No Shame

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Friday!  Have you ever been so full of clarity that you’ve sat and thought about life?  Maybe it’s just me:  but after I have a moment with God, sometimes I just sit in my room in silence and ponder what I just experienced.  Last night was one of those nights. I was recovering from experiencing a sermon by the GOAT Dr. Matthew Stevenson III, and I just happened to be wired at 1:45 in the morning.  I was up UP.  Anyways, I sat and heard this song by TenthAvenueNorth called “No Shame.”  and my life was changed forever.  I found the theme song for my season/life.  There is a freedom that comes with living and expressing truth, free of shame.

During my time in Greenville, each day God has been pulling back layers of fear- asking me to confront my heart issues and removing all kinds of weight including the weight of shame.  When you’re in this place of vulnerability, it’s easy to think man, what will “so and so think” but that doesn’t matter. God has taught me that the fearless live in truth and where there is the truth, there is no need to be ashamed.  I’ve lived bound under the realm of shame for so long, not sharing my truth- not addressing things with others, belittling my call or purpose, but now that shame has been dissipated with perfect love I’m good.  I turned the song all the way up and began to sing to the top of my lungs.  Before you knew it I was dancing in my kitchen celebrating freedom.

Where there is grace, there is no shame and where there is love, there is no fear.

Y’all, I have no idea what this life of no shame will bring but I’m excited.  I feel free, like in the depths of my soul.  I feel like I can conquer the world.  I feel strong and full of life in the inner chambers of my heart.  I feel brave.  It takes bravery to move into the unknown out of fear into love, out of being guarded to being open, out of holding things into being extremely honest.  I am okay with where I am and that is freedom all in itself.  I’ve embraced the truth about me and I am unashamed.  I’ve embraced my triumphs and my failures, every ounce of my brokenness and the places where I am whole, all of my strengths and all of my weaknesses.  I’m okay with every ounce of me and I am enough because I am in Him.  I’m literally smiling as I type this article, overjoyed at the process He is doing in my heart.

I am happy with my process.  I rejoice at my journey.  I’m content with my story.

Family, this is what a life of no shame looks like: it’s singing and dancing at 2 o’clock in the morning with no fear, with no shame.  It’s trusting for provision when it seems like all hope is lost.  It’s being unfazed with bad news because you know in your soul that He’s working all things for good.  It’s loving others beyond their capacity to love you.  It’s forgiving even when you don’t want to.  It’s having hard conversations, dealing with the hard relational issues, and making hard decisions for your next.  It’s going beyond opinions of others, beyond even your opinion of yourself, feeling fear but doing it anyway.  It’s riding the tallest rollercoaster, swimming in the deepest oceans, and taking road trips on faith. It’s relocating because God said to, and finding that you have a home waiting for you.  It’s being light, weight free and full because those that place their trust in Him will never be put to shame.  Trust not only eradicates fear but for me it eradicated shame. 

I’m living with no shame! 

Xoxo,

Simone

P.S. Check out TenthAvenueNorth’s song “No Shame”.  It’s available on all streaming platforms!

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Safe Spaces

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

Today is Monday.  Yep, I survived another week and as I begin a new one: gratitude, relief, and a sheer “OMG I can’t believe we’re still in it to win it” fills my heart.   However, today I wanted to share something on my heart with each of you.  DISCLAIMER: Today’s post will be super real, transparent and utterly vulnerable. But, that’s the way I desire to be with each of you, for we can only help each other when we remove the masks. So, beloveds (in my Iyanla Vanzant Voice) take a deep breath, let’s go!

I believe that one of the best feelings in the world is the feeling of safety.  l mean safety is better than PSLs from Starbucks, better than holiday meals, even better than a vacay with no cell service so my clients can’t contact me.  Like most individuals in the world, I value safety: physical, emotional and spiritual safety. If you’re in an environment where you don’t believe you are safe to be yourself, it can be emotionally crippling. Ladies and gents, this is why I carry my life as a safe space- a place where people can come, confide and hide in love and compassion. This is where it gets real though…I’ve been a safe space for many but it is extremely rare that there has been someone in my life that has been a safe space for me.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been searching for my safe space.  Quickly disappointed, I’d shut down and became emotionally unavailable to those around me.

Let’s be real, those who are super loving are usually the ones that have experienced the most pain.  Those who are super accepting of others are typically the ones who’ve been rejected by many.  Those who are the “strong” one in their relationships are typically built that way because of traumatic events surrounding their weaknesses.  I have been all of these things…rejected, in pain and have experienced trauma.

Overall, my soul sought safety.

You know what?  I came to the conclusion that if I never have a tangible safe space, a person by which I share my fears, concerns, desires, triumphs, and hardships- I’ve found safety in the Father. For reals, though He is not tangible, He is all around and He is a safe space. The best things about Him: He’s consistent, He doesn’t change, He’s reliable and He’s always available!

This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God and I trust Him.

Psalms 91:2

I bet when David wrote those words, he was seeking a safe space.  He was on the run, his father-in-law was insane trying to kill him, his wife didn’t help him, he had no communication with his best friend, and he was utterly alone.  I know what it’s like to feel alone like no one truly understands the contents of your heart.  David knew this loneliness all too well, but even in the midst of his pain, he recognized what he had: the Father.  The Father was his safe space, and He is mine.

May you find refuge in the love of God!  May the Father give you a safe space/a community that will love you well!

Xoxo,

Simone

There’s More

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

Happy Thursday!  Have you ever sat back, reflected on your day and was like “How in the world did I get all of that done?”  You know what I mean?  No, well if you knew how hectic my schedule was you would be like: “OMG I can’t believe she is still breathing!”  Every day is another fast-paced adventure full of twists and turns,  looming with the unexpected and thriving with the unknown.  I plan for the day and I keep a day planner, or I used to- but every moment seems to be an invitation to release control and to step into the adventure that is Him.

How beautiful is it to feel unlimited?  To no longer be bogged down with the weight of limitations?  Whether those limitations are time, energy, money, intellect, etc?   For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’ve broken through the glass ceiling and there is an appreciation of the fact that there is so much more!  There is so much more adventure, much more ideas, much more creativity!  It is as if a well of creativity is flowing on the inside and where there was blockage of doubt, insecurity, and brokenness- healing has come to produce a well that never runs dry.  This is what it feels like to lean into His grace, to relinquish control, to receive His love.  It feels like the words of hope never end, the ideas for the future fail to cease and innovation become a neverending reality. And just when, just when you feel like there is nothing left to give, that well springs up again spouting forth something new and something good.

He is the well and with him, there is so much more!

Xoxo,

Simone

“…but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14 NIV

FIC: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/63/Strokkur_geyser_eruption%2C_close-up_view.jpg/300px-Strokkur_geyser_eruption%2C_close-up_view.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

 

IT WILL HAPPEN!!!!

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Have you ever heard the voice of God so clearly, it stopped you in your tracks?  I mean one of those moments when God speaks so profoundly to your spirit, you don’t know whether to cry, dance, jump up and down- just shook? Well… friends, I had one of those moments today.  It was so loud like a blaring microphone, yet so small and still.  It was in this moment that I heard these three words: “It will happen.”  I don’t know about you guys, but the Enemy has been busying speaking lies to me concerning the promises of God.  He’s spent the last few years casting doubt like seed into my heart based on this waiting period I’ve been in, as well as other factors of fault on my part (sin), telling me that God is not going to do what He promised.  He’s even told me that I’ve messed up my chances of receiving what God had for me based upon my past, but he is a liar… the promises of God over my life and yours will happen!

The Father wanted me to encourage someone today and let them know that whatever he has spoken, promised or shown via dream/vision- he is faithful to make that thing happen.  Time has no power over the promises of God.  Circumstance has no power over the promises of God.  People have no power over the promises of God.  Since God is not a liar and He is always good even when we are not good- He keeps his Word!  I’m reminded of the story of Noah who for 120 years, preached that it would rain to the magnitude of a flood on the earth.  For 120 years, he preached the same sermon and people around him thought he was crazy; they made fun of him, counted him out to look like a religious fool, but Noah, believed that he heard the voice of God and kept preparing for rain.  It took a long time, but after awhile raindrops began to descend on the earth and those that mocked Noah were banging on the door of the ark begging to be saved.  The Father encourages you to know that those who counted you out, those that told you that your dream would never happen, that things would never change- those will be the same individuals that will witness God’s word come to pass in your life.

I know it’s been a long time and doubt has crept in but I come to speak truth and clarity to your situation- everything that God has spoken concerning you will happen.  Period.  Be encouraged, hope and joy is here!

“For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth  and making it germinate and sprout,  and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” Isaiah 55:10-11 NLT

Until next time,

Simone

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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

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God’s Opinion…

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Well… it’s Monday and let me tell you I took an “L” during class today.  Have you ever been asked a question and gave an obvious wrong answer but before you can stop yourself from talking- your mistaken speech has already left your mouth?  This happened to me in Civil Procedure today I could feel the stares of judgement on my back…like, I was so embarrassed.  One of the first thoughts that can to my mind was, “Girl!  Everyone must think you’re so stupid now!” “Like, you’re soooo stupid! Why did you say that???”  Shame and embarrassment began to settle on me.  We can’t change the perception of others, but we can change how we perceive ourselves…

As I sat in my seat, eyes adverted to the floor, the Lord asked me a question:

“Which opinion is more important to you: mine or theirs?”

I could feel His presence meet me in that classroom and He began to share his thoughts about me to me.  “I think you’re smart, I think you’re beautiful.  I think you’re capable of more than you’ve ever imagined.  I think you’re going to make a great attorney! I believe in you.”  His words lifted the shame and his peace began to settle my soul.  There’s this scripture that says, “Those that place their hope in Me will not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 49:23)  There is no shame in Him, and his opinion supersedes the opinions of others.

Well…I don’t know what you’ve been embarrassed about or what defeating thoughts you’ve entertained about yourself- but I challenge you to see yourself, the way God sees you!  I challenge you to think highly of yourself because your Creator thinks highly of you. His love consumes all of the fear, doubt, and shame that comes to overwhelm us. He believes in us, so let us believe in ourselves!

Until next time,

Simone

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Happy Christmas

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Holidays!  I wish you all an amazing Christmas season, filled with joy and love.  I know that for some of you all, Christmas is a hard time. It’s a time when you’re reminded of loss of family, your status of singleness, and just the fact that you are spending this time alone.  But, be of good cheer!  You have a whole family, here, ready to love you and encourage you throughout this time.

Once upon a time, I used to dread the holidays; but then I realized that I am so blessed. I have an amazing family who loves me for me, wonderful friends and I am living my dream.  So, I would like to encourage each of you to find the blessings in your lives, the little miracles that holds an eternal smile on your faces.  I believe that God works all around us to remind us that we have so much more than what we think.  We have Him, friends, roofs over our heads, clean water and we live (well some of us) in a country that affords us amazing freedoms.  I am truly blessed and even though I may not have a significant other or a spouse, I am not alone because God is with me.  One of my favorite verses to dwell on during the holidays is Matt. 28:20 b, which says “… And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  We are never alone.  May you find comfort in this verse and realize that He is all around you with his arms open wide- ready to love you well.

I believe that Christmas is not about gifts and material things but about loving others well. I believe that Christmas is about spreading joy and sharing the greatest gift of Christ with the world. For it is my belief, that the day this sweet baby boy came to the world- the world was changed forever.  Jesus came to change the world.  He came to bring hope and to bring love to the outsiders.  He came to bring joy to the depressed, to rescue those who were hanging on by a wing and a prayer.  He came for broken people, for those that people gave up on, for those that were deemed to be unlovable.  Jesus came for you and me and it was with compassion and love that he entered into our world ready to give up everything for us.  He loves us well and during this season, may we share his love with others and love well.

Anyways…family, I love each and everyone of you.  Thank you guys for sticking with me over the  years.  Thank you for reading my posts, thank you for your comments, thank you for investing in me as I seek to pour into each and every one of you.  You guys have loved me well over these past few years and for that I am so grateful!  Thank you for being my family during some of the hardest seasons of my life and  I pray that God will pour His  love out on each and every one of you.  You guys have loved me well and I seek  to continue to love each and every one of you. MERRY CHRISTMAS FAMILY!!!! 

Until next time,

Simone

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Best Foot Forward

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Today is  great day! Yeppers, it is a great day in the making…. I am so excited about these 24 hours allotted for today.  I am sitting in the law school lobby supposed to be studying but since I am ahead, I am not super stressed out about school work.  There is a beauty in living life with no worries and zero to none anxiety.  There is a simple beauty in trusting in God and living with joy.  So I decided to turn my music up, blog and enjoy this moment.

Today is one of those decision moments, when we can decide to place our best foot forward and live with purpose, or we can sit and complain about where we are.  Side-note: blogging during school hours? I call this… insane time-management(lol).  We have a choice as to how we will approach life- with joy or with worry. If I’m not going to enjoy what I am doing then it might as well not get done.  Sometimes we have to place our best foot forward and give life all that we have. Sometimes we have to give life our best shot.  Today is one of those times.  So I encourage you darlings, to give today the best effort that you can.  Enjoy life around you and smile a little more.

I got to go but I am praying for you guys and wishing you all the very best!

Until next time,

Simone

Nothing Else Matters

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers –

This is an early blog post from my usual stuff but I have something that is burning on the inside of my heart.  I think it is so easy to get caught up in things that have no power over our lives, things that relatively do not matter.  I’ve heard this before- life is trivial, it’ll eventually come to an end and all that we cared so deeply about will fade away.  Thinking of what was to come used to terrify me especially since I barely had a true grasp on the life I’m living now.  But then something hit me…. The only two things that matter are: (1) Is God real? (2) If so, is He coming back for us someday? 

We live in a world that points no to the above questions.  Think about it- if God is real, how come we have suffering?  If God is true, how come he has not come back for his children yet?  To hold on to one’s faith in the midst of today’s chaotic atmosphere is the true test of victory and many have fallen under the hand of disbelief mixed with fatigue.  I woke up around 4:30 AM pondering these questions.  As I fell to sleep, I believe that in the next few minutes – the Lord began to speak to me.  We get so caught up in questions like, do they like me?  Will I ever succeed?  Will I ever make my parents happy? How will my life pan out?  but at the end of the day- these things mean nothing if God is not real and He is not coming back.   Our hope in our future is that we have a God that understands exactly what is coming and can lead and direct us toward our greatest potential.

Life outside of Him, does not matter.  I closed my eyes and I dreamed an evening in my life; church, fellowship with my bestie but there was a twist – this was the night the Lord decided to come for me (His child) and as I dreamed my spirit ascending to meet Him in the clouds- I was at such peace  because God is real and He is coming back.  Peace overcame me as truth was manifested in my midst and everything else faded to the background.  It’s time we live our lives as if God is real and as if He is coming back, and it is when we approach life with this mindset that we will see true change among us.

The children of God has gotten lazy; too lazy to care about the poor here in our neighborhoods, too lazy to love those who need love the most, too lazy to care about the homeless in our cities- we are too lazy for the revival we profess to desire.  We pray for the harvest, yet we do not want to till the ground and prepare the land for rain.  This has come from not finding our true answer to the questions above: Is God real? and If so, Is He coming back for his children?  When we come to the place where we can truthfully answer these questions- we will see the change/ revival we seek.

I believe that God is real and that He is coming back for me.  One day, when I’m living life as I usually do – He will be in the clouds, waiting to welcome me home.  It is this hope that drowns out all of the bad around me, that makes the fear fade away.  Nothing else matters, because the One who matters the most is with me – guiding me in life to bring me to that fateful day.  It is with this hope that I live this life with abandon and that I give my all to the Lord until my last breath.  Friends, fade in the hope that is in Him and be at peace.

Grace and Peace be unto from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Phil 1:2)

Until next time,

Simone