Who’s Protecting You?

There are so many dangers in this world that we have to protect ourselves from. We pay extra each month to make sure that our homes are protected with a security system complete with video surveillance, notifications sent to our phones, and the ability to contact first responders to assist us if the need arises. We arm ourselves with weapons when we go certain places because it makes a lot of us feel safe, and forces us to believe that we are more protected with our personal handguns on us than we would be without them. For those of us that are allergic to certain things, as a precautionary measure, we carry (and put a lot of faith into) an Epi-Pen that promises to open our airways immediately and provide relief long enough to last us until we get to a hospital or an urgent care for medical attention and monitoring. So the question to ponder is this; if we depend so much faith and hope in security systems, weapons, medication, and people to keep us protected, why don’t we put twice as much (if not more in my opinion) faith, hope, and belief in using what God has given us for protection? Yes. I AM SPEAKING OF PUTTING ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD. So, if you haven’t already figured out an answer to the above question, I have one for you. While the answer may be simple, I promise you’ll want to hashtag this under your “AHA moments”. Many of us think to cover our physical bodies, but fail to cover our minds and our spirits. While I’m not suggesting that the previously stated options that we have are not effective, I do believe that are all important and quite beneficial to all of us. I am, however aiming to bring awareness to the importance of covering our minds as well as our spirits on a daily basis by being intentional about using the weapons and the authority that God has given us.

The popular saying “the mind is a terrible thing to waste” holds true but how about this, “the mind is too precious of a thing not to be protected”. My fiancé and I have both been drawn to studying spiritual warfare for months now, and it more than blew our minds by how much we thought we were protected only to learn how much that we weren’t. We have been intentional about praying our armor prayer most mornings, but to compare those days and nights to the days and nights where we forgot to put on the armor for whatever reason (most likely distraction) is a huge difference. When we protect ourselves with the word of God, it lessens the chance that the enemy has to attack us, drag us down, and knock us off course for the rest of the day. If he can attack our minds (our command center), he can pull us down quickly. Remember, where the mind goes, the body will always follow.

Ephesians 6:10-17 explains putting on the armor of God and how each piece of armor protects us. It tells us to “be strong in the Lord, and in His mighty power”. And that’s just it. The armor is protection, the armor pushes us to use and speak the authority given to us by God, and it is the Dunamis (miraculous power) of God that covers and protects us from all evil things that are unseen.

Prayer

Dear God, today we put on the full armor to guard our lives against attack. We put on the belt of truth to protect against lies and deception. We put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect our hearts from the temptations we battle. We put the gospel of peace on our feet, so we’re ready to take your light wherever you send us this day. We choose to walk in the peace and freedom of your Spirit and not be overcome with fear and anxious thoughts. We take up your shield of faith that will extinguish all the darts and threats hurled our way by the enemy. We believe in your power to protect us and choose to trust in you. We put on the helmet of salvation, which covers our minds and thoughts, reminding us we are children of the day, forgiven, set free, saved by the grace of Christ Jesus. We take up the sword of the Spirit, your very Word, the one offensive weapon given to us for battle, which has the power to demolish strongholds, alive, active, and sharper than any double-edged sword. Lord, help us remember to put on your full armor daily, for you give us all that we need to stand firm in this world. Forgive us God for the times we’ve been unprepared, too busy to care, or trying to fight and wrestle in our own strength.

We thank you that we never fight alone, for you are constantly at work on our behalf, shielding, protecting, strengthening, exposing deeds of darkness, bringing to light what needs to be known, covering us from the cruel attacks we face even when we’re unaware.

In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

My hope and prayer is that we all are intentional about putting on the full armor of God on a daily basis because while there are different forms of protection, this one trumps them all.

Let’s suit up!!!

~Tricia~

Shattered Glass Release

To my readers,

I know that it’s been a long time since I’ve submitted a post, but I am pleased to announce my return as well as to share some exciting news with you! In previous posts, I’ve shared with you my love and passion for writing as well as how God has shown me the need for people to hear and see transparency when I speak of Him and the many ways that He has changed me.  Since my last post, I have so many things that I look forward to sharing with you, one of which is the main reason for this post.  Out of obedience to God, I have written and published my first book titled “Shattered Glass”.  I’ll admit that it was not easy being as raw, and honest as I was but I realize how vital it is in spreading the Gospel today, sharing my testimonies, and the naked truth of my ugly past to bring forth how God brings it all together to make it beautiful.  My hope and prayer is that Shattered Glass will reach those who may be feel broken, unloved, and unwanted to increase their faith and provide proof that nothing is impossible for God to change, heal, or restore!!

Be on the look out for more from me.  Until then, remember that God is love.

Tricia

Kaleidoscope

The first post of 2017!!  It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything. For a period of time,  I allowed myself to focus on, and magnify current situations that I was in.  During that time, I spent many nights and mornings crying out to the Lord.  Some nights, I had pity parties.  “Lord, why me”?  Some mornings, it was easier for me to lift my head up, believe God’s promises, and show gratitude for the process he was taking me through.  For some reason, I still felt as if my focus was off.  As if I was looking at my life through a kaleidoscope.  No matter which angle I used, the pieces that I saw, never seemed to make a whole picture.  I did’t see how the pieces before me would even have the ability to create something I’d enjoy looking at.   The kaleidoscope produced so many beautiful colors and images that ran into each other that somehow created a beautiful, bigger picture. No matter how you turned it, even though the colors and images changed, it created a uniquely different picture sometimes more appealing than the last. I remember having a kaleidoscope as a child.  It was the simplest of toys.  Sometimes it’s the simple things that give us the greatest satisfaction.  I’d hold it up to look through it, and when I didn’t like what I saw, all I had to do was slightly turn it until the image and/or colors turned into something that I liked.

During my prayer time, I’m led back to a  childhood memory.  As I closed my eyes, I see a younger me looking into a kaleidoscope.  I placed it down to continue riding my bike with my friends without paying any attention to where it fell.  I was disappointed when I came back to it and saw that it had been slightly ran over.   It was a new toy, but the outside of it clearly no longer looked that way. I picked it up to try to reshape it, and was surprised  when I held it up to see that I was still able to see something.  The images changed because the outside of the tube was slightly bent, but there was still satisfaction and appreciation for what I was able to see.

I understand why God led me back to this memory.  No matter how ran over I felt or how  damaged my life seemed to me, there is still beauty to be found, seen, and appreciated with each turn, or angle, that I choose to see my life in. Every angle produced a different pattern, a different reflection of myself that he wanted me to appreciate and see the beauty in.  Our lives and how we see them, are very much similar to the kaleidoscope.  A constantly changing sequence of elements that we should always attempt to find beauty in regardless of the angle we are using.  It seems easier to simply change our angle if the current image is less attractive than the last one.  But, how quickly we lose appreciation for the things that don’t at first appear pleasing to us, by trying to change it into something that does. With each turn we make, the image that is before us, is the one that we really need to see for what it is.   And so it is with each season of our lives’.  There is beauty in each one, we just have to learn to appreciate them in the angle they are presented to us before rushing off to the next.

Tricia

 

Heavenly Father,

I pray that everyone who reads this learns to appreciate the season and the process that you currently have them in.  Lord, help them to look for you in every situation.  We know that you are the creator of everything and when we earnestly seek your face, that we will find it, thus seeing the beauty of where you have us.  I pray that it is your strength that they rely on, and not their own.  Exchange their sadness, and lack of understanding for your irreplaceable joy, and Godly wisdom.  Lord, help them to grasp what it is that you want them to learn instead of looking ahead to the next season. Help them understand that where they are currently is preparing them for the next place you will take them.   Father, we know that you love us.  Things that you reveal to us may not always be pretty, and the process in which we are being pruned doesn’t feel good, but it is vital to our growth and necessary to make us more like you.   Give them a willing heart to continue to chase after you.  Through it all, I pray that their eyes remain on you.  In the mighty name of Jesus,

Amen

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People vs. God: No Comparison

Hello!!!  It’s been so long since I’ve taken time to post anything for you all. I’ve been diligently working on another project that I’m honored, and excited to soon share with you!!   I always talk about my passion for writing, whether poetry, love letters to God, inspirational quotes, or the like.  I want to share with you what God has given me, what was confirmed so many times before now, and why I just now came around to believing it.   Growing up, you do things, some you love, others, not so much.  As children, we find out what we love, and we continue doing it because it makes us feel good and WE HAVE DISCOVERED THAT WE ARE GREAT AT IT!!  The thing that others may struggle with, you did it with ease.  Maybe, you were like me and never really thought nothing of it.  Maybe you were like me, and didn’t believe how great you were, even when people told you.   I have been told that it isn’t up to others to help us realize our greatness or to even define it.  We must realize the greatness within us, no matter what those around us may say.   I have always been an open book, trusting too easily, getting hurt, and learning along the way that not everyone will see or even appreciate your greatness.  In fact, some will see your greatness, but because they don’t want you to realize it, they offer up negativity, doubt, and fear,  instead of positivity, support, and motivation to help you along the way.  They are intimidated by what God has placed in you that allows you to stand out.  They end up being so focused on your greatness, and the light that shines within you, they don’t realize that they too, have something that God has placed inside of them as well.  We all do.  Whether we ever tap into it or not, is a different post.

 Years ago, I remember being in prayer, and the Lord told me that I would write a book.  So, of course, I took that excitement and shared the news with a few people.  I never stopped to ask God if he wanted me to release what he had given me.  Looking back, and being further along in my relationship with him now, I see that sometimes the Lord gives us things that are just meant for us at that moment.  He will gives us more as we continue to follow him.  So, here is where I messed up.  I told people what he’d given me.  Shortly after, I grew impatient, took matters into my own hands, attempted to write the book myself, AND I stopped following him as closely as I had been.  WHAT A DISASTER THAT WAS!!  No wonder, things didn’t work out!  He gave me the vision, but I totally hijacked it for reasons that would not bring glory to his name.  Wrong, I know.  But, I’m being totally honest because I don’t want you to make the same mistake that I did.  I’m always willing to share my mistakes, and share with you the result of me making the mistake in the hope that you won’t do the same.  

Flashback:  I remember having lunch with a friend and since it had been a while, we were just sharing what was new in our lives.  During this conversation, I shared with her God’s plan for me.  She wasn’t negative, but she didn’t seem excited or even like she half way believed what I told her.  When she asked me what the book would be about, I told her.   The look on her face, her response, and body language were all indicators that she was not going to be a supporter.  At the moment, doubt and fear came upon me.  I thought to myself, “she didn’t SAY that I couldn’t do this, she didn’t SAY that she wouldn’t support me, so WHY am I all of a sudden questioning what GOD TOLD ME”?   Body language, and facial expressions are indeed forms of communication too!  So, because I prematurely shared something that God had given me, I opened the door for someone to come in and speak against it.  As a result, my writing slowed down, my faith in God and his promises faded quickly, and I no longer believed in the vision God gave me, or myself for that matter.  I truly want to encourage you when I say that whatever God has given you, ALWAYS BELIEVE IN IT, no matter what others say.  It may not happen today, next week, or next month, but when God has given you something, have a heart of gratitude, have patience, and seek him continuously on it.

This past weekend, I had the most amazing time at a Writer’s Retreat, which is actually the inspiration for this post today.   I was so blessed by what I saw, heard, and learned.  The testimonies, the healed hurt’s from the past of other’s and how God showed his grace and mercy to them just like he showed me.  So many beautiful people, all willing to be transparent enough with delicate and intimate details of their lives to bring glory to the only one who could ever get them to where they are today.  None other than our Heavenly Father.  We all had a lot in common.  Listening to the testimonies, I was reminded and felt led to share this:

When we put our trust in others before we learn to fully and solely trust God, we may have to take a detour ultimately  changing our ETA to the destination that he is calling us to.  He knows better than anyone else, what plans he has for us, and those things cant be taken away by anyone.   So, I encourage you, even if no one else believes in you, continue to believe in yourself, and more importantly, continue to believe in and trust God.  Stay focused and stay on the path that he has set out for you.  If you allow him to lead you, you’ll end up exactly where he needs you to be.

God is Love,

Tricia

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Declaration and Thanks to the Lord

 

Heavenly Father,

I thank you for this new day, the fresh anointing and the fresh wind.  I thank you for the corrected vision you have given  me.  Lord, I thank you for the people you have removed from my life that were a hindrance to the fulfillment of my purpose in your Kingdom.  I thank you for replacing people and things that aren’t like you with people that share the same love, Kingdom vision and the same desire that I have for your people God.  Thank you for the fire and the process of purity.  Thank you for the pain of the process, the strength to endure, and the wisdom and knowledge that you have given me.

I declare and decree that every door you have shut, will remain shut.  My focus is on you and what you want me to do.  Satan and his minions will come, this I know.  But the power of the blood, and the mention of your name keeps me safe.  I will not be afraid of the terrors at night or the arrows that fly in the day.  I will not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, or the disaster that strikes at midday.  Though a thousand fall at my side, and ten thousand die around me, evil will not touch me. (Psalm 91:5-6)  I entrust myself to your protection Lord.  Every wall, obstacle, and hurdle that has been placed to prevent me from carrying out my assignment, I cancel it and tear it down right now in Jesus name, and I shall go forth.  I will not be distracted and I will stand firm on you Lord, MY ROCK, MY REFUGE, MY HEALER, MY PROTECTOR, MY PROVIDER, MY REDEEMER.

Father, you hear and see my heart because I have surrendered it to you.  You have removed the poison injected into my heart by myself and the world I was once a part of  and saturated it with your love and your peace.  I thank you for the things that  I see falling off.  No guilt, No shame, no condemnation.  Thank you for my freedom Lord.   I’m ready Lord.  Your purpose for my life.  Your will be done.

I say yes.

 

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Attacks Will Come

Before I knew the authority God has given me to speak against the things the enemy used to distract me from carrying what God has called me to do, it never dawned on me that each time I sat down to read my bible, each time I was getting ready for church, each time I prepared myself to share a testimony, that something would happen that prevented me from doing so.  Whether it was the kids suddenly at each other’s throats, or a sudden voice bringing doubt or fear, or me feeling sleepy the moment I sat down to clear my mind to be able to hear my Father’s voice. IT WAS ALWAYS SOMETHING. The thing is, back then, I had no clue what was going on. I didn’t recognize the spiritual attacks, and because of that, the enemy won.  EACH…AND…EVERY…TIME.

Presently, I’m beyond grateful that I’m  able to say the total opposite.

So, my message to you today is this:

You better believe that anytime you have a message for God’s people that the enemy will try to stop you and distract you using any and everything that he can. You also better believe that the God that has called you to do his work has equipped you to do so, meaning that any trial, any test, and any weakness that the devil may come at you with, you are fully able to overcome it and continue to do the work that God has called you to do. Push through. Remember that you have a purpose. Things that you have gone through and overcome, the pain and tears, and triumphs.  There’s a reason the enemy wants to stop you. He knows you’re greatness, but he also knows that when he reminds you of your weaknesses and your past,  that it does something to you. Remember where your strength comes from.  Draw from that and move forward. Don’t focus on the pain or pressure, but focus on the promise and the purpose. Don’t focus on the lies of the enemy that produce doubt and fear. Focus on the lives that your testimony will set free.  What you went through wasn’t just for you. God used you, gave you his strength and courage to endure because even when you didn’t trust yourself, he trusted you to be bold and use your story for his glory. He picked you up, washed you off, healed and delivered you and replaced the love you had for yourself with a burning love and desire for him. Be encouraged.  It was, and always will be bigger than you. KEEP GOING. NOW is not the time to stop. NOW is the time to MOVE. SO MOVE.

God is love,

Tricia


Restoration

 

There are many times when I have moments to myself and my mind drifts back to situations that I thought I would never live through.  I thought for sure, “this is it”.  There were even times that the pain, hatred, (self hatred included),  that I had was unbearable and I wasn’t completely sure that even if by some miracle, I was to make it through, that I wanted to live to see how life would be without the pain.  I conditioned myself to live with it and hide it behind a forced smile.  Meanwhile, behind the smile, email and text responses, and even Facebook posts, I was hurting.  I’m not talking about a paper cut hurt or even a scrape on the knee hurt.  I’m talking about an overwhelming, heart wrenching, mental, physical, and spiritual grief and suffering hurt.  I truly thought that there was no other way to live.  This is the life that I was use to.  This was my norm.  Living life without living at all.

 As I listen to the lyrics sung by Elevation Worship, my heart becomes so full, the meaning penetrates my spirit and God’s presence falls upon me so heavily.  

“A miracle can happen now
For the spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the spirit of the Lord is here”

 As my mind travels back to the present, it’s so sweet to recall each and every victory and testimony.  Victories and triumph’s that prove that it was NOBODY BUT GOD WHO BROUGHT ME THROUGH.  The miracle that I mentioned above was and still is God.  The evidence, is the breath that I breathe daily.  It’s the love and forgiveness that I have for those who sought out to purposely harm me.  It’s the compassion of Christ that I’m able to show, that others see in me and question how I’m able to give it.  It’s so sweet to remember the refreshing and the renewing that I felt as I allowed God to take over.

 I know many can relate to times when God says “Go left”  and without even considering following his direction,  we’ve already calculated the distance from where we stand to where we want to be. What just happened is all of a sudden, our faith in ourselves weighs more than our trust in God, and our response to him is “Hmm, this way is shorter.   I’m going to take a right”.  When we don’t follow God’s direction, we end up in situations that could’ve been avoided.  Even though the calculation in distance looks shorter and makes sense to you, there is something along the path that you have chosen that God already knows about, but you are unable to see.  The direction he gave you may be longer, BUT the path that has been laid out for you is one that is imperative for you to travel.  This path is where your healing, deliverance, faith, love, and purpose will unfold.  We tend to think that we know better than God at times and we stray.  Even if and when this happens, when we turn to God, his arms are open wide, ready to receive us giving us his love, grace, and mercy.  Isn’t his love, grace, and mercy the reason why we are still here?? It’s all a process.  The path, your path, my path, is a process.  No two path’s will be the same.  But the God leading us and covering us on the path is.

In order for restoration to take place, we have to go through a process.  I have had to allow myself to be stripped of everything that I was holding onto.  In this process, I have learned to depend on God because everything else failed me.  In this process, I’ve learned that we can’t place God like expectations on man with limited capabilities.  I and many of you have experienced and may still be experiencing devastating levels of unhappiness that results in debilitating pain.  My heart goes out to you yes, but my prayer is that you allow God to restore you.  Stop looking to people to fix what only God can.  Our Creator knows us inside and out and knows exactly how to fix and reprogram us back to our original state.  Before we allowed people and situations to change us, and before we held onto the hurt and other things that we’ve felt and tried to let go of on our own.  I’m here to tell you that the process is not easy.  And the series of events that has taken place isn’t to cause you pain, but to push you to depend on God to bring you through.  Yes, there will be times that you will not want to feel or think about any of it.   But, I can testify that in the process, there is growth, a new found faith, trust, the true meaning and understanding of love, and the makings of a clean and pure heart.  

Restoration is a process.  Don’t turn your back on yours.

 

God is love,

Tricia 

 

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Stunted Growth-A Spiritual Pandemic

I am becoming more and more aware that a lot of God’s people are completely unaware of what they are capable of. (Myself included.) They are unaware of how much power and authority they have.  Now, as people, it’s true, we don’t have much power at all.  But the God in us does and many of us have just barely tapped into our inner Christ like selves, and many of us have not tapped into it at all.  It surprised me to hear that more than half of the people I’ve talked to, feel the same way.   Many are aware of how unaware they are of their God given capabilities or gifts. I can truly relate.  There is a burning desire to do more.  Not for yourself, but for God’s glory.  You know deep down that where you are right now in life is not your final destination.  But,  you’re frozen…with fear…and doubt.  The thought of you exercising the level of faith you believed you had means that you have to trust God even though you have no idea what he is doing or where he is taking you. You dream about it. Your ideas are jotted down, whether its on post it notes, a notebook, or on the back of an old receipt (yes, that is me.  Whatever works right? lol). More doubt and fear creep in and the enemy reminds delights in reminding you of all the reasons why you wont be successful.  And just like that, the thing that God has place inside of you to release, becomes smaller and more of a blur as you head in the opposite direction while looking in the rear view mirror.  Why is it easier for us to encourage others and to remind them of God’s promises, but in the same breath, we exclude ourselves?   Could it be that our faith and trust in God, isn’t what we thought it was?  Or maybe we are so comfortable with “getting by” in life with just enough that the thought of being successful scares us, so we do nothing.  We sit on what God has given us.  We understand that we can only get so far by ourselves, but when God is involved, we know that he will take us higher and deeper than ever before.  We understand that we have to agree to his will being done and it very well may not be what we wanted for our lives, so, we  stay exactly where we are, not because  deep down we want to, but because it’s familiar.  And familiar feels good.  It doesn’t require us to grow much and it’s more predictable than being blindfolded and being led down a road we have never traveled.

When God gave me the title for this post, even though I knew what stunted growth meant, I still chose to look it up.  Stunted growth is a reduced growth rate in human development.  I took a closer look at how children who are malnourished were affected and found that they lack vital nutrients when they are not fed appropriately.  In order to prevent this from happening, children should be fed frequently.  Children who are  malnourished, not only are stunted physically but have both brain and organ developmental delay.  Easily, the two meanings can be connected for the natural and the spiritual.  We are only able to tap into what God has for us when we spend time and become more intimate with him.  This is done by feeding on his word. The more we feed and digest the word of God, the less chance we have to risk suffering from being malnourished which is the same as not walking in the fullness of God.  When we are being fed frequently, not only does it ensure that we are getting the vital nutrients that we need to grow and to be spiritually healthy, but we learn to see ourselves just as our Creator sees us.  We build up strength to carry out the assignments that he has entrusted to us, which enables us to encourage others to fight against the enemy’s attack of the Stunted Growth Pandemic.  

One day after praying to God for guidance, direction, and wisdom,  I felt lost because I couldn’t decide if what I was about to do was me or if it was God.  I was discouraged because I demanded an answer from God and he said nothing.  Sitting in silence, God spoke.  “I have given you everything that you need, but since you choose not to believe, you stunt your own growth”  

***Deafening Silence***

 He asked me “how can you expect me to use you, if you don’t even believe that you more precious than rubies?  If you don’t believe that you were worth saving, how can you expect those around you to believe that I can, will, and desire to do the same for them? God is completely capable of doing any and everything, but we can’t sit around and wait for him to do it all.  We have an important part to play that involves more than just waiting on God to move.  While he is moving behind the scenes, it is our job to prepare ourselves for the work that he is calling us to do.  He is waiting on us to totally rely on him to take us where he needs us to be.  He is waiting on us to realize that even though where he is taking us, is unfamiliar territory, and you can’t understand how you, the one without the degree, or with a ton of debt, or with whatever you think is big enough to keep you from moving forward, he is waiting on you to realize that when he is involved, that you don’t need what the world says is a requirement to move ahead.  You simply need to get out of your own way, speak life into your situation, and start exercising control over your thoughts (yes, take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ!).  Let God use you how he wants to use you and understand that he has equipped you for your purpose!! 

We are destined for GREATNESS!!  TAP INTO IT & Let’s continue to encourage one another!!

God is love,

Tricia

(This one is for you Shawnta’ Brown 😘🙏🏽)

It’s not about the person, but the PURPOSE

Sometimes we don’t believe in ourselves as much as God does.  We become discouraged when the actions of others don’t measure up to how we feel about our accomplishments or progress that we’ve made.  When we aren’t recognized in the manner we think that we deserve, in the manner that we would recognize others or when we aren’t recognized at all, we start to question ourselves and our abilities to continue on the path that we are on. Whether this is a path that we, ourselves have started on, or a path that God has created for us, a path is still a path.  The difference?  The path that God has created for us, is where he wants us to be.  He has created that path with us in mind.  Because this is true, whether we believe that we have what it takes to walk this path, and to endure all the obstacles that we could possibly face, or not, God has already gone before us and cleared the way.  All, we have to do is agree with him, and start walking. 

I don’t doubt for a second that writing is what God has led me to do.  Did I love writing before I knew that God would use me?  ABSOLUTELY!  This blog was physically created by me, but the content of it is all God.  Earlier, I was having a conversation via text with my niece regarding how I felt about people’s reactions to my blog posts.  Pause. Did anything from my previous statement stand out to you?  “I felt”.  I was in my feelings about how people chose to respond and/or if they chose to respond at all.  I truly had to stop myself and ask for forgiveness when God said “Why are you in your feelings about anything?  I’m using you, but it’s not about you.  It’s about me.”  

Let me go back a little to make sure that you get the full understanding of what I’m saying here.  In the past, I’ve felt (there it is again, my feelings.  They really do get you in trouble sometimes) as if I had gone unseen, unheard unappreciated, and looked over.  Because of this,  I questioned if I was good enough and even if what I did was good enough. I delayed creating this blog (delayed obedience…that’ll be in another post) because of my feelings.  I found myself questioning my abilities, and knowledge.  And all the reasons why I shouldn’t keep going came to mind.  What experience, or education do I have to do this?  And just like that, I talked myself out of doing something that I was called to do.  

 Getting back to the conversation that I had earlier, God totally stepped in and put me in check,  “Don’t you dare believe the lies of the enemy!!  He wants you to feel like you have nothing to say.  BUT YOU DO!  I HAVE GIVEN YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED!!  He wants you to think you don’t have a voice so you will keep quiet. SPEAK!! FOR YOU HAVE BEEN QUIET TOO LONG!!  He wants you to stop doing my work because he knows that it is to glorify me.  SPEAK!!  YOU HAVE PURPOSE!! Even when you think you have nothing to say, open your mouth and my words will come out.  I preserved your life, so that I can use you to help save the lives of others.  DO NOT FEAR, I AM WITH YOU”.  

He took me to Jeremiah 1:4-10  Jeremiah was appointed by God as his prophet to the nations.  Even though he was appointed by God, he still doubted his ability to carry out the job he was given.  Because of his age, he thought nobody would listen.  Are you doubting your ability to carry out a job God has given you? Are you delaying your obedience out of fear and lack of faith? So many of us feel inadequate and struggle with what God calls us to do because our feelings get in the way, the enemy uses our weaknesses in a attempt to keep us quiet and to keep us from moving forward.  I want you to know that you aren’t alone.   My hope and prayer is that this reaches those who need to be reminded and encouraged to accept what God has given you and trust that whatever he has called you to do, not only will he equip you for it, but he will be with you every step of the way as well!!  Remember, it’s not about the person, it’s about the purpose!!  🙂

God is love,

Tricia 

*** A special thank you to my beautiful niece who not only reminded and encouraged me, but gave me the title for this post by doing so.  I love you.

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Embracing The Single Season

 

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how much I’ve matured, and I have to admit that I have a new found love for the woman that I am today.  Looking back, I used to think that there were so many things that I would change about my past.  Not having my father in my life and never really getting to know him that way that I deserved to, losing my virginity at a young age,  getting married out of fear instead of being in love…the list goes on.  Now, I’m not so sure that I would change anything.  Things happen for different reasons, and over the years, I’ve learned a lot about myself.  I’ve learned even more about God.

One of the things I have a hard time with is being a single parent.  It’s not something that I signed up for, but it’s definitely a card that I was dealt.  I’ve always tried to take things in stride, so as to not let it bother me in a way that affected my children.  Parenting is both demanding and challenging whether there are two parents in the home or one.    There are times when my expectations of myself are unreal, and I fall short.  Because my limited human capabilities never live up to the image, strength, and stamina of the super woman version of myself that I think I should be, I disappoint myself every time.  I found myself putting in overtime as a parent trying to make sure that everything was taken care of.  I kept going and going, until I was on E.  A while ago, if you asked me, I would’ve said that I was running so hard for the kids.  The lie detector test determined that was a lie.   I convinced myself that all the hard work I was doing, was for my kids when in reality, it was for me.  I thought I was doing it to prove to my kids that not having a father around didn’t mean they had to suffer and go without.  WRONG.  I was pushing harder to prove something to myself.  I made up and believed this lie that if I worked hard enough to give them everything they wanted, and needed that the void and pain that they felt would go away.  My plan was to keep busy because when I kept still, the silence was more like an alarm reminding me of their pain, which was also mine.  As much as I want to forget, I’m reminded that I don’t have anyone to share certain things with.  Their accomplishments in school, their personal victories, school dances, report cards, parent-teacher conferences, giving them advice on how to deal with peer pressure, arguments with their friends, and helping them make decisions that will effect them for years to come.  

After the lights are out and the house is quiet, as I finally get the chance to wind down, I’m reminded in that moment that I’m single.  No, you never really forget your relationship status, but when you’re single, some moments magnify your singleness more than others.  I had a strong desire to love and to be loved.  Memories.  Some blurred and others so vivid, that I could step right into them. During a time when I thought that I knew what love was, everything was wrong.  Not just the timing, but the person I was, the person “he” was, and the lack of knowledge that we had for exactly who God was and his very clear commandments for how we are to treat and love others.   I walked away from that relationship being more confused, hurt, and angry than I was before I walked into it.  After giving my heart to God,  I look forward to being finally being able to love and receive love again.  The same way that God loves us.  

I remember my first encounter with God.  It was such a beautiful moment he and I had.  Little did I know, it was the first of many.  That was the first time that I experienced his presence, peace, and love.  Truly Indescribable.  The more time I spent with him, the clearer my understanding of TRUE LOVE became.  He made it so clear that even though I wanted certain people in our lives, my true fulfillment comes from him alone and not man.  So many people say that God’s love is unchanging, and that he is faithful.  I’m grateful to say that I’m experiencing it.  I’m learning to trust in God, and I thank him for this season and my awareness of his presence as well.  I’m not 100% sure that if things were different, if I was married, or if my children had active natural father’s in their lives, that we would know God and his love for us the way that we do. Intimately.  I had to experience some things and lose some things and people along the way. 

Funny, I never thought that I’d say this, but I truly am enjoying this single season.  Instead of putting my trust, hope, and faith in a man or relationship, I look to God and I give him all my fears and concerns.  I run to him.  I’m teaching my children to do the same.  Even though the heartache of a missing parent is still there, and at times me being only one person may seem like it’s not enough, they know that their Heavenly Father will provide their EVERY NEED.  Teaching them to rely on him in every situation that they face along with continuously lifting them up to God is the best thing that I can ever do for them.  It’s something that they’ll have and know long after I’m gone.  I wont always be here with them, but God will.  I thank God for all that he’s done and all that I know he will do.  To others, it may appear that I have a family of 3.  It is without a doubt, a family of 4.  Me, Makaela, Ja’Corey, and God as the head.  I’m grateful that I’m not raising them alone.  It’s me and God, one day at at a time.

God is Love, 

Tricia