Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Permission To Not Fulfill Expectations

What a year my soul has had. It would be an understatement to say, I'm ready for 2017 to come. 2016 started off rough - we lost our precious baby on January 4th and I couldn't have been more devastated. My faith was tested and stretched. I would love to say the rest of the year has been amazing....but I can't, it has been miraculous. Not in the everything turned out great, life is going wonderful kinda way but in the my faith was tested and my spirit was stretched and grown kinda way. You see, on the outside this year has seemed terrible, horrible....traumatic one might say but in the spiritual and inner growth way, it's been the best year of my life! I have learned, I have grown....I.have.changed.

From loss, to breast cancer scare, to infertility, to stomach problems, to medical procedures, to heartache....to God. All to God. My heart has turned all to Him. I battled depression and still find myself having to be intentional about not going there. I have had to cling to God some nights so that I didn't drown in my own thoughts and He has been there. He's been there to teach me, to grow me....to comfort me.

Recently I went through a time of grieving the relationships I let down in my year of roller coaster. I was carrying guilt like no other. I let friends down, I backed off certain projects so that I could breathe and grieve, I wasn't there for people when maybe I should have been.....and I started to feel a tremendous amount of guilt. This guilt weighed on me for some days. Until God....

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity." Proverbs 17:17

The night before last, I woke up with a heaviness on my heart and a pain in my stomach.....the guilt had returned. I walked downstairs and had a glass of milk as this tends to help my tummy these days. I sat on the recliner and I felt the Lord send me to Proverbs 17:17. I read it and weeped. You see, I had been feeling so terribly guilty for allowing my own depression to keep me from being the best friend I can be but the Lord wanted to show me, I was in a season of need. He wanted to remind me that I too need a strong friend from time to time who will not expect anything from me and just let me be in this season. I have needed to have the room to be late to functions, reschedule.....or even cancel because I can't seem to muster up the energy to even fix my hair let alone brush my teeth and look half way decent. I have needed the room to fail BIG and produce small. I have needed a season of zero expectations from people around me and I had to come to terms with that being OK and that I needed to have zero expectations of myself as well. In this season, it's ok.

I have learned so much about myself and my relationships have been tested and stretched this whole year and I'm SO thankful for that. God has revealed so much beauty to me and has given me permission to "just be" in this season. I'm so truly thankful for a God who makes ALL things beautiful and who takes our guilt and turns it around! I'm thankful for the friends who allowed me to just be this year. I'm thankful for the ones who have allowed me to fail with no judgment, no anger or rejection. I'm thankful to those who pulled me in closer by giving me the space and breathing room I needed to emotionally and physically heal. I'm truly thankful for this unconditional kind of love I received from true, inspiring and amazing family and friends!

My promise to you, I too will give you this space and time if you are ever in a season where you just need "to be". My compassion meter has been elevated and I get it!

Friendship is beautiful but it's so true when they say you find out who your real friends are when you are going through troubles. Thank You Jesus for this revelation. Thank You for giving me permission to not live up to other people's expectations. Thank You Jesus for not expecting anything of me this season but a complete surrender and trust in You.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Scripture For the Day

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm‬ ‭51:10‬ 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Scripture For the Day

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭27:9‬ ‭

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Praying For A Best Friend

I don't know about you all but when it comes to best friends, I don't want just any best friend but I want a spiritual best friend. A spiritual best friend is one who is committed to walking through life's ups and downs with you and who is committed to help you grow in God! A spiritual friend is somebody who in the midst of problems, stops everything to reach out and pray with you and who makes an effort to understand you.

This past year has stretched and grown me so much.I see so many things differently. The miscarriage taught me about the reality of hopes and dreams being taken from out of our grasp in a blink of an eye. It brought a phenomenal trust in God that I cannot put into words. My plans are not His plans and I'm so thankful for that. He knows what I need and when I need it and even in the deep pain, I must trust Him.

My recent health issues have taught me patience and courage. The scare of a breast nodule and getting mammograms and breast ultrasounds shook me to my core but I had a peace throughout the whole process. Maybe it was discerning that everything would be ok and that the nodule was not cancerous or maybe it was the trust I have built up in Him over the past few months. I'm not sure what it was but it was amazing. I felt His love in a big way and I saw His hand working in every detail of my health issues.

I have seen His hand vividly this past year. I would never ever want to relive this year again but I don't regret it for one second nor would I change one thing. The pain and frustration were real but so was His love. His love has been the only thing that has literally saved my life this past year. His love is what reached out to me in my moments of despair and brought me out of the pit of depression. This year has grown me so much and my relationship with God has grown leaps and bounds!

I love people deeper and truly see the beauty in every single person in my life. Just two months ago, I can sadly say, that wasn't me. Trauma and health scares have brought me to a place of peace with myself that leads me to a place of peace with others. I used to be critical of myself and of others but I have realized that life is too short for that and people are too important. I think of all of my friends and want to embrace each of them and I anticipate the new friends because those friends will be getting the best of me from the get go (sorry oldies, nothing personal.....it just took me some time and heartache to get here).

I say all this to say that I am extremely happy where I am in life right now. I know without a shadow of doubt that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Right now in this moment, I am extremely grateful for an amazing husband who is above and beyond all of my prayers. I'm thankful for a job that allows me to serve others and help build the Kingdom of God. I'm also thankful for this longing for a spiritual friendship. It's this deep longing to connect with one friend, a best best best friend. Scripture tells us that a friend will stick closer than a brother.....wow, closer than our own blood. I want the kind of friend that scripture talks about, one who sticks closer than a brother. Don't get me wrong, I have AMAZING friends who are lifers and will always be forever besties to me but I miss having that one friend who is without a shadow of doubt, my BEST FRIEND.

When I think of that friend that is described in scripture, I think of the sister who a gal talks to every single day. They text, call, facetime and email everyday. There isn't a day that goes by that they are not in communication. I think of the sister who is fully committed to growing in Christ and who will be the one to encourage, hold accountable and cheer the other on. I think of sisters who are fully committed to communicating and committing to understand one another, even when it's hard to understand one another and especially when the waves are rocky. I miss that in my life and it's crazy but I didn't know it was missing until I built a love in my heart that's ready for deep and honest spiritual friendship.

One might ask, what about your husband? My husband is AMAZING and is definitely my best friend but.....he's definitely not a sister. He doesn't understand the importance of needing the dress that's on sale or that I can't wear a t-shirt to dinner with his parents or why I have a long bed time routine of face washing, hair grooming and teeth whitening and he especially doesn't understand my need to know how to put on false eye lashes. God made husbands and I'm SO thankful for that.....but He also created us for relationships with friends who stick closer than a brother. Tonight, I pray for my best friend. I used to pray for my husband and God brought me the most AMAZING husband ever! I know through the relationship I have with my husband that He will be faithful in bringing me a friend that will stick closer than a sister.

If you are lonely for a friend that will stick closer than a brother or sister tonight, close your eyes and pray for him or her. Trust that God has placed that desire in your heart for a reason and that it is not silly. It's not silly at all to desire the kind of friendship scripture teaches us about. He is a faithful God and He created you for real connection with others! I'm praying for my best friend tonight. I don't know who she is or what she is doing but I pray that God is guiding her, protecting her and loving on her tonight!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Thought Of The Day

"The more you are around somebody, the more you will see flaws. The more you are around somebody, the more your love should grow for them. This is why we must live a life of mercy and grace towards our loved ones. You can't love somebody the right way if you are busy hating their flaws." Cryssie Addis

Monday, September 5, 2016

Scripture for the Day

"Dear Children, don't just talk about love. Put your love into action. Then it will truly be love." 1 John 3:18

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Thought Of The Day

All you need is one touch of God's favor to be catapulted into more than enough. Your season of lack is over! Stretch your faith. - Faith Jewlz