Out of Darkness and Into His Wonderful Light

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But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.-1 Peter 2:9

…but you are a chosen people. As I read this scripture, I couldn’t help but reflect. To look back on times in my life where I didn’t feel chosen. Those dark seasons where I felt undervalued and overlooked more so than feeling chosen.

Do you remember those school days during recess, where you’d wait on the sidelines for one of the captains to choose you to be on their team? Everyone watches one-by-one as each name is called. No one wanted to be the last person picked, because at that point you don’t feel chosen at all.

I think adults have this same struggle. Maybe you weren’t chosen for a specific project at work or you weren’t chosen for the promotion. It may seem that you are overlooked and will never be given an opportunity but I’m so grateful that the God we serve sees us differently.

He sees us as His special possession. It’s like that valuable souvenir or piece of china; or maybe that sweet thing that reminds you of a loved one.

I want to encourage you that it doesn’t matter what season in life you’re in right now, God has specifically chosen you for a specific plan. You may be in a season of darkness where it feels like nothing is working in your favor, but I believe the Lord is still with you and is available to guide you into His wonderful light.

My prayer is that we never get too caught up on our circumstances or feelings that we lost sight on who we are and whose we are. As a child of God, you’re chosen. You’re royalty. You’re a special possession!

 

 

 

 

 

For Such a Time As This

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A few weeks ago, I studied the book of Esther. As inspiring as it was, I haven’t been able to articulate my thoughts around this story until now (I hope). I have spent the last few weeks not being able to get this one line out of my brain and provide context to it.

Esther was a beautiful, young Jewish woman who was made Queen of Persia at a time where the Jews were being exiled. However Esther kept her nationality a secret in order to save her life.

Haman, the most powerful officer, became angry at Esther’s uncle, Mordecai  because he refused to show him respect. It wasn’t enough to just try to hurt Mordecai, Haman was going to destroy all of the Jews.

When Mordecai heard of this news, he tore his clothes and wore burlap which was a sign of mourning during these times. Esther sent him new clothes but he refused so she ordered her attendant to see what was going on. Mordecai asked her to talk to the king and help fix the situation but Esther was nervous to do so as she didn’t want to expose herself and die. But it was in her uncle’s response which really hit home for me and has stayed on my mind:

“Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed.  If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this“-Esther 4:13-14.

Who knows if you were made for such a time as this…… is the question that has played over and over in my head.

What I love about this response is the fact of how relevant it is today. So many people are angry of the times we are in. There’s so much outrage about our new leadership and various causes/initiatives but there’s still so many remaining quiet. So many who have been content in their positions. There are so many people called towards helping in the fight against human trafficking, poverty, financial literacy and the list goes and on and on….but they are quiet.

Could it be that if we encouraged those, who perhaps were made for a time like this, to rise to the occasion that they could help bring about solutions to these problems? Or could it be that if we stood up for those causes that we could actually help make a difference? Or maybe it could be that if we supported our rising leaders that we could have strong, confident candidates one day?

Could it be?

I don’t know what  cause or leadership role, you’ve been called towards but I do know that people are waiting for you to stop worrying about what standing up would mean to you and began to think about what not standing up will mean to others.

I encourage you to rest in this verse this week. Truly take it to the feet of Jesus. You may need to be like Esther and have some believers praying and fasting on your behalf. But it is my desire for people to walk in their purpose and truly live the lives they are called towards. Could it be that you have been made for such a time as this?

For I Know The Plans

Wooden Cross and Defocused Lights

Last weekend was by far one of the hardest weekends I’ve experienced in a long time. Throughout all of the pain and tears, I initially started to worry and fear began to creep it’s uninvited head into my life. As I fought against the anxiety of the unknown and the constant notifications on my phone, I knew that I needed to make a decision.

I could either continue in this hectic mindset or begin to pray and still myself for a moment. I chose the latter and it was the best decision I could make.

At times I would struggle with hearing the voice of God but not this time. He comforted me, loud and clear. He reminded me “For I know the plans.

I’ve read this scripture time and time again but have never been made to trust it as much I had to last weekend (and honestly all this week). With so much uncertainty and questioning “why and how could this happen”, I began to stay comforted by five words within the Bible.

These five words were repeatedly impressed in my mind.

It reminded me that through it all, whether I understood it or not, God is still in control. He is still the author of our lives. I may not understand the details but it’s not for me to know. As someone who is a planner at heart, this is tough, but I was comforted and found peace in not knowing the details.

It was only when my natural mind wandered away from the Word that I became consumed with the details but as long as I declared those five words it was reminder that this is still His plan. He is going to work it all out for the good. And I (surprisingly) found comfort in the midst of a storm. This planner was ok with not figuring it all out. I declared:

It may seem impossible but God’s got it.

It may seem unfair but God has a greater plan

It may seem like a storm but God will provide a rainbow

It may seem tough but through it all He will give us peace

God, I thank you for still being in the midst through the difficult times and providing peace where there has been confusion.

This, my friends, is what faith is all about. Being certain through the uncertainties and letting go of trying to figure it all out.

Where do you turn with things get tough? I pray that you find comfort in God’s Word regardless of the season you’re in. Rest in his promises and trust what He says. He will give you a word that can sustain you regardless of what you’re facing today. He reminds us that:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).”

It may seem tough now but God doesn’t waste any experience. He is still in control.

 

 

What’s Your Vision?

AdobeStock_28014010.jpeg Friday night, I hosted a vision board party with a few of my friends. I had talked to them individually about goals and their purpose but it was my first time doing a vision board party so I wasn’t sure what to expect or how to facilitate. Initially I wasn’t even sure if anyone would be interested. All I knew was that it was on my heart too strong to ignore it.

In 2016,  I really began to pray fervently about my purpose. However while I was praying and receiving signs, I also began to pray for those around me. I always say that I look forward to the day where we are all living the life God called us to live.The day where everyone around me is walking in their purpose.

So on Friday night, we ate our appetizers and got situated with our boards and magazines in hand. I looked up for a moment to see these women working earnestly to capture their visions.

I love that every woman had great plans that fit their personalities and styles. Some plans were things that will take time to produce, others were things that would take discipline and conquering fears but what I loved is that to manifest each board, will require bold faith. It would require each of us to remember that although it may seem impossible given our current circumstances, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). As long as our eyes stay gazed towards God and things ahead and as long as our ears are tuned into God’s voice, we will be on the right path.

I don’t know what will happen as a result of these boards but it is my prayer that faith would be built, peace received and when they close their eyes, they will see exactly who God created them to be.

I could have easily ignored the idea of a vision board party because it can seem a little elementary but it was my prayer that it would spark creativity and motivation but also give each of us an opportunity to know exactly what to believe God for -not just for ourselves but for our sisters in Christ.

I’m believing for God to do amazing things in each of their lives. Not just through the vision board but in their hearts. I’m hopeful that God will change and build these women to be who they were created to be. It is my prayer that they won’t play a tug of war game with God but completely surrender their plans to him and confidently declare: “Not my will but your will be done (Luke 22:42).”

 

A Year of Transformation

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I often say that 2016 has been a year of transformation for me. As I’ve pressed on to discover my purpose, I began to see how much God was transforming me. The more I spent time in his presence, the more I was becoming who he has created me to be.

I am in no way perfect but I am also not the same woman I was last year. Some of the things I did last year don’t interest me anymore but I’m also still not where I feel like I need to be. God has given me a vision but He hasn’t yet shown me how it will come to fruition.

He has pruned me this year and brought me back to alignment. He has reminded me that he is and should always be the center of my life.

With any pruning season, there will be a time of harvest. A time where the reason for all of the pruning, will be brought to life. I don’t know if it will come in 2017 but what I have confidence in knowing that it is on its way.

God has showed me so much faithfulness in the midst of all he’s been doing within me. As much as I wanted 2016 to be the year of walking into my purpose, it has been the year of developing me to be the woman needed to open the door.

I’m so grateful for this year and excited for what’s to come in 2017.

I’d invite you to read my post that was recently published in Thought Catalog to hear more about my thoughts on this year.

I pray that you prepare for 2017 to be your best year yet.

Many blessings to you and Happy New Year!

A Robber of Joy

I think many times, we get so caught up in how God has opened up doors for those around us that it makes us diminish what He’s done for us. As much as I love social media, I think it has a tendency to be a robber of joy. Why?

People share what they want you to know which in most cases, is the good in their lives. People want to showcase their vacations, promotions, engagements and more. Rarely do you see people oversharing their past, heartbreaks, family deaths and tragedies. We keep those things close to the chest. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t share the good or you need to start sharing the stormy seasons, but it is say how you shouldn’t allow a post to determine your value.

God hasn’t forgotten about you. He isn’t in the business of blessing everyone but you. He loves you and desires to answer your prayers. And I can guarantee that He is blessing you every day, you are just missing them because you are focused on the big miracle that you’ve been praying for.

You can’t allow your circumstances to keep you from receiving His best. He isn’t concerned about that, matter of fact, He has probably placed you there so that He can get the glory when He brings you out of that situation. Just because things aren’t where you want them to be, doesn’t give you an open door to devalue this season in your life. God is building character within you. He wants you to lean on Him for guidance.

God has a purpose for you that doesn’t compare to others. He is just waiting for you to tap into Him as the source. I believe, when you do, He will begin to align your desires with His purpose for you. He will show you how His plans have been greater all along.

As we go into a new week, I challenge you to celebrate those around you. Be happy for what’s going on in their lives but don’t just stop there, you should be praising Him in advance for what He is going to do in your life.