Steadfast Love

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

I’m gearing up for the end of the semester.  I thought that I reached a place above adversity, one where I could not be touched by the cares and concerns of the world.

Friends, in all honesty, I became comfortable.  Adversity has this amazing way of keeping one in conscious awareness of their need for God.  It’s like when I’m in trouble, I am more aware of my need for Him. Sad, but true.  So, I became comfortable and I knew I needed Him but my desperation for His presence began to wane and I continued to live life for me.

I believe that God loves us so much that He shakes up our world to causes us to become aware again.  It’s like, He doesn’t want us to ever come to this place where we think we don’t need Him.  Can you imagine loving someone but treating them as if they weren’t necessary?  I believe we treat the Lord this way.  We love Him but we live life as if He’s not necessary.  Long story short, the floodgates opened and adversity hit like a neverending wave.  I mean… a neverending wave!  From school complications to my automobile to concerns with my mental health to the most recent trial the lost of both my sister’s (my roommate) and I’s jobs.  It was as if lost came just in time for the holidays and we’re in this familiar position of needing him, a position that forces our hand into trust.

I thought I trusted God.  I did.  I thought I understood His love for me, this notion that because He loves me He wouldn’t leave me without.  Yet, my heart became increasingly full of fear and anxiety wrapped me in a bear hug as to say “Welcome Home!” Even in the midst of my perceived weakness, He never changed.  He loved me with a steadfast love.  You know, as I get older I understand more and more that life is full of change.  One day we’re at the top, the next we’re at the bottom.  One day we have it all, one day we have nothing.  One day we believe with all our hearts and the next we are full of fear and doubt.  In all the highs and lows, His love is steadfast – it doesn’t change.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

So, how do I respond to the only consistent thing in my life?  With gratitude.  I respond gratefully for such a love that I don’t deserve.  I respond with a heart to love others with such intention and consistency.  I know that I will make mistakes along the way but the least I could do is try.  Friends, I am loved well by a God that could choose any day not to love me.  Yet, He chooses me every single time. He chooses you and that is simply beautiful.  I pray that you all do not become afraid with the presence of adversity, that you are full of the love of God.  I pray that you all have a deep awareness of God’s goodness and rest in your eternal need for Him.  I pray that you are filled to the brim with love.

May you rest in His faithfulness, may you bask in His love. 

Xoxo,

Simone 

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One Lyric At a Time…

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

I love to write.  I love to write poems, short stories, and songs… I love to write songs.  I’ve been writing songs since I was a little girl, lyrics would pour out of me like oil.  I have journals filled with songs, napkins with songs lyrics, old tattered legal pad pages of songs.  For a season in my life, the only consistent thing was the lyrics coming to my head, but then one day the words stopped coming.  It was like my creative faucet was jammed and the before you knew it, I gave up writing- I stopped hearing the melodies. Isn’t it crazy to solidify one’s identity on a single season?  That is exactly what I did, because of what I deemed an insufficiency, I no longer identified myself as a songwriter…

We don’t stop being who we are because of what we momentary lack.

God never said “Simone, you are no longer a writer.  Let that go!”  In fact, He encouraged me to write more.  He desired that I wrote beyond my pain, beyond my disbelief in self, beyond my shame and insecurities.  He called me Simone, his daughter, his writer, his creator and his advocate.

I was in my bedroom last night, singing my heart out to the Father when lyrics of hope began to leap off of my lips.  “You silence my fears, You still my heart, you calm the depths of my mind.”  Words of healing filled my room and for once I wasn’t trying to write a song, I was just acting as myself: a songwriter.

When you are who you are, you don’t have to try so hard.

Who are you?  What pieces of your identity have you given up out of frustration?  When God calls you by name:  your name doesn’t change based upon circumstance.  Though you are in the middle of trials, your name and the essence of you remain the same.  When God called Joseph ruler, he was a ruler though he was falsely imprisoned.  When God called Moses deliverer, he was a deliverer though he shied away because of insecurity.  When God called Abraham friend, he was still His friend even after he lied about his wife being his sister.  The names of our heroes remained the same, though life circumstances around them were filled with change.  Lastly, let’s look at David: God’s songwriter and king but for a season of life he was on the run as a fugitive trying to survive.

Circumstances will change, but your name will remain the same.

You are a son or a daughter of God.  That is the bedrock of your identity.  Everything else is an additive to something amazing: you.  So, creator, create.  Writer, write.  Teacher, teach.  Lover, love well.  Be who you are and never disown pieces of self because of hardship!

Xoxo,

Simone 

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So, I Obeyed God…Now What?

Hello old friends, new followers & fellow bloggers-

Have you ever faced a hard decision?  Like, either you’re going to obey Him or you’re going to live life the way that you desire?  Once upon a time, not too long ago, I too was at this crossroad: either to obey Him or to live life for me.

The hardest decisions we must make are not the ones that we don’t feel but the decisions that we feel deeply.

So… as many of you may or may not have known, once upon a time, I was in a relationship with this (in my mind) dope guy.  I mean (in my mind) He was the next best thing since sliced bread.  He was it!  You hear me?  He was “the” perfect age, perfect height, he looked like a Ken doll, he had all the qualities I would have wanted for a guy: kindness, compassion, generosity, and intelligence.  He could do no wrong.  He was the one I was waiting for… or so I thought. I think we all in our minds imagine our lives with certain things:  certain careers, certain houses, certain cars, and even certain people.  It is like we race toward the finish line to make sure that we are set and therefore we settle for things and people that temporarily satisfy.  This is what I did with my relationship, I settled.

On a random Tuesday morning, God wanted to speak about the thing I held dear in my heart.  To tell you the truth, I held this person I loved more dearly than I did Him.  Yep, I was guilty of allowing someone to sit on His throne.  That morning, God came and He shared some truth with me and asked me to let my relationship go.  I had a choice, either I was going to trust my Father and obey or I was going to hold on to something out of the fear that what I was letting go, I would never find again.

I chose to let go:  not because I was brave, not even because I knew what was coming, but simply because I trusted God and His choices for my life.

So, I obeyed God… now what?  I obeyed and nothing really changed:  I’m single and I still desire companionship.  I obeyed and nothing really changed:  I’m still not as financially secure as I would prefer.  I obeyed and nothing really changed:  I’m still navigating through life alone and I don’t have anyone I can confide in.  These are just a few examples of our responses to obedience.  Ladies and gents, God never promised immediate change as the reward for obedience, but he did promise that trusting in Him will not cause us to be ashamed/humiliated/embarrassed.  Though it may appear that our act of obedience has done nothing, in retrospect that simple act has changed everything.  My act obedience wasn’t magic, it didn’t shield the pain of my decision, it didn’t make my decision easier but it gave me a peace about my future.

Obedience to the Father is an act of love and trust, not into what he has for you but into who he is and his nature to be good.

So, I obeyed God…now what?

Xoxo,

Simone 

But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22 NIV

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New Garments

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

It’s a rarity that I post twice but when things change in your life, it deems time fit for another post.  After the post earlier (Shades Down and Lights Off),  I sat on my bed and just began to think.  I thought about God, my life, my past, my present, my hopes, and desires.  To calm the anxious thoughts in my mind, I searched for the 8AM sermon at All Nations Worship Assembly.  Instead of a traditional sermon, Apostle Stevenson got up and began to pray against the spirits of death, suicide, and anxiety.  Man oh man, that prayer wrecked me.  He had no idea that a young girl in SC would listen to something he imparted into Chicago earlier that morning.  I sat, cried, worshipped and kneeled and in that moment I felt the beautiful presence of God. In my lowest of lows, His love came to the rescue once again.  I removed my clothes of sadness and mourning and changed into garments of joy.  My peace returned to me and I decided to go to church again: this time in new garments!

How great is our God, that when we think it’s all over He shows up?  When we turn to Him and express our need for Him, he comes to our rescue- so faithful and so kind, is he.  There’s a lyric in this song called “Reckless Love” that says “There’s no wall you won’t kick down/ Lie you won’t tear down/ Coming after me”  And today, He kicked down some self-made walls and he tore down the lies I  was being enticed to believe.  Loves, I want to affirm you today.  You are NOT a lost cause.  You are NOT hopeless.  You are NOT going to remain in the same situation overwhelmed by the same things.  God STILL loves you.  He STILL chooses you.  He STILL desires you and though your mind may say otherwise, HE thinks of you the SAME.  Today, in my darkest moment the Father showed up in grace, mercy and reckless love.  You are not alone, for the Creator of all good things comes to you- ready in hand with whatever you need.

Thank you for the prayers,  thanks for being my online family and thanks for giving me the freedom to live a transparent life.  I love you all very much!

Xoxo,

Simone 

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here we go again.

here we go again. 

these are the words that come to mind, 

as I sit, read, analyze, listen, doze off and repeat 

going through this cycle called life...

yet I've escaped the Ferris wheel. 

my inward carnival is out of business, 

and the havoc of the Topsy-turvy, up and down- has stopped. 

maybe it's because I'm finally healthy.

whole in my mind, emotions - no longer run by my previous slave master: feelings. 

i  feel and therefore I am not. 

i see and therefore I can accomplish. 

i believe and therefore I can have- it all. 

for I've found consistency in You. 

here we go again, 

yet here we are to something new. 

same law school, new perspective.

same agenda, new energy.

same people, new heart. 

this is what freedom feels like. 

this is what it means to be alive... 

©Simone Holloway, 2018
FIC: http://images.mentalfloss.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/8a11317r-565×376.jpg

Creators Unite: 2018 is the Age of the Creative!

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

As 2017 begins to wind down, and this year quickly comes to an end.  I don’t know about each of you but this year (for some) was one void of inspiration and creative flow.  I spoke with some of my other friends who are creatives, and they expressed a great disdain for this year in regards to their creative ability.  Again for some, 2017 was the year of the creative block.  Artists, writers, innovators, struggled to imagine again.  We saw this inward turmoil when we looked to the films released, the music heard and even the articles written about our favorite celebrity icons.  It was as if the creative breath of our nation, left with the new presidency and the hope of good, imaginative thought took a downward turn.  Don’t get me wrong this is not a political blog and the new year is not going to change that, but 2017 for a lack of better words : purely, ardently SUCKED!  It was a taxing year of tension between struggle and progression and society once again found skepticism in the intentions of good spoken by humanity.

This year alone, I wrote less than the year before.  I lacked inspiration, hope, time and ingenuity and frankly loss my love for the written art form.  The greatest tragedy is for a creator to lose the ability to create again. I bet those with one-hit wonders could identify with that statement, and too long for the day when they can create something new.  That is my heart’s desire to create something new, to be an endless stream of creative thoughts and ideas in my pursuit to demonstrate love to those around me.  The same old- same old, is BORING and  my attention span for what is lackluster has expired.  I want to create, and I want to create something legendary.  Even some of you, my friends, I watched you hit a glass ceiling with creativity as your posts began to be more prolonged and your woes more apparent.  I have great news… I believe that the year coming is the year for the creatives!  It’s going to be a year of renewed vision, more innovative ideas, and just a stream of creative output.  It’s the age of the Creative!

So… was that a diatribe against 2017?  I guess it was… though I am grateful for 2017, for God has been extremely good to me, it has been extremely hard filled with intense pain.  Yet, the pain I’ve experienced, did not kill me.  I’m here, I’m grateful and I’m ready!  I’m ready to hit the ground running, looking to unite as we create together.  Creators Unite!  For it is our time to shape and influence the world, and the works we set now will be admired for generations to come!

Thank you to each of you for believing in me!  I appreciate every comment, read post, shared post and I love each of you for it!

I believe in each of you.  I believe in your work, your writing, your heart’s desire for good and I wish you the best this coming year.  Are you a creator?  If so, this is your time!  

Much love,

Simone 

©Simone Holloway, 2017

Seasons Change

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

This week has been a long one, better yet this year has been a long one- just looking forward to 2018.  I am the absolute worst at recognizing that things change.  I  can be in something for so long and not realize that the very thing I’m invested in has changed.  I add this to my list of faults, which include being a hoarder of individuals (relationships and friendships) , to my frustrations with the “process” that leaves me bee-lining for the door.  Today, I sat in my car and came to the realization that seasons change.  People change, situations change, opportunities change, and seasons change.

I realized that my aversion to change came from my desire for security.  In my mind, the steadiness of my relationships equate the level of security in my life. But this concept, is a false expectation placed upon mankind. Ultimately, our security can only be placed in God. People are fallible, they will fail us.  They will disappoint us, we cannot expect people to rock with us forever.  Some might say this is a very negative concept, or one shared by a pessimist- but I refuse to engage in this false hope that those around me are incapable of hurting me, in fact it is the people that are closest to you that hurt you the most.  I believe that once we remove the security we have placed in others, and we place it in God- it relieves us of the expectations that we’ve placed on these individuals to demonstrate stability in our lives.  Security in God makes us stable and stability within ourselves create our ability to withstand change.

Friends, I implore you to find security within the Father- for He is the only one that is stable and consistent.  He never changes!  This is the best news possible, because if you’re like me and you’ve dealt with the flakiest of them all- or perhaps you are the flaky person, it’s a relief to know that regardless of what happens, He won’t change.  On good days and bad days, He is still the same!  On the days we feel like superheroes and even in moments when we feel like villains, He is still the same!  Always and forever, He will be good.  Let these truths encourage your soul, and may you find that He is your rock (steadfast and consistent).

I love each and every one you.  I hope you all have a great evening!

Until next time,

Simone

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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

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©Simone Holloway, 2017

Examine Yourself

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Have you ever had one of those “reality check” moments?  Like, one of those times when you became aware of who you truly were? I think we all have moments like these and they come when we have ignored the voice of God way too long.  I had one of those moments a few hours ago, I realized that I needed to be real with myself and with God.  Sometimes we are not in the situations we face because of the Enemy or the devil, we are in our predicaments because of us.  We placed ourselves in these various circumstances but then look to God and blame Him for our situation.  It’s not God’s fault but ours.  That’s a tough pill to swallow but it is not until we come into truth that we can: be free.  Jesus said,  “For you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. (John 8:32) “  It is the truth that sets us free, not our fantasies, excuses and rejection of what truly is – but truth.  So today, I came face to face with some hard truth about myself and it was that truth that compelled my desire to change.

With today being first Sunday, I know my home church performed communion.  My mom always read 1  Corinthians 11:28a, “But let a man examine himself…” This practice of examining ourselves is this check to determine our standing with God.  Sometimes we can become  so comfortable in our sin that we forget that our standing with God matters.  Christianity is not solely about Heaven, but what is the point to spend so many days in church just to end up in Hell? Why waste our precious time to live halfway committed to God?

We halfway worship,  we halfway praise.  We know all the scriptures, but can’t live them out.  We can speak in some kind of tongue, dance a church down with our coordinated two -step but can’t live and speak holy.  What is the point to do the most, if I’m not going to spend eternity with Him?  I’m at this place in my life,  where church homiletics and routines are no l longer cutting it.  I’m no longer trying to look the part of a Christian, I’m about being a Christian in all its entirety.  If I’m going to look a part, I’m just deceiving myself.

Today  I came to myself, I recognized that my heart and my mind was keeping me from this next place in God.  I needed a new heart, a new mind, a new outlook on life.  The cycle of barely trusting God, believing one day and then complaining tomorrow was going to keep me in stuck in a mediocre relationship with God.  I saw myself as super selfish, super whiny and someone who was more blessed than I realized.  Yes, life is tough but everyone’s life is tough and that’s why we have a God who is more concerned with us than we are sometimes with him.  God is not asking for my complaints, He is seeking my heart to trust him in the midst of where I am.

If we judge ourselves, we don’t have to worry about anyone judging us.

One of the teens in my church’s youth group preached a message called, “Check Yourself.” and I speak that to each of you – check yourself.  Are you who you say you are?  Are you as devout to the gospel as you appear to be?  Looks can be deceiving…. If you’re not where you need to be in God, get there and get there fast because we don’t have time to keep up appearances.  We don’t have time to appear to be whole when we are indeed broken.  We don’t have time to appear to be free when we are truly bound.  We don’t have time to fake our peace living in a state of torment.  We don’t have time …

When we are honest with ourselves, it is then we are made whole. It is truth that sets us free and it is confession that heals us.  I don’t know about y’all but I am ready to live in the fullness of what God created for me to be. I am ready to change.  I am ready…

Until next time,

Simone

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Nerves & Excitement

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers – 

This is finally happening. I am leaving home to pursue a career in law.  I move from my parent’s house to my own place in a few days and I am filled with nerves, excitement, and a whole bunch of feelings that I cannot even begin to understand.  I thought I would be facing this moment a couple of years ago, but the plan of God was different and He destined that I leave this year to begin that phase of my future.

As I think about the days to come, I am speechless as I grasp the idea of leaving my family, church family and all I know behind.  I’m utterly on my own, alone as I push toward my dreams.I am going to a place that my friends cannot go with me, even the one I loved more than life could not go and I’ve been placed in a position where it’s me and God for the long run.  I tried to busy myself so I would not have to grapple with these facts, thinking that if my mind is not idle- I can pretend that this transition did not effect me.  But as I am writing this evening, I feel tears threatening to be released from the prison of my eyes- I realize that this is it! This is exactly what I asked  for, prayed for , believed for… and instead of fear I should be filled with courage as i walk into this new place.

Courage.  I want to be courageous- I’ve been prepping for these days for two years and have met more hardships than anyone would ever understand.  I found out over the span of two years who were my friends and who were counterfeits.  I discovered that the word family means different things to different people.  I became guarded. I dumped the practice of being naive and I learned that in life you have to fight for what you want and sometimes you just have to cry it out.  You have to cry out disappoint, you have to cry out fear, you have to cry  and shed as many tears as possible to cleanse the soul.  Sometimes you have to cry to heal and sometimes you have to walk alone so that you can finally learn yourself.

There comes a time in our lives where we have to love ourselves first, so that we can love others.  There comes a time when we have to believe in our dreams, when no one else does.  Finally, sometimes we have to become prisoners of hope and hope for the best regardless of how everything around us is trying to steal that hope.  I fought for where I am, a J.D. candidate in the class of 2019 and I have so much more fighting to do.  I will fight until the end when I am sitting on a judge’s seat making the wrongs of our society right again.  Becoming a lawyer is the next step in the line of many  and the best is yet to come.

So loves, I thought I would share my heart with you this evening and bring encouragement regarding your dreams.  I know life has been tough, believe me I do – but I know that each and every one of you have the power within to change the world.  I believe in your dreams.  I believe in your ability to bring them to pass.  I believe that inside of you is a purpose greater than what you see for yourself and I am excited yet nervous at how you are going to bring your imprint of change to the earth.  I love you guys!

Thanks for being my family, for sharing your lives with me and for welcoming me into your lives as well.  Most importantly, thanks for sticking with me when I did not believe in myself.  Thank you Authentic Lovers!!!

Until next time ( when my workload gets a bit easier lol.),

Simone

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