Tag: Jesus

Even When It Hurts

Currently I am reading through Proverbs, I am seeking wisdom; wise counsel. I am trying to ensure that my life is pleasing to the Lord, and I want to ensure that I am grounded in His word. Verse after verse Proverbs tells us how we should live, how we should behave, how we should speak, and it is written very clear in its meaning; nothing is hidden in useless rhetoric. It says DO this DON’T do that.

As I am walking down this road of reflection and writing, there are instances from my past where I stood at crossroads and purposefully chose the wrong path. As Proverbs 12:15 states, “The way of a fool is right in his own in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” One particular time of my life stands out very clear to me, I had reconnected with a friend from high school who did not know the Lord, and in the past had no interest in knowing Him. Also during this time I was in a romantic relationship which was not pleasing to the Lord. My friend from high school became my road dog , my ride or die, she would come to church with me on Sunday’s and party with me every other day. In my eyes, I thought I was being a great example to her because, “I’m getting her involved in church, introducing her to the gospel, as well as surrounding her with people who love the lord. I’m doing my Christian duty”. However, that is not what I was doing. I was showing her examples of how to be a hypocrite, how to behave on Sunday and still live in the world on Monday. This girl was desperately seeking the Lord and His perfect love, and I was running in the opposite direction. Almost 15 years later I can look back on that time in my life and think what were you doing? Why were you trying to please people and fit into a mold that wasn’t made for you; especially when the Bible explicitly tells us we are to be in the world but not OF the world. (Reference John 17:14-15). But 20 year old me wanted to belong. Praise the Lord this girl, my friend from high school, found solid friendships amongst my friends in the church and they actually showed her what the love of Christ looks like. They also showed her what life should look like when you are indeed living for the Lord.

During that time, a lifelong friend called me up and said, “ hey what are you doing?” Not in the sense of “How’s it going? Want to hang out?” but instead it was like “ You know better than this, what in the world are you doing with your life?” There was a desperation in that call, a pleading almost. She went on to tell me how we should be an example of Christ, especially to new Christians. I can only imagine how hard it was for her to make that phone call, but she was doing what we as Christians are called to do with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to correct them. There were tears shed and I hung up hurt and angered by her corrections; I mean, who wants to be questioned about their actions. However, the weight of conviction was heavy on my heart. Now this story would be great if I could write to you all and say that her words stopped me in my tracks and turned me back to the cross, but that would be a lie. Instead, I ran a while longer and a lot faster from the path I was supposed to be on. Eventually I found my way back after a whole lot of heartaches and pain and through the Grace of God.

What I really want to touch on is the concept of gently correcting our brothers and sisters in Christ. Why is this so difficult for us to do? I believe today’s world has blinded us and made us timid when we are supposed to be focused and bold in our approach. We should not fear the reactions, but we should embrace them and in love correct them. We, and I include myself in the we, are so worried about offending others that we stay silent and don’t speak up when we should be the most vocal. Of course the immediate response is not going to be positive; what person is going to say, “thank you for pointing out my sins? “ No one! I most certainly didn’t say thank you that’s for sure. But ultimately it was for my own good I needed to be told what you’re doing is wrong. We are already facing a war from the world, and we need every soldier possible in this battle. I want my friends to be in battle with me, my battle buddies, not against me.

The important thing is how we do it. The Bible instructs us to be gentle in our approach as to be mindful in how we do it, and always correct in love. In order to achieve this boldness we must stay in prayer and ask for guidance. Galatians 6:1 “brothers, if someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently, but watch yourself are you also may be tempted.” How does the lord want us to approach the topic? What words does he want us to use? When should we approach our friends? When we follow the model we are given it will always work out for the good we just have to be patient and remain in prayer for our friends during the process.

My Foundation

I was raised in the church and  introduced to the Lord at an early age. You see, I come from a family of worshippers and preachers; a family who has been blessed with hearts for the Lord. This has been manifested through preaching, teaching, and singing. My entire life, my mother has been the choir director, which means, the whole family sang in the choir regardless if you had the gift of singing or not. And BIG surprise, I was not given that gift. Many times I remind myself that the Bible says, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord…serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing” (Psalm 100:1-2). So I sing joyfully, but not always beautifully or even in the right key.

Many of my earliest memories are in the church, sitting right next to my sister, in front of our nana, as she belted out this bigger than life voice. My mother would be on the piano, and my granddaddy would be in the front pew along with the other deacons of the church. Occasionally, my dad would join us, and he too would be in the choir stand with us. We never missed a Sunday at church. Growing up in a black Baptist church meant their was always something going on: Sunday service, second service, Wednesday bible study, choir practice, visiting neighboring churches for evening service, pastor appreciation day, vacation bible school, summer revival, and the list can go on and on. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time at church hearing about the Lord.

When I was 12, my nana told me it was time for me to “join” the church and get baptized. See, in our church, once you turned 12, if you weren’t baptized you could no longer serve in the church ministries. I remember, I cried because I was scared and did not feel I was “ready” to take the big plunge in the baptismal pool. At 34 I understand what my 12 year old self did not, and that is where that fear came from. It was a lack of understanding exactly what it meant to be baptized and accept the Lord as my personal savior; to enter into a true relationship with Him. However, when the “doors of the church were opened,” and the invitation was extended to come forward if you felt like the Lord was calling you into a personal relationship, I hesitantly walked forward next to my sister and sat in the chairs, and we joined the church together officially. We did it because it was what expected of us. It has taken almost 20 years for me to actually understand what it means to have a true relationship with the Lord. What it actually means to know and accept Him as my personal savior.Walking up to the alter, sitting in a chair and finally being baptized is not what make you saved; yes it is an outward confession, or part of the process, but if you don’t know that the Lord died for our sins and confess that He is Lord, then all it is is an outward show.

I was a teenager when I actually learned what it meant to have a relationship with God; what it truly means to accept Him into my life, and I was in my 20s when I spent hours pleading to the Lord to hold my hand and to heal my broken body and spirit and I gave him 100% trust into the Lord to take control because I no longer could make it on my own. And, praise the Lord, He brought me through. Here’s the thing, at this point in my life, I know the Lord, I’ve accepted Him into my heart, I trust that He is good, but I’ve held back a little bit of me from Him because of some irrational fear that I would lose something. I know it sounds ridiculous, just writing this it seems so irrational. As a follower of Christ, my identity is in God. I have lived just enough in the world that I have had fun without losing my salvation, but if I’m perfectly honest I’ve lived in shades of gray, and the Lord ask us to be black or white, hot or cold. Revelation 3:16 tells us very clearly that the Lord doesn’t want some of us, He wants all of us. For the past two months I’ve felt the Lord making moves inside of me, changing my heart and calling me to stop living in the gray area. I’ve been vocal about feeling like I’m in my season and that I’m ready for whatever the Lord has in store for me, but in order to receive His many blessing, I have to see black or white. I have to stop living for myself and start living 100% for the Lord. I need to feed my spirit and walk in faith. Today I choose to walk in faith!

Continue to be blessed!!!!

Sharing My Heart

Typically, I get on my blog when I feel like I have something worth saying. It might not be worth much to many, but it something that I feel the need to get out there. Sometimes, I just have a lot on my heart or my mind and I just need to get it out. Over the past few days, I have been struggling with what my future looks like, and questioning what my tomorrow looks like. With that in mind, it has me thinking about how I want to proceed tomorrow in order to make it different from today or even yesterday. I have really been taking time to seek the Lord over the past few days, and seeking Him earnestly for answers. I am currently reading “Wait and See” by Wendy Pope, and I am learning so many things about being in a season of waiting. Not only a season of waiting, but a season of change. I have been going through changes in my life both mentally and within my employment, and I do not feel stability in that area. I am seeking the Lord, to help me figure out some hard questions. I am believing that He will lead me to where I want to be. This could be tomorrow, or this could be 10 years from now.

Tonight, I want to share my heart with all of you. I want to let you know that I desire to grow in Christ and receive everything that He has in store for me. I question, what does that look like? I am learning that this means being quiet and listening for His voice. This means, going against everything within me to not jump head first in, but wait for confirmation on the next step I need to be taking.

It has been on my heart to start writing again, and I have been doing that at least once or twice a week. I have written my version of poetry, I have written journal entries, and I have written a blog post that I will be sharing with you at some point.

I want to invite you all to go on this journey with me. This journey of discovery. This journey of truly seeking the Lord. Not just seeking His hands, but actually seeking His face. I want you to come with me through this season of waiting and learning. This season of growing stronger in my relationship in Christ. This season that I am currently in.  I was talking with my sister the other day, and I told her, this is my season, the Lord is about to make big moves for my good, and I am ready to receive it. Please keep me in prayer during this time. Keep me lifted up whenever I cross your minds, and I will be doing that same for each of you. Let’s get ready to take advantage of what God has for us, because I have a feeling it’s going to be good.

Be blessed everyone, Love you all!!!!!!!