I Got It Wrong

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Around this time five years ago, I wrote a post called “My Only” expressing joy in the idea that I found (what I believed) to be my “one and only,” the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I thought I found the love of my life. I was wrong. I found a man that was incapable of loving me to the capacity that I needed. I was looking over my blog memories when my stats revealed that someone read that post a few days ago. My first thought: “Simone, delete that post!!! That relationship failed, get rid of the memories of your failures, erase the post.” But, that isn’t life, we can’t go around erasing the terrible things that we’ve experienced. We face our failures, we accept them and we learn from them. So here are three reasons, I believe my getting it wrong was necessary for me to learn how to get it right.

  1. I accepted the love I thought I deserved: subpar, broken and inconsistent. The guy I thought was forever, in hindsight, did not love me well. And to tell you the truth, I can’t blame him. He was not loved well and he had no genuine connection to the One who loved him well. When your life is absent from the Creator of Love, it’s hard to love others. Instead, you love them through your broken version of the love you’ve received. That is the way he loved me: from a place of fear/distance, insecurity which drove his patterns of lying about stupid things, ghosting and poor communication and mediocre because to invest in love is to open himself up to the possibility to be in pain. He prided himself to be a master of pain avoidance and he did this by loving from a shallow place. The worst part was I loved the same way: my friendships were not deep by any measure of the imagination. I was trying to be everything for him, even if it meant being untrue to myself. Lastly, he was everything and because I did not think highly of myself; it was like girl you betta take what you can get. WRONG!!! Now, I’ve grown and I can see that God was like “Homegirl, you deserve so much better!” Thank God!  
  2. I was not okay with being alone. In fact, being and dying alone was one of my biggest fears. Therefore, I settled with “better than what I had” but not necessarily great. Anything that is better than what you had always seemed to be the best but it is not until you understand what you’re worth that you realize what you’ve settled for. There is nothing wrong with looking back and being like “he’s not that great- in fact he’s trash!” I wasn’t secure within myself to have that moment of awakening but God not waiting on my point of enlightenment, in mercy, decided to save this girl from herself! I’m so grateful He did. Because, if we’re honest not one ounce of love lives in fear; so to build a love out of it would be a decision to settle for a love that is indeed false. Perfect love expels fear; there is no fear in true love. As I’ve grown and come to love myself, I seek to be absent of fear and perfected in love. It is the heart of the Father that we are full of love and void of fear and that should be demonstrated in our relationships. To be unafraid is to be truly in love. 
  3.  I realized that I needed to heal. Yep, there were wounds that I neglected thinking that I would find healing in my relationship but that’s not how it works, you are to come to your relationship whole ready to complement them. It is so dangerous to bring your open wounds to someone and expect them to have the balm to heal you. It breeds codependency and easy disappointment. God knew that I needed to heal, that I needed to be alone to really seek him for this necessary balm. The best thing that could have happened was the ending of my relationship because the end of that thing opened my heart to the fact that there were wounds that needed to heal. Ladies and gents, the best thing you can do is heal. Heal and then enter into relationships with other people. Don’t bring your baggage into your relationships and place expectations on people to heal you. Only God heals, so allow him to heal you with His love.

Friends, the guy I was with was NOT my one and only, but he was integral to my growth. He taught me what I did not want in a person. He taught me what I was not willing to settle for. He taught me that what I’ve embraced was not real love. I’m grateful that things ended because it gave me the freedom to learn about myself and to love me.  So, there is no need to fear mistakes because even our mistakes are redeemable in the hands of God.  He has this tendency to take our bad things and He promises to make them work for our good.  He rights our wrongs. 

God allowed me to get it wrong so that He could make one thing right, me!  

Xoxo, 

Simone 

FIC: https://i2.wp.com/digital-photography-school.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/black-white-mistakes-4.jpg?resize=750%2C750&ssl=1

With Everything Inside…

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

“With everything inside…” those were the words of a song I wrote Christmas Day, 2017. It was a random expression of how I felt about the Father. My dad’s friend sat at the piano and I just began to sing, “With everything inside, I will offer you my worship…” These words came from a place of freedom, I felt safe and free to sing what I heard in my heart.

The thought came to me… when was the last time I felt free? I mean, really free. The freedom to sing, the freedom to song-write, the freedom to just be different in the midst of a crowd that wants me to be the same. The last time I was truly free was at the beginning of the year when I was writing more and expressing the love I received with the world. Then, like many stories, pain met me and threw me off course. I stopped writing, I stopped singing, I started to withhold my worship. With everything became with some things and then with some things became with nothing. I had nothing to offer, nothing to bring and nothing to say.

Today, I listened to a few voice memos and started to reflect on the songs the Lord gave me. I listened and was immediately transported to those moments of prayer, worship, and authenticity. I was reminded of a piece of myself that was lying dead from pain- my heart’s posture as a worshipper and a songwriter. It’s crazy how good God really is. Like, when I take time to think about His awesomeness, I’m enthralled in this ugly cry place of gratitude. I’m thankful that in love, he reminded me of my identity in him. I’m his writer and that is enough!

So… lovelies, I encourage you to go to the moments where you felt free. Learn from those moments, reflect on those moments and find your time with Him again. Be His first and let everything else come as a result of loving Him more. Always remember that He loves you deeply!

Xoxo,

Simone

A Lover of Love

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I hope you all are having a great Saturday.  I love love, but I realized that I don’t love it as much as the one who created me.  God loves love.  Like for reals… God loves love.  So much so, that he desired someone to love deeply and that is why he made us:  man and woman.  He wanted to love and to be loved.  I think that is why we all have this innate desire to be loved because we were made in the image of our Creator.  So, we have a God that has everything, a huge house, streets made of money, angels who serve on the regular and there is still something missing- us.  To fulfill a need, God created mankind to love him, each other and all that he has placed into the Earth.  How beautiful is the understanding that God made us to love us?  He didn’t need any more servants, he had plenty (angels); he didn’t need any more beautiful things, he made so many (stars, flowers, etc.); he didn’t need any more houses, he had a huge one with a shiny throne on the inside; he didn’t need any more money, for his streets were made of gold.  But there was one single need, God needed someone to love.  He needed someone to lavish love upon, to demonstrate love to, he needed someone to love well.  Because of this and this alone, he created you and I.  I was created because God wanted someone to love. 

When we come to the place where we see our Heavenly Father as a lover of love and not a beacon of hatred and terror, it is then that we can appreciate the sacrifice of his Son.  We get so caught up at seeing God as this hard taskmaster, waiting for us to mess up- hating us for what we do that we lose sight of the reason by which we were created.  We were created to love and to be loved by Him.  Do you know why God hates sin?  I mean, really know?  It’s because sin creates separation between us and Him.  When God created Eden and formed man in the garden, scripture speaks of a time where man and God were not separated.  He was our homie, hanging out every waking moment.  I could imagine, man and God fishing together or taking walks on the nature trails, or even sitting up late to count the stars- all TOGETHER. As soon as Adam and Eve ate that dreaded fruit, they were aware of one of the biggest evils known to man: BAD SEPARATION.  Think about it:  all criminal activity results in bad separation. When we steal, we separate the owner from their possession.  When we kill, we separate that person from their loved ones, co-workers, and just the world.  When we engage in adultery and various sexual affairs, we separate a person from a covenant they made with their partner.  All pain stems from some type of bad separation: whether separation from joy, peace, trust or happiness.  GOD NEVER DESIGNED OUR WORLD TO BE FILLED WITH SEPARATION FROM WHAT’S GOOD.  However, this is the mission of sin.  Sin is designed, advertised and encouraged to breed separation from God and good and its biggest hype man is the thief, the accuser, Satan.

I bet you’re like whoah, wasn’t expecting the Sunday School lesson and that may be the case, but I’m sharing all of this so that you all may gain a deeper understanding of the one who designed you, who formed you and called you good.  It is my desire that you may know Him and know Him rightly.

So,  we have this Lover who made us to be loved and here we are loving everything but Him.  I mean we love our jobs more than Him, we love our significant others/spouses more than Him, we even love our pets more than Him.  Though He designed us to be loved and to love Him well, we don’t in fact- many of us aren’t even submitted to Him, yet He loves us anyway.  I remember a time in my life when I loved everything more than I loved Him.  I mean, I sought for things to replace His spot in my life.  Time progressed, people entered my life and people left but yet He was still there seeking to love me.  How beautiful it is to be loved consistently.  His love didn’t waver because of my behavior and I didn’t have to work to earn His love,  He freely gave it time and time again.  His ultimate goal is a relationship that would stand the test of eternity.  He desires that there would be no separation between Him and me.

This is the One whom I live for. An honest guy who loves love, who hates sin because it causes separation and who desires to love and be loved by me.  This is the core of who He is.  Every other quality, trait, and characteristic is like a beautiful bonus: icing on the cake to the solid foundation of who He is.  May you rest in the simplicity of his decision to love you.  He decided to love you before he made you, seeking to demonstrate his love for you throughout each day of your life.  Bad things happenI know and the question comes, if God loves me why did this happen?  This is the question I’ve asked multiple times, but then I came to the understanding that God is not the orchestrator of the bad things in my life.  He’s not out here seeking to make me sad, or to destroy my esteem or to take life from me.  There’s another presence at work, super jealous that God loves me with all of my flaws – so he works overtime to cause me to doubt this love I was given.  The thief comes to steal, kill and to destroy and he is responsible for the evil we see in this world.  “For I have come that you may have life, and life more abundantly.” (Jn. 10:10)  God desires that I live and that I live to the fullness, only someone who loves us can hope so deeply that we live well.

I am loved.  I was created to be loved.  I was created to love God.  I was created to love others well.  This is the core of why I am here, this is who I am. 

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://www.jashow.org/articles/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/garden-large.jpg

Once Again

It's silent around me. 

I can't hear a peep-

for my brain no longer recognizes the sound of a broken heart. 

It's crazy how time has not healed anything, 

I'm still standing in 2011 longing - 

for what seems to be the impossible. 

I hold my breath and look over the edge, 

and I begin to count my fears. . . 

For I am afraid. 

Yes! I am utterly afraid- 

that 7 years worth of prayers will greet me at my front door, 

seeking perfection. 

I'm not perfect but I find myself concerned with a standard, 

that never measures up.  

An unspoken question: am I good enough? 

What if he is greatly disappointed?

But, what if he's extremely pleased?

But, how would I ever know if I never jump?

I stand on love's cliff and the wind beckons me to the sky. 

Either I will sink or swim- but first I must fly! 

Lo, it's time to take a chance- once again.

3. . . 2. . . 1

©Simone Holloway, 2017

 

FIC:  http://www.nstperfume.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/crater-lake.jpg

 

Revived Belief

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

I’ve been bursting with experiences that I’ve been dying to share with each of you.  I think creativity and inspiration has this amazing way of being fueled by life and for the past week or so I’ve increased my pursuit for the presence of God.  I can sit here and pretend that I was not in a low place, that I had everything together and that my faith in the promises of God concerning me was rock solid- but ladies and gents, that would be a lie!  In fact, my belief in what God said about me wavered and my trust in the one who held my future faltered.  You see, my biggest fear was that what I was believing God for concerning myself was never going to come true and once again I would be disappointed and left without security.  Friends, I had no trouble believing in the God of miracles for others or even each of you- but I had a hard time believing in myself.  For years, I believed the lie that I was inadequate, that I wasn’t good enough that I was a mistake, that my uniqueness/difference was a curse rather than a blessing.  It was out of this pain, that propelled me to believe so strongly in others – to push them towards their differences and to champion behind their tailored greatness.  Pain pushed me to love more yet I felt emptiness on the inside…

It’s usually the ones who love the most that have experienced such harsh heartbreak.  It’s usually the most accepting individuals that experienced the most rejection.  It’s usually the depressed  that seek to bring others joy and I lacking belief in myself- championed and believed in others.  Even those good works could not bring me fulfillment and after while the seeds of awesomeness that God planted on the inside became neglected and poorly maintained.  It is the grace of God that pushes Him to challenges us to produce a return on the investment he has given us.  It’s like the Father loves us so much that he refuses to let that seed he planted within us to die from our own hands.  Friends, the tables turned and the Father began to point the light on me and where I was in this faith walk with Him.  He began to challenge me! He flashed the light on my hypocrisy- how could I sing of his goodness and not believe he was good?  How could I testify of his power and not believe his power is applicable in my life?  How could I speak of his impartiality, yet believe that he was being partial in my circumstance?  God came for my hypocrisy- he challenged my faux faith.  In the end to not believe in myself,  is to not believe at all!  The same God that love my family and friends, love me. The same God that cares about those I attend school with, cares about me.  The same God listening to the prayers of my mentors, hears me when I pray.  He is just as concerned, bothered,  and alert concerning me as everyone else in the universe.  He loves us all!

It was time that I began to believe- for without faith, it is impossible to please God because we must first believe that He exists that he would reward those that seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).  We have to believe that he will make good on his promise.  Over a stretch of time, God has revived my belief in him and most importantly in myself.

May you find your belief again!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://naumankhan.com/wp-content/uploads/181105-Believe-In-Yourself.jpg

©Simone Holloway, 2017

Giddy

Paused but for a moment an unusual excitement takes over me….

I don’t understand  it’s just a picture – how could this be?

Though miles apart, our hearts are woven together.

I better…be careful, I feel in over my head yet I dread

spending another second separated from you.

Whoo… I feel giddy.

Not overwhelmed, yet slightly overtaken.

Not anxious, yet extremely nervous- cheesy smiles consume my lips

and your name is on my tongue, maybe I was wrong to think that the love I had

for you doesn’t exist anymore I don’t know my brain is moving really quick and I feel

a ramble coming on, OMG, OMG…there you are!  In…picture form,

yet your smile has this magical way of overtaking me, making me all warm and

fuzzy.

I’m just a little giddy,

a little silly

while in love with you.

©Simone Holloway, 2017

FIC: http://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3389/3204002130_cc0538d41f_z.jpg?zz=1

Daydreaming

I stay dreaming… daydreaming

zoning, refocusing, imagining,

Paris on a clear summer night.

Sweet gardenia’s fill the air and

people around would stop and stare, care, desire to bare-

the concerns that pass between you and I.

Hand in hand, electricity as we stand, in a world full of masks.

I thought this would pass but even paradise can’t erase the past.

If only it was raining, then maybe romance would fuel forgiveness,

but the restoration we seek can’t be found in the weather.

My perfect dream becomes another perfect nightmare,

as I realize that reality burnt that bridge of us together.

Parisian perfection sadly cannot perfect what appeared to be a perfect partnership.

I guess that ship has sailed… oh well,

we will forever have our day dreams.

©Simone Holloway, 2017

 

 

 

The Aftermath of Creativity

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

I don’t know about you all but sometimes I just erupt into this ball of creative energy.  It’s like everywhere I turn, my desire to create increases and my concentration upon the task at hand decreases.  It’s very rare that you meet someone who is full of creativity and logic at the same time.  I was talking to my brother about myself and I said, “You know bro, I’m full of contradictions- housing both boldness and insecurity. I’m a walking oxymoron.”  I think those who hold creative mindsets, ideas and etc are walking oxymorons- mixed with things that don’t make sense but just happen to work! 

But what about after I’ve hit the high of creation, well I quickly become super sleepy for a few days.  It’s like my body can only handle the creative process for 24 hours and then I am drained longing to recoup so that I can do it all over again.  I believe that is why the Father longs to teach me rest because even he at the height of his creative power- he created man and was so as I could imagine it drained of himself and decided to rest. He took that seventh day to rest! He placed everything he could into the creative process and then recouped to begin the process all of again. 

Wow, that’s encouraging! God placed all of himself into the creation of us that is was imperative that he rested. So what is the aftermath of creativity, I would argue that it is the necessity for rest!  Creativity fuels the necessity to rest and when we operate and create but don’t rest we burn ourselves out before we can relish in the work of our hands.  So, I encourage you all to create, accept the contradiction that you are and embrace the ability to rest- for God being love and judgment, fire and cloud, peace yet a man of war teaches us that contradictions are not only good but difference should be celebrated. Create yet rest! 

Until next time, 

Simone 

Fic : http://drwillsparks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/creativity.jpg

The Madness

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Life can be filled with what I like to call: the madness.  A tangled mess of distractions, chaos, frustration and just pure annoyance.  Well, how do we deal with this madness??? It’s not like we can pack our bags and head to Mars, yet..  Anyways, we have to learn how to tune all of the madness out and find rest again.  Rest.  Oh the sweet word that I seem to never get enough of, oh I wish my mind, body and soul knew a thing or two about rest.  Rest was so important that God instituted rest into the very act of creation.  Genesis 2:3 states, “And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” So… rest was so important to God that He rested himself.  Rest is what we need, yet rest is what we lack the most. Rest is the cure for the madness! 

Ladies and gents, I think I may have solved a lot of our problems in the world by stating the obvious.  We need to rest.  Rest allows our bodies to heal faster, rest allows our minds to think sharper and rest allows our spirits to worship more freely.  Rest is the cure. Welp, that sounds very easy and grand but I find myself fighting to rest. For example, if  I lay down for a quick nap- that’s the time the friend in need calls.  Ot, as soon as I am entering into my quiet time with the Lord, I get a new social media notification that is vying for my attention instead.  Or, how about this one?  When I’m sick and I know I should go to bed early to heal, but I have so much to do, that I work through my sickness prolonging my recovery.  Rest or lack thereof.  Some of us, lay down to go to sleep and can’t because the cares of the world are weighing so heavy on our minds.  Sometimes, we go to sleep and wake up even more tired.  All of these things reveal a lack of rest, true rest.

The Hebrew word for rest is nuach which means to settle down, remain, be quiet, and to have rest.  This is the same type of rest described in Psalm 23 (see below for the entire song).  The rest and security of a sheep (us) lying in the presence of our shepherd (the Father). That is the desire of the Father, that we find true rest and security in Him.  He desires that we rest.  Though, finding rest may be hard sometimes- we find rest when we find Him.  Rest is in Him.  I encourage you all today, as you embark into the madness to rest.  Rest knowing that God has your back.  There is no need to worry, there is no need to fret- you can rest knowing that everything is going to be okay.  It is-trust me! There is something so freeing when we learn to rest, when we learn to let go of our cares and worries and relax knowing that all things are going to work for our good.  It is in these moments that we overcome the madness, that we conqueror against the cares of the world.  Let’s aim to rest in Him! 

 The Lord is my shepherd;
   I have all that I need.
 He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
     He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
 Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://c.tadst.com/gfx/750w/chaos-never-dies-day.jpg?1

 

You Are Necessary

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Tuesday!  It’s Spring Break 2K17 for me and I am in my hometown of Greenville, SC.  I love this city but all of this idle time is not doing great things for me.  I got to thinking this afternoon, as I was wasting my life away in front of the TV and on social media:  How many people feel unnecessary?  Like their existence is not meaningful?  I remember feeling unnecessary for an extensive period of time, like if I dropped off the face of the Earth, no one would care.

There is nothing worse, then feeling isolated, invisible and alone.  Such a horrible concept to randomly think about, right?  Kind of..but I believe that these thoughts are real.  We live in a world where everyone is perceived to be happy, to be content.  We have Facebook friends but lack true friends.  We’re InstaFamous but no one knows who we truly are.  We have the good looks, the stellar resumes, and the amazing connections.  Yet, we cannot find jobs, build meaningful relationships or seem to be able to share our soul with another. This is going to sound super harsh, but even our churches are filled with individuals who hear about a God of community each week, yet they are filled with depression and feel utterly alone.  I remember moving to Columbia, knowing no one.  When I first joined the ministry I am at now, I felt like an outsider and alone.  I went from a super close-knit church community to having no one at church that I felt comfortable sharing my life with.  So I know from first hand, that even in the House of God- you can feel utterly alone.

When one starts to spend so much time by themselves, they begin to believe that their presence means nothing to those around them.  Sometimes, I think to myself- if I moved to a different country and said goodbye to no one, would anyone care?  Would anyone miss my presence? Am I as invisible as I feel? Are my ideas, dreams, cares, desires, ambitions and goals necessary for the Earth in this time?  Am I necessary?  I believe that we find our worth in the Creator and to Him our presence is necessary for the Earth.  The Lord has need of us… I remember a passage of scripture (Luke 19:28-40)about a colt that was minding its own business when Jesus sent the disciples to get the colt for a special mission: Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  I bet that when the colt opened its eyes that day, it had no idea that Jesus was going to request its services but that’s exactly what happened.  When the disciples went to fetch the colt, they told the owner “The Master has need of it..” and the colt was given to the disciples for Jesus.  Yep, we are so much more advanced than a colt but aren’t we like the colt sometimes- bound and owned by fear and regret.  We are like the colt, stuck in the same place for years until one of Jesus’ disciples come to fetch us for the Master.  Today, I feel those same words of “I have need of it..” applicable to us.  Today, Jesus whispers to you and I “I have need of you!”  I need you.

So… regardless of if others notice our presence, Christ needs us.  Our presence in the building is noticeable to Him and He needs us in the entirety of who He created us to be.  He loves our smile, our laughter.  He sees our tears, and seeks to comfort our sorrow.  He likes the way we dance and jump with joy.  He desires that we are filled with love, complete love in Him. He needs our quirks and weirdness to change the world for good.  You and I are necessary!  We are necessary.  So… allow this truth to bring comfort to your heart and rest in the fact that God not only wants you but needs you to bring His beautiful Heaven to the Earth. I love you all and I hope that this message brings you hope and affirmation in God’s thoughts concerning you.

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-F89lVfZoGr4/V17SXjPynII/AAAAAAAAB0M/NHu_OZn2zmoeasxpq0V1QoJFDN0BWSHvgCLcB/s1600/master33.jpg