen to overlook them because they weren’t that bad. Two things in particular that bothered me about, “Gilmore Girls,” was the promotion of sex outside of marriage and promiscuity.

Because of it’s prevalence, fornication (among many other “little” sins) is sort of…expected these days. Not a big deal, even. Yet God is reminding me that we don’t answer to the culture or times, we answer to His word. And if there is anything we watch, read, listen to, participate in, or entertain that is not in line with His word, then we are out of line. Period, no exceptions. We as Christians should not be entertained by the same things as the non-believing world. We cry out for more of God as we continue to embed ourselves deeper into the heart of this world. Then we wonder why He feels so distant…

I believe that God is challenging his people. Calling our bluff, if you will. Are we really willing to lay it ALL out on the line to follow him? Are we willing to give up all the things that keep us grounded in this world? The answers to our prayers to forge a deeper relationship with God lie in our obedience to him. We fall into step with the spirit of God when we learn to trust and believe him the first time. In his time, not our own, for he is our commander in chief.

War movies are my favorite to watch because I love the art and organization of war and seeing how tactical skill and knowledge lead to victory…and sometimes defeat. One of the most vital rules of battle is to follow the orders of the commander. A Lieutenant/Colonel is not given rank over a group of soldiers, but rather, earns their title by proving that they are capable of leading in battle. They have more knowledge and insight than the majors they reside over, which makes it imperative that their subordinates heed their guidance.

If a Lieutenant/Colonel yells to his platoon, “Take Cover!” and one of his/her majors asks why, exclaiming, “I don’t see the enemy!” it’s likely that that individual will either lose his/her life or become severely injured.

Likewise, if God tells us to stop, go, yes or no, we need to be in a position to act immediately. Christians are taking unnecessary fire from enemy lines because we are disobedient to our commander, which is ultimately an indication that we don’t trust Him. If God tells us to move out of the line of fire today and we don’t move until tomorrow, we will have already been burnt. But grace. Even in our disobedience, He is a good God, for He allows us to get burned without being incinerated. Still, why waste time nursing wounds that can be been avoided through obedience. We can say all the prayers, read the Bible in every translation, go to church three times a week, and still not get any closer to God because we don’t listen.

Before God can transition us to the next level, He has to trust us to trust Him. We cannot sustain ourselves in the place He has purposed for us. Giving up, “Gilmore Girls” wasn’t easy at first, but I’m glad I did it. I’ve given up a lot of worldly pleasures (some things I’m still working on letting go) this year in obedience to God. And I’ll be honest, it’s hard and it hurts. It sometimes feels like I’m being stripped of everything that makes me, me. But I guess that’s the point. The Christian journey isn’t about becoming more ourselves, but becoming less like us and more like Jesus.

When I first started working on this post, I typed up some questions related to obedience to get my writing juices flowing. Feel free to answer them in the context of your own life and walk with God. Share or not, but ponder please.

  1. Why is it important to obey the Holy Spirit at the time of prompting?
  2. What are the consequences of being disobedient to the Holy Spirit?
  3. Should God entrust us with inside information if we can’t follow His instructions?
  4. Is it possible that we wait as long as we do for our desires because God is waiting on us to show that we are capable of being obedient?

Climbing out of the Cave

I slept for over twelve hours last night. I didn’t get up until noon today. I want to go back to sleep but I can’t. I’m awake and being plagued by all the bizarre dreams I had last night. The most frightening one: I got fired. Dreams sometimes feel like an extension of reality. Dream emotions don’t feel any different than those of reality. I woke up to my heart drumming the beat of fear. It took me a few minutes to realign myself back to the dim room in New Jersey. And even once I convinced myself that it was just a dream, I still couldn’t completely shake what had seemed real just a few moments before. The dream was a replay of the year 2014 for me. A new job, a new place, and a wrecking ball.

I want to go back to sleep, but I don’t want to dream. My friend thinks I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I only wish it was that simple. Go back to bed, wake up, feel better. No this is much more. Today my burdens have mounted to the apex of my soul, and have nowhere to go but out. That’s made obvious by my melodramatic writing and bitter attitude. Truth is, I don’t have any real burdens. None worth mentioning in light of real atrocities.

I am my burden. Stubborn and strong willed about things I never do. I read my Bible. I read spiritually enlightening books. I think. Sometimes I hear from God. I do…I do nothing. I told my best friend today, God himself could stand before me and point out the direction I’m to take and I would remain another throw pillow on this couch. Given clear and direct instructions and still doing nothing.

I am my burden. “90 Days of Reign,” is my burden. A book God gave me that I only talk about because I’m too afraid to write it. Everyday, blank pages haunt me. I fill those pages with sleep, useless conversations, and thinning oxygen. Where does confidence come from? How do people know they can do something? Why aren’t they afraid to go for their dreams and I am. Is there a secret store that sells confidence and self assurance? Did I miss something growing up? Was I not pushed hard enough? Or am I just a coward. I know that God says our confidence should be in him, not ourselves, but why doesn’t that feel like enough? I thought I trusted God, but now I don’t know. My actions don’t reflect that I do. It’s not my book, this is not my blog, the vlog I want to start will not be my vlog. It’s all in his name and to his glory, right? Then, why am I still afraid to do any of it?

This post is obviously more questions than answers and maybe I’m just having a bad day. I’ve been in an apartment by myself for a day and a half, plans unknown. I’ve run out of distractions. If I hadn’t chewed my nails off, maybe I would’ve painted them. I cooked last night. I washed last night. I just discovered, “Gilmore Girls,” maybe I could watch that. No, today calls for bigger distractions than nail painting and television shows. I guess it calls for poor grammar writing.

I’m also reading this book. “Driven by Eternity,” by John Bevere. It’s freaking me out. It’s not at all for the faint of heart, let me tell you. It’s all about purpose. Well heaven and hell…and purpose. I’m not concerned about heaven and hell, but I do worry about what my life will look like when I stand before God. I want to have fulfilled his plan for my life here on Earth. The thought of watching some holograph of me sleeping my life away or travelling, or getting married and buying a house, and never answering the call of God is such a dread filled and terrifying prospect. What’s the point of being in this beautiful revolving hell if we don’t douse it with heaven?

And still, why am I so petrified? God’s influence in my life is growing but my body is floating in quick sand. Maybe, I just have never been exposed to hard work and I’m afraid of getting my hands dirty. Maybe I really am a coward. But should it matter if I am? Not by might, not by power, but by my spirit says the Lord. I mean, right? What am I missing? I sense the key all around me, but never tactile. I don’t trust God or do I? For he has not given me a spirit of fear but…of power, love, and a sound mind. I had to look the last part up. What exactly is power?

According to Dictionary.com, power is: ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.

Did I just grasp the truth that’s been surrounding me all along? He has given me the spirit of power…of action. I feel lifted, so much lighter. Better. I’m going to call my friend and apologize for being crabby earlier today.

If you’re reading, thanks for joining me in this nonsensical climb out of the enemy’s cave. I don’t know a lot. In truth, I don’t know most things. Though there are two things I’m quite certain of: God is perfect and everything makes sense in written form. Even if I’m bad at it, I’m accepting that writing is my super power. I know it’s an oxymoron, but it’s very befitting of my day so I’m sticking with it.