Daily Devotional: Walk by Faith

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.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV

Daily Devotion: Shake it Off/Influence

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm

Proverbs 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.


relinquish

love them, don’t enable
that’s more helpful

say less, be unavailable,
pray for them

let Him intervene

Daily Devotion: Shake it Off/Pruning

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!


when God
is ready to prune you
there’s no stopping it

you gotta hand Him those clippings
don’t hold on

that someone or something
will rot

no matter what you do