Dealing with Disappointments

Dealing with disappointments:
            No matter what stage of life we are in, we all deal with disappointments at one point or another. Whenever I’m going through a hard moment, my natural reaction is to shut down, and I allow that unfulfilled expectation to consume my thoughts and emotions. For a long time I didn’t realize this was the way I dealt with problems, and as a result, I would not be able to move on from them. As I have gotten older, I learned that it’s important to study myself and understand how I react to different situations, and I had to change the way I handled them. One day I was crying on my drive home from work, and I had been crying every day on my drive home that week, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I knew that I needed the Holy Spirit to guide me. I was so overwhelmed by my emotions that all I could say was “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2Corinthians 12:9). I started to catch myself going down this spiral, and I stopped and asked, God what do you have to say about my situation?
            I so desperately needed an answer and I realized that I was mourning and expectation. I had set this expectation, and it didn’t happen the way I thought it would. It actually was the complete opposite, and I needed to let that expectation die. Many times we live disappointed because we can’t let go of a certain expectation. God is not always going to give us what we want, and we have to discipline ourselves to realize that. Whenever I don’t understand a situation I’m facing, many times the Holy Spirit leads me to this scripture.
       “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬.
         The Scriptures are telling me that my thoughts don’t compare to His thoughts, and if he didn’t give me what I wanted, He has something better than anything I can imagine. The enemy wants us to be so concerned with what “didn’t happen” that we can’t concentrate on what God wants to do in us, through us, and for us.
        Whenever you are living through a disappointment take a moment to look at the bigger picture and remind yourself of all the beautiful promises that God has for your life. If one door didn’t open, there’s a bigger door some steps ahead. If you keep trying to push that other door open, you’ll delay or never arrive at the door that God wanted to open for you all along.

Prayers of a single girl

Prayers of a single girl

Kneeling down, father I pray, don’t let my heart be deceived by what my eyes see, or what my ears hear. Teach me how to guard my heart, give me the wisdom that I need.

Father, don’t let me be like the women of the world but make me a woman after your heart. Make me the virtuous woman that you designed me to be, mold me into that ideal helper for the man that one day will become my husband. Give me the wisdom that I need to guard my testimony so that I don’t fall into temptations. Show me the things that I need to change in myself, I am like clay, and you are my potter, mold me.

Father, don’t let me be the girl that plays with someone else’s heart and don’t allow someone to play with my heart. Hide me from the wrong friends, hide me from the wrong influences, hide me from the wrong men.

Lead me in the direction of my purpose because it’s on that road that I will encounter the partner that my heart has been longing for. You are the greatest matchmaker, and I have set my hope in you.

Holy Spirit I need you to guide my decisions, bring light into all my darkness, and order into all my confusions. I want to do your will.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. -Proverbs 4:23

When Anxiety Attacks… Sermon Notes

When anxiety attacks 

By Pastor Steven Furtick
There are seasons in our lives when we feel like we are under attack. Sometimes we are under attack with words of worthlessness and feelings of anxiety.
The attack of the enemy often manifests itself in an overwhelming sense of anxiety.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
The devil is after you, he is waiting to kill, divide, destroy, and he is busy and active. The devil is like a roaring lion, meaning he gives you a warning before the attacks. Sometimes we act surprised at a situation almost like we were not warned, but the devil roars LOUDLY and lets you know he’s coming.

Then, you find yourself in a season of attack from a roaring lion, and Peter says RESIST HIM (1 Peter 5:9) the hand of God reigns over our lives. We can’t see Gods hand, but we can feel the effects of it. The believer has the upper hand because the hand of God is over us!

  • The plans of God will prosper;
  • The hand of God will bring water out of a rock;
  • Anything you put in the hand of God will multiply!
  • The hand of God is a hand of provision and protection.

Sometimes it is right when you’re on the verge of a breakthrough that you start to sink. In Matthew 14:25-32 (Jesus walks on water) Peter cries out to Jesus before He sinks fully, immediately Jesus reached out his hand and grabs him. The problem with someone who feels like they are sinking, is not that they are sinking, is that they don’t stay close enough for God to grab them. Although Peter was sinking, he was close enough for Jesus to grab him.

At times He will let you go down low enough to show you that you need him, and then pull you high to show the world He’s with you. Sometimes the only way for you to find your foundation is to hit rock bottom. Sometimes that’s the best place to build from, to lead from, and to become a better person. Cry out, Lord save me! And his hand can come and save you.

Once you have gone very high, as a leader, or at your job, or with your family, you feel a pressure to go higher, and then YOU feel YOU have gone as high as YOU can go. The thoughts and feelings of “I don’t have what it takes” can overwhelm you.

When anxiety attacks, it will drive you to seek God, to seek his hand.
Sometimes anxiety in our lives is a result of our unwillingness to be obedient when we try to do things in our own strength.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:6-7
To understand the essence of this bible verse and the profundity of the connection you need to see a literal translation. Humble yourself FIRST, and THEN you can cast your fears aside, you CAN’T cast your anxiety AND keep your pride. Pride and anxiety are connected, when you try to do things your way, you will feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders because it is.

At the center of your anxiety, if you really trace it, spiritually speaking is your PRIDE, you have yourself at the center. You are taking on the weight you were never supposed to carry.

The anxiety is the fruit, and the pride is the root. If you pluck the root it can’t bear fruit, take yourself off the center. This is a time for resistance, and although the lion might be roaring, after you have suffered a little while, God will reach down! The devil can’t keep you down forever!

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 5:10-11

Waiting on the LORD… let’s talk about it.

Let’s do it.

In the microwave culture that we live in, the thought of waiting for anything seems almost impossible. We want everything right now. We want the instant gratification. Time is passing, technology is progressing, everything is faster, and it feels like everything is accelerating. The interesting part is that it doesn’t work that way with God, there are no shortcuts, no instant gratification with Him. Everything else requires a process, a time of waiting on the Lord.

The times we are living in are getting harder, and the world is getting darker. We are bombarded every day on social media with images of people who seem to have everything we wish we had. When we see these images, it is easy to question God and say ”when is it going to be my turn.” There are days when I feel like my hopes and dreams are never going to become a reality. To put it plainly, waiting sucks. I never hear people say “I love this wait” on the contrary they say “I can’t wait for [fill in the blank]” Whenever you are waiting for whatever it is, the process is never easy, especially when you know it’s something God promised you at some point.

One of the things I have learned lately is that “waiting on the Lord” is never time wasted. The processes that we have to endure are necessary for us to become the person God created us to be. And to be honest, it’s hard. Being processed is often a painful time and lonely time, but it’s important to know that it is not forever. Many people give up when they are so close to their breakthrough. The devil wants to tire us, so we feel that things are never going to happen. Often, when it feels the hardest is when God is ready to pour out his blessing.

Be encouraged that even in this season of waiting, God is working in your life, he’s working in your heart, he’s working in your emotions, he’s working in the areas of your pain and suffering. DON’T GIVE UP!

“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31 

Sex before marriage… let’s talk about it.

Let’s do it.

If you say today, sex is for marriage you will get labeled as antiquated and out of touch with the times. Fornication, divorce, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, and broken homes have always existed, but never at the alarming rate of today.

For as long as I can remember, like any other Christian girl, I was taught the Bible says sex is for marriage, anything outside the context of marriage is fornication and adultery, it is sinful, and it leads to death. If you are still a virgin as you are reading this, I believe this information will help give you the strength to continue to save yourself for marriage. If you are not a virgin, don’t worry! I believe this information will help you to understand yourself better, and some of the battles you may be facing.

Did you know that men and women imprint on their first sexual experience, and that experience identifies them sexually for the rest of their life? Many people live their whole lives without knowing that the root of some of their relational problems derives from their first sexual experience.

Sex is a big deal especially for men, and if their first sexual encounter was within the context of lust, then they will live trying to re-live that first experience. Have you ever wondered why men could easily have sex with multiple women and it “doesn’t affect them“ “it doesn’t mean anything?” The reason is they imprint on the sex not on the woman, and that is why it is easy for them to interchange the woman. It is not about the woman it’s about the experience. When a man waits for his wedding day to have sex something different happens, he actually imprints on that woman.

When a woman has sex, she releases oxytocin the same hormone that she releases when she breast-feeds, and it is called the bonding hormone. Every time a woman has sex with a different man the level of oxytocin released drops. If her first sexual experience is with a man that just wants sex, and that is the re-occurring theme of sex without commitment, then eventually sex will no longer be the bonding experience it was meant to be.

Therefore, in a perfect scenario, on the wedding night when the couple has sex for the first time, the man will imprint on that woman, and she will be bonded to him.

According to a study by The Institute of Family studies, people that have had multiple sex partners before marriage are more likely to have a higher divorce rate and less happy marriages. The odds of divorce after 5 years of marriage with 0 premarital partners is 5%, with 1 partner is 20%, with 3-9 partners is 26%, with 10+ partners is 33%. There is a 5% divorce rate for two people who wait for marriage and are both virgins, regardless of their background or religion. That is the power of sex!

We live in a culture that doesn’t talk about this, on the contrary, we live in a day where most Americans think premarital sex is okay. The most common advice is to be “safe” while engaging in sex so that the woman doesn’t get pregnant and you don’t get diseases. If people really understood how much sex defines the rest of their life, would they continue to engage in sexual activities ask if it was nothing?

Let’s take a moment and go back to see what God has to say about this subject:
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;” – 1 Thessalonians 4: 3-5

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13

We see through these verses that we can learn to control our bodies in a way that is holy and honorable to God. Also, God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can endure. It is not impossible, and it can be done, you can wait and not only because that is God’s way, but because it can also save you from much heartache. I heard a saying this past week, and it stuck with me “there is no condom for your soul” you may be protecting your body, but how are you protecting your heart and your emotions?

If you are a virgin, my prayer is that these words are encouraging to you and a reminder that it is worth it to wait.

If you are not a virgin, it is not over for you, God is giving you an opportunity to start over, and He is a God that makes all things new. Make a decision today to wait for the person that God has for you. He will give you the grace to overcome every temptation, allow the Holy Spirit to take control of your mind and body. Leave the past behind, look forward at all the things that God has planned for you.

Facing your fears

Facing my fears…

As I begin this journey of blogging, it is so exciting because there are so many discussions I want to start and ideas I want to share. This blog is something that has been in my heart for a very long time, and I finally jumped and said it’s now or never. Sometimes you just need to take action, our dreams will remain as only dreams unless we take a step of faith. We have this massive fear of failure that paralyzes us and doesn’t allow us to move towards the vision we have in our heart. It’s effortless to say “why bother, it’s not going to happen,” but faith tells me if I believe it in my heart I will see it with my eyes.

Ask yourself today: is fear keeping you from taking action towards your dream? Think about it, what is that one thing that continually comes to your mind, what are you passionate about, where are your talents, if you could be doing anything what would it be? When you go home at night are you satisfied with what you have accomplished?

The reason I’m asking you is that I had someone ask me those same questions recently. That person told me that life happens so fast that one day you can wake up and 10 years have passed you by, and you didn’t even notice. Today is the day to start walking towards those dreams and goals. Don’t wake up 10 years from today hoping you had done something sooner.

You can do it, God has deposited visions, dreams, and talents inside of you for a purpose.

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬

My First Post

I am so excited to be writing my first post! Blogging has been a desire I have had in my heart for some time now, and I decided 2018 would be the year where I finally go for it. I hope that years down the line I can look back on this day and see all that the Lord has done through this page. My expectation for this blog is to be able to share my stories and hear your stories and start a conversation. We are not alone, we are not the only ones, God’s design for us is to have a community where we can be open and fellowship.

“Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me.” – Psalm 66:16