Tag: writing

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.

I’m Not Who I Used To Be

Praise the Lord I’m not who I used to be. I am no longer the girl who is seeking acceptance where ever it is given. I am not the girl who is seeking approval from the wrong type of people. I am now the woman who is secure in who she is as an individual. I am a woman who is stepping into her purpose. And I am a woman who is learning to listen in the quiet for direction from the Lord and discerning His voice from my own.

There was a period in my life that I was not living a life that I am particularly proud of. I was making decisions that I knew were wrong. Decisions that I knew my mother would disapprove of, and if my mother would disapprove of those decisions, then I definitely know they were not decisions the Lord would smile upon. During that period of my life, I did what I wanted and I did these things in order to “fit”in, but also to please a boy, who at that time, was not worthy of my affections. No matter what I did to hold onto him, it was never enough. You see it was not meant for me to be with him then or to even keep him.

Let me backtrack just a little bit, throughout high school and into college, I was extremely involved in church. I was in the youth group in high school and after I graduated I became a leader in the youth group and also started attending the College and Career group. I had a close group of friends who fiercely loved the Lord and I have to say life was really good; however, there was an inner curiosity inside of me about the “world” that tugged at me. The inner wild child, as my mother calls it, that was itching to break out, and when I started my first job after high school the doors to the outside world burst open and I went running through them. For the first time in my short life I was surrounded by people who were living in the world and did not have the constraints of the church holding them back from experiencing life. I don’t say this meaning that the church holds people back, but in my marginal experience, as a teenager, all I could see were rules. Rules telling me what I could and could not do, rules telling me what I should and shouldn’t say, rules inside my mother’s house that I felt were so strict that I was not allowed to live the life I thought I wanted. It did not take long for the lifestyle of my coworkers to start appealing to me, and along with that life came a boy who started whispering in my ear all the things that my young and naïve heart wanted to hear.

In the beginning, I tried to integrate him into my world, but it didn’t take long for him to pull me from my comfortable life into his chaotic and careless lifestyle. Like me, he was running from strict parents and a comfortable lifestyle and for whatever reason, we found each other and saw something in the other person that we thought we wanted. As Christians, we learn the importance of being equally yoked, and it probably took 10 years, my entire 20s, for me to actually learn and understand what that truly means. At the tender age of 20 I fell in love and we were not equally yoked. When I say I fell in love, I mean truly, madly, deeply in love. I fell with both eyes closed and a heart completely open. I walked blindly into a relationship that pulled me away from everything that I knew to be right and true. I stopped hanging with my friends and replaced them with his friends, I stopped spending time at the church and replaced it with late night kickbacks in empty parking lots. I gave away my innocence because it is what I believed I should do in order to prove my love to this other person. I did this against my better judgment because I knew it was wrong, I knew it was not what the Lord wanted for me, but I also believed it was what I needed to do in order to solidify and keep my relationship. Trust me when I say this, sex does not ensure you will hold onto someone, all it does is give your power away to another person. It ensures that this other person can hurt you more deeply than you can ever imagine.

That relationship did not give me what I thought I was seeking out of life and out of a partnership, it pulled me further and further away from the Lord. It pulled me from my family, from my friends, it compromised my morals, and it left me completely broken. More broken than I had ever been, up until that point, in my entire life. But praise the Lord, I’m not her anymore.

Have you ever prayed for the Lord to do something, left it at the Lord’s feet, and walked away trusting He will answer your prayers? Well, in my complete and total brokeness I prayed for the Lord to make me forget the love I had for this person. To take away the hurt that shattered my tender heart into a million pieces and then I left it. I’m not sure if I really 100% believed that something as big as this prayer could be answered. Everyday I got up, I went through the motions and I trudged through the days until one day the tears dried up and it didn’t hurt to breathe anymore. I no longer kept my phone next to me waiting for a message that would never come. I can’t give you an exact time line because honestly I don’t know how long it took, but one day I was talking to a friend who was there from the beginning to the end of the tumultuous relationship and she asked me if I remembered something I had said or done in the midst of this relationship and I tried to recall various stories she would tell me, and to this day I have no recollections of certain time spans within that relationship. That is when I realized just how BIG AND MERCIFUL my God is. That is when I saw how REAL my God is because HE answered my prayers. Praise the Lord He delivered me from the dangerous path that I was on, and I would love to say I learned my lesson right away, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I made a few more bad choices along the way, but that is part of my journey. Mistakes allow us to see God work in our favor, it allows us to rely on Him. That is the cool thing about the Lord, everyday we mess up and fall short of His glory and He loves us anyhow. He is standing by waiting for us to seek Him and seek His forgiveness. He loves us fiercely and unconditionally. I don’t have children of my own, but I see how my friends love their children, I know how my mother loves us, and it gives me a glimpse into how much our heavenly Father must love us, His children. He wants nothing more than for us to turn away from our sinful nature and seek Him. Matthew 6:33 states, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (NIV).

I will end the way I started, Praise the Lord I’m no who I used to be and thank you Lord for the promise of who I will be!

Let’s Get Real

When I was thinking about my topic of discussion for the night, I thought I was going to share a completely different part of me tonight. Those of you who know me, and have known me for a long time, you know what I imagined my future husband to look like. I was very clear about what I was looking for in my life partner. Let me clarify, I knew what I wanted my partner to look like, but not what I wanted his heart to look like. In the past year or so, I’ve thought about what type of person I was interested in. I was no longer focusing on the physical but now on the mental and spiritual. I had these ridiculous deal breakers in my mind, and they were all superficial. I decided that I wanted my future husband to have dark skin, to have tattoos, to be able to sing, to love Jesus was not the first deal breaker on my list; these were the things I would say I was looking for. I shake my head now as I think about how flighty my list was. There was also one other thing I was clear on, this person had to have very different traits than the relationships from my past. When you have no true foundations or rules, you will accept what you have and not seek what you want or need for a successful relationship.

In September, I went to Dallas to visit with my sister, and while there we went to her church. (She attends an amazing church in the Dallas MetroPlex, and has a Pastor that leads his sheep with such grace and love). While in church, I felt that the Lord changed my heart as to what and who I was looking for in my future husband. In a church full of people, men, women, boys and girls, I felt that the Lord placed on my heart that I would marry a Pastor. I struggled with if I should share this with anyone, if maybe I just decided that I would marry a Pastor, but I felt it very strongly in my spirit. The other thing I thought; this is way too  out there for me to just come up with that idea. I mean, I have a lot of issues that I need to work on within myself, I am not pastor’s wife material. I mean, I see my pastor’s wife, and she is full of so much compassion for others, she is involved, she pays attention and knows people’s names. I mean, I am compassionate and I care about others, but I still have some work to do. LOL.

So, I am staying with that, and believing that I will find my pastor in the future, and I will be everything that a pastor’s wife should be. One thing that I also think about though is, when you are in that role, there are eyes on you at all times, and people can place some unhealthy and hurtful expectations upon you. I think, am I ready for this? If this is truly of the Lord, He will continue to work with and on me, to prepare me for the future.

Here’s another thing, this is not what I was supposed to discuss with you all tonight. I was supposed to talk about the crossroads in my life and what I my future looked like in the aspect of employment. Funny thing, speaking about my future husband was my initial plan for this post tonight. I guess this is what I was meant to share with you after all.

Be blessed, and as I have asked before, please continue to pray for me as I pray for you all too!

Man, When Will It Be My Turn?

As I have mentioned before, I am currently reading through “Wait and See: Finding Peace in God’s Pauses and Plans” by Wendy Pope. I can’t recommend this book enough to anyone who is in a season of waiting, because this will let you know that you are not alone in your wait, and it will also give you direction while in your wait. But moving on, today discussed waiting turning into a wilderness experience. This particular chapter reiterated a topic that I have discussed more than once with my friends and family. This topic is when we get impatient in our wait and we try to force God’s timing.

A few years ago, I had a conversation with my friend about when we pray to God for something and it is not happening; so we make a move on our own. We are like, God this is what I want, and He says No, this is not what you need. Then, we in turn say, but this is really what want, and again He say’s No. And, in our selfishness and impatience we insist that YES this is what we want, and God finally says, Fine then here you go. And what is the end result? A huge mess, and we end up dissatisfied with what we insisted was right for us. When we get impatient in our wait, it is important to remember that God’s timing is perfect, and prayer can redirect our focus to God and away from the object of our wait.

I have learned in my 30+ years of living, that rushing into decisions leaves me wanting more. I get to where I think I want to be, or doing what I want to do, and I am dissatisfied with the end results. I am left empty and wanting more out of my day-to-day interactions and activities. This is why I have chosen to be still in this season of my life and listen for God direction. To wait for His perfect timing. Can I tell y’all, I have been feeling content with my day to day activities and life lately. I am applying what I am learning to my life and I am sharing with my friends and coworkers my journey. There is a contentment within my spirit that I haven’t felt in a long time. I know I have said this before, I am excited with what the Lord has planned for me. I am not choosing to focus on what I am waiting on, but instead I am praising the Lord in the hallway I am currently in and waiting for a door or a window to open.

So, I question, when will it be my turn? Well the answer to that question is…When the Lord says “Tia, it’s your time!”

Waiting…

So, I’ve been reading all over social media today this particular quote “Regardless who wins the election tonight, tomorrow God will still be on the throne.” This is very true, whoever becomes our president tomorrow, does not change who we as Christians serve. It does not change our salvation, and it does not determine our blessings. However, tonight as I am sittings watching the news tonight and waiting impatiently to see who our next leader will be I can’t help but think, this is the ultimate symbol of waiting.

We oftentimes wait to see God move in our lives and we wait impatiently. We want to know what is going to happen, when it’s going to happen, and how it will happen. Although, by the end of the night, we will have an answer to the leader of our country, we should be aware that this journey did not just start today. These people have been on the trail for days, months, and years to get to this ultimate destination. In our lives, waiting on the Lord, is the same concept. Yes we want immediate gratification, but the Lord tells us that we must be still and wait for His perfect timing. Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in prayer for everything…let your request be known to God.”

I’ve never though about what it truly means to be still. Yes, life is hectic, we constantly have things going on that interrupt the stillness, but I’ve never actually took time to think about being still in the Lord. It actually means taking time out of the day and embracing the quiet. Seeking His word and listening for His voice. When life gets too loud and the nonsense starts to creep in and take over, we need to know where to seek refuge. Times like today, we need to seek refuge in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding.
Waiting on God is NOT wasting time; it’s training time. It is our time to not doubt and complain, but it is our time to build our foundation and build our trust in Him.

Lord, help me to hear Your voice clearly. Help me to quiet all the noise and distractions and really get to know You on a more personal level. Lord help me to continually seek refuge in You and not in the world. Help me to be pleasing in Your sight.

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!!!!!!!

Random thinking of a girl with lots of thoughts

I was laying in bed the other night, awake with my thoughts per usual and a poem came to me. Let me first say I am far from a poet, but isn’t that what poetry is…a bunch of thoughts put together? Or I should say feels put on paper? My initial thought after I quickly typed it into my notes was that I couldn’t put this on my blog because it was personal, but hey why not….

So tired of going asleep alone,
I’m ready for my Prince Charming to come sit on his throne.
India Arie said “I am ready for love…”
I know what she means,
Because now I’m ready,
But the question is, where could he be?
The bible says when a man finds his wife , he finds a good thing,
Well I think I’m a “good thing”
So why all this strife.
I’ve stood in silence
And yelled at the top of my lungs,
But yet
I still stand alone…
This life is a journey and I’ve traveled it so so
But how much better could it be to walk side by side with the
individual who completes you