I’ve finally published my poetry e-book, genesis, in paperback format and I’m super excited about it!
Check it out here!
I’ve finally published my poetry e-book, genesis, in paperback format and I’m super excited about it!
Check it out here!
For we live by faith, not by sight.2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV
I know it’s been a while since my last devotional, but it’s been a rough time lately, y’all!
Yesterday was my late mother’s birthday, which usually unearths a very emotional, introspective mood, but this one was particularly difficult. I’m at a crossroads between staying where I am, or walking with God through the fire to who He’s called me to be. I feel trapped. I feel like a failure. In my mind, it’s I answered His call, but now I’m not good enough. Or, He showed me where to go before, and now it’s radio silent and dark, so now what? I’d heard it would get hard in various sermons all year, and thought nah, I’m good! My leap of faith was hard, but a breeze! I realize now, that was just God throwing me a baby leap. He’d already showed me where to jump, when to jump, and how to jump. This right here? I don’t have a blueprint. I’m fumbling blindly through the dark, waiting for Him to turn the light on. For a second, I was feeling deserted. I felt tricked by God, or maybe that I’d only made up every revelation I’d received, and that my big leap was just a mistake. But it’s not that way at all. There has been too much confirmation and blessings where I am for me to ever think this wasn’t the right move.
The real truth is, there comes a time in your spiritual journey that the Lord isn’t going to hold your hand for every leap. I know now that I really have to develop an unshakeable faith, let go of my selfish ambition, and truly sit still and continue working/living where God has called me so that His will can be done in my life. It’s not easy. It’s uncomfortable. I feel depressed. I’ve been moodier than I’ve ever felt in my life. My prayers now are just begging for Him to show me what I need to do next so I get some relief.
But the message I receive every time, and that I want to share with you, is to have faith and stay present. Every time I cry to Him, the Lord just keeps telling me not to worry about money, about my next job, my next achievement in writing, where my relationship is going, where I’ll live next, who I’ll become. It’s all in His hands, and I have to believe that without a doubt. I know It would be a fatal error if I pushed my will right now, because everything that I want pales in comparison to what He has waiting for me.
I know this is a more self-centered, and maybe not the most sunny devotional but I just want to keep it real with all of you. The road that we embark on once we answer the Lord’s call is not sunshine and daisies all the time. Of course, there are small victories along the way that remind you of the true glory of God and the fact that you are an incredible gift to the world, but I see now that some of this walk is done in the dark. I completely underestimated it. I can’t even say this is an attack from the enemy to knock me off course–this is truly my own insecurities, uncertainties and weak faith bubbling up to the surface to finally be destroyed.
Today, if you’ve been feeling stuck between a rock and a hard place, I just want to remind you that we must walk by faith. When it comes to God’s promises, we have to focus on what we hear from Him, and positively reaffirming our strengths, His unfaltering love, and our worth to ourselves. If I focused only on what I can see, I would never be able to follow Him completely. I’m up to my ears in student loans, I make only about a third of what I owe a year, I want to quit my job and be a full-time writer and I’m nowhere near that level of security, I have no family, I don’t want to live in St. Louis, I have no savings, etc, etc. If I only focus on what I can see, which is the glass ceiling between just getting by and true wealth and happiness, I lose hope. If I keep my focus on the amazing marriage, stability, wealth and legacy that God has promised me, I can keep going.
Please keep going. Where you are right now is not the best God has for you, even if it feels that it’s all you’ll ever have. You have to destroy the flesh even further; break the habit of trying to do things in your own strength. You have to truly submit to His will so that you can succeed and give Him the Glory. I promise you He will carry you out of the darkness, no matter what your plight is, what mistakes you’ve made in the past, how scared you are or how depressed you feel. His will, will be done as long as you keep going. Just keep going. I know you can do it.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.1 Corinthians 9:24
Think of the people in your life. Are there people who you consistently work hard to help, teach, heal, console, etc.? Now imagine that you’re running a race with all of them on your back. That would make it impossible to win, right?
The race is your journey to success and self-actualization. Do not let anyone slow you down or replace you at the finish line. Do not try to drag them behind you or carry them across the line–even if you finish, you’ll suffer too many injuries and be too exhausted to even enjoy that you finished the race, let alone the disappointment of running so hard to end up not winning.
Take off your weights! Run the race! The most valuable people in your life or who you haven’t met yet, will be ready to run alongside you on their own two legs, or to sit in the bleachers cheering you on relentlessly.
just take space
they will find other sources, hopefully
stay away from those that need you
to fill a void or
validate or facilitate
things that they should be able
to do themselves
love them anyway
though they keep distorting you
into that old role
they don’t mean to
stop allowing it
you have too much to lose
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control2 Timothy 1:7
Today’s devotion is a short one; I just want to remind you that fear, doubt, insecurity and weakness are not real. You are a work in progress! Remember the innate fearlessness and faith of a child! Know that just by following your intuition and going hard for the things you want in life no matter what, you’ll always be good.
your season of abundance
is right in front of you
your body cannot go
anywhere your mind has not gone
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harmProverbs 13:20
What is a fool? We all make silly mistakes, but a fool is one who is unchanging, a person who does not learn from their mistakes. It’s important to identify foolishness in others, and stay away from them, as their mistakes or consistent thoughtless actions will eventually burden your life or distract you as well.
I didn’t always think that way, I’m sure many of us always strive to pull up our friends and family members and impart wisdom on them as we learn it. In college, I had a roommate who was truly foolish. I denied it, and worked hard to help her through her self-imposed struggles, especially since we were just in our early twenties. After 5 years or so, I was growing tired of this dynamic, but she moved away so I figured I was finally off the hook. In all honesty, I was struggling to pay my student loans at the time and resorted to dodging the constant bill collector calls I had started receiving. Finally, after months of being harassed by these calls, panic attacks about my finances, and feeling like I would never be able to resolve my outstanding loans, I decided to answer one of the calls. Low and behold, the bill collector asked for my roommate, by her full name. It dawned on me that all of my woes of the last few months (some self-imposed by my own anxiety) was all a result of the irresponsible nature of my ex-roommate, and her sharing my personal information with lenders.
Luckily, the calls stopped after I set things straight with the company, but it showed me that I needed to back away from her. When I confronted her about it, she made excuses and played the victim instead of apologizing for involving me in her financial troubles. I thought to myself, “sure, it was just a phone call every day for three months, but if I’m being chased by her bill collectors, what else may happen if I stay around?”
Take a serious look at the people around you. Their issues and demons will jump off onto you the longer you stick around them. It’s okay to back away for your peace of mind.
love them, don’t enable
that’s more helpful
say less, be unavailable,
pray for them
let Him intervene
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.John 15:2 NIV
What is pruning? The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that pruning means cutting off or cutting back parts of a plant for better shape or more fruitful growth. We are all God’s creation, and He tends to us with the same meticulous care of a passionate gardener. By snipping away the dead pieces in our lives and our worst habits, He shows us how to grow into the shape that He originally formed us in.
Think of it this way; a tree that is still sharing its nutrients and resources with its dead branches cannot grow to its greatest height or health since the growth has to be parsed into parts of itself that cannot even grow. The same goes for us, if we spend all of our time pouring into our dead branches (toxic relationships, the wrong career, self-sabotaging habits, etc.) we starve the healthy limbs, eventually becoming completely barren. It hurts to be pruned–to have parts of yourself and your world cutaway, but rejoice in knowing that this moment of pain only makes way for new healthy, fruit-bearing branches.
For this week’s meditations, I’ll be featuring poems from my ebook, genesis!
is ready to prune you
there’s no stopping it
you gotta hand Him those clippings
don’t hold on
that someone or something
no matter what you do
“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and the gospel will save it.”Mark 8:34-35
We have to be cutthroat about achieving the calling on our lives. Jesus expects real discipleship, in the trenches, striving for it. A disciple is a student, and the Gospel is a textbook for how to live a meaningful life that blesses generations to come, as Jesus did. By going hard for Him, we go hard for ourselves and for the world. What are you doing to make his sacrifice worth it? Are you still making excuses? Holding onto those relationships and jobs that don’t serve you? Sure, it sucks to cut off that person who’s holding you back or to leave a job and the familiar, but as soon as you finally let go, He’s going to replace them with exactly the person, network or position you need to grow exponentially. Get out of your own way!
To reach your highest potential for the Kingdom then you can’t keep allowing things to hold you back or keep looking back on your life before you knew your purpose. Stop going back and forth between your past life and the future the Holy Spirit has already revealed to you.
Declare today that this is the last time you look back, second guess or tolerate distractions in your life. Today is the day you look toward the future while working in the present. Today is the day you leap on faith, knowing and accepting and even excitedly anticipating the painful crucifixion of your old self that must occur. Get excited about the death of your old self. Your resurrection in power, a conqueror of all things through Christ that strengthens you is an outcome worthy of even the most extreme, violent, and tumultuous of ego-deaths.
kill fear. kill doubt. kill procrastination. kill distractions. burn it all down even if it means yourself too, then rise from the ashes.
Meditation: Consider the things in your life that are getting in the way of your calling. Is it a job that you dread? A toxic relationship? Maybe a friend that doesn’t share the same ambition? Decide on ways that you can reduce these negative influences in your life, and commit to removing at least one this week.