My Sacred Place.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

It’s a late-night and I just finished spending time in my sacred place.  My sacred place is where I spend time with God.  There is a space right next to my bed, it’s where I keep my prayer blanket, journal, and a wireless speaker.  There is something special about that space.  Whether I’m sitting Indian style or laying prostrate on the ground, I immediately feel the presence of Jesus.  This section of my room is our special place, it’s where we meet to chat about life.

A friend came to see me a few weeks ago, with her she carried all of her bags to my room.  She scanned the room, saw the blanket on the ground next to my bed and immediately tried not to cross over into that portion of my room.   Out of respect, she took off her shoes and continued to be mindful of where she stood.  I chuckled but I was grateful for her attentiveness.  As I looked at her, I thought of one of my biblical heroes: Moses.  There is this dope story about God finding Moses in the middle of Midian.  He was busy doing his job (he was a shepherd) when he saw a burning bush.  Curiosity consumed him and he went to see what was going on in the wilderness.  The coolest part about Moses’ discovery was that while the bush was burning, it was not consumed.

“One day Moses was tending the flock of his father- in – law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God.  There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush.  Moses stared in amazement.  Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. ‘This is amazing’ Moses said to himself. ‘Why isn’t that bush burning up?  I must go see it.'” Exodus 3:1-3 NLT

Let’s pause here:  though Moses saw the fire, he did not see destruction.  This is a great metaphor for  life, though it looks like  we’re on fire- dealing with the cares of life, we’re not consumed because of the grace of God. Just because we see flames does not mean that God is allowing us to burn. He is not going to let us burn, we won’t smell like smoke!  

“When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him in the middle of the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ ‘Here I am!’ Moses replied. ‘Do not come any closer, ‘ the Lord warned. ‘Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.” Exodus 3:4-5a

Anyways… Moses comes into an audience with God, into a sacred place.  The spot where Moses is standing is so sacred, he’s directed to take off his shoes.  Even though Moses did not plan to meet with God, God planned to speak with Moses. How dope is that?  

This morning, I felt the tug of God to come to our sacred place.  I wish I could tell you that quality time with the Father was the first thing on my mind, but that was simply not the case.  In fact, all of my concerns and worries harbored my mind.  I dwelled in this land of reevaluation, a place where I was constantly questioning my faith moves.  It’s one thing to step out on faith and it’s another to burn your back up plan, to slay your ox of convenience.  That is what I did.  I burned my safety nets, destroyed my back up plans and now I was frustrated with what I gambled for. We all have moments when we’re like “God, is it worth the risk?”  I believe Moses had similar questions.  I bet the prince of Egypt never imagined living a life as a fugitive in Midian, but here he was reimagining all he dreamed.  Yet, God being so gracious used curiosity to grab his attention.  God wanted to spend that time with him, the same way he desired to spend time with me. 

Want to hear some good news?  Well… the good news in all of this is that God desires to spend time with you too.  What do you have to lose by going to yall’s sacred place?  That place where you two meet and chat about life?  I’ve found that the lower I am, the stronger I become.  Prayer is my lifeline of strength and wisdom and every time I have questions, He comes with plenty of answers.  I think my favorite part about our time is that I don’t have to pretend- I can be all of who I am because I am fully accepted and loved.  For example, this morning  I whispered, “Jesus, I need you.”  Nothing fancy, nothing long.  A simple short prayer of how I was feeling at that moment.  And just like that, He came ready to meet my need for more of Him.

Get to your sacred place.  Hide in your sacred place. Rest in your sacred place.  Create a home with just you and Him and allow Him to fill your life with peace.  Time with Him is worth every second. Well, family, that’s it for today.  Have an amazing Sunday!

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://i1.wp.com/www.simpleandseason.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Journal-candles-and-a-cup-of-tea-on-a-blanket-on-a-sunny-windowsill.jpg

There’s No Need To Fear.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

First, Happy Birthday!!! Today, this beloved blog turned six years old.  It’s crazy to think that six years ago in a college dorm room, I created a blog to journey towards healing.  God has used this beloved platform to be a space of freedom, a community where we can all walk together towards authentic love.  Over the past six years, I’ve learned a lot in this love journey, have had my share of victories and losses but through it all: I survived!  Blessed be unto God who causes us to triumph!

Today, I had a whole meltdown because at the root of it all- I was utterly afraid.

For today to be the blog’s birthday, it was a rough one.  It was a day filled with emotional ups and downs.  To tell you the truth, I forgot all about our birthday because my impending BAR exam was the only thing on my mind.  For those of you that are unaware, I graduated from law school in May.  To practice law, one must take and pass what we call a BAR exam.  It’s an exam that tests all of the material we learned over the past three years.  It’s an extensive, rigorous exam.  It’s mentally, physically and emotionally taxing.  It’s not for the faint at heart.  This exam has been the focus of my attention for the past two months and the exam is in four days!  Today, I had a whole meltdown because at the root of it all- I was utterly afraid.   I was afraid of failure, afraid of people’s opinion, afraid of disappointing myself and with this fear came a butt load of pressure.  

For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 TPT

It was so hard to get out of bed this morning.  I didn’t get out of bed until around one, I trudged to my workspace to begin prep, looked at the problems and in my heart said:  “I don’t want to do this.” The truth of the matter was, in my heart, I was afraid that I couldn’t take this exam and pass.  Fear gripped me in the crevices of my soul and I whispered to the Lord, “I feel so alone.  I’m here yet I cannot hear you.”  It was as if the darkness swallowed me whole and I had to fight to see the light.  One of my favorite worship leaders once said, “Many of you are getting ready to enter into a night.  Remember that the light is on the inside.  The light is on the inside!”  Her words fought against the darkness that plagued my mind.

You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.  You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence!  You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. Psalm 139:3-4 TPT

Seeking wisdom, I went to talk to my mom.  Y’all, my mom is like Jesus’ best friend.  She held me, prayed over me and reminded me that she was proud of me if I became a licensed attorney or not.  She was proud of me if I took the exam in four days or four months.  She was proud of me!  Her words took away all of the pressure. For the longest,  I felt this pressure to become for those that were counting on me.  I felt pressure to become for those that looked up to me.  I felt pressure to become for those that loved me.  She held me as I cried and reminded me that regardless,  I was loved.

Many of you are getting ready to enter into a night.  Remember that the light is on the inside.  The light is on the inside!- ©Steffany Gretzinger, 2018

Jesus loves me.  That is the simple truth that I tell myself when I feel the grip of fear.  Jesus loves me.  He is in love with me.  He cares about me deeply and because of this, I don’t have to search for love and comfort.   When I don’t know, He knows.  When I don’t have the strength, He is strong.  When I don’t feel like I can, He believes so strongly in me.  Jesus loves me.  I felt His love this evening as I sat to reflect on the day.

There’s no need to fear, for you are right here.- ©Simone Holloway, 2018

During a Tuesday evening in November, surrounded by my beautiful church family,  I began to have this musical conversation with the Lord.  Those who know me, know that I love to sing and write songs.  The songs that enter my heart are usually spontaneous and driven by my relationship with the Lord.  I was in the middle of a rehearsal when the words “There’s no need to fear, for you are right here.” came to my heart.  It was as if God knew that I would face so many things that would make me afraid.  He knew that I would feel alone, so he prepared me with a song.  Then in love, He sang these words over me: “I’m walking right beside you/I’m holding your hand./ I’m walking right beside you./ Though you don’t understand.”  He is the light at my feet, the wind at my back, and the lover of my soul.  Tonight he reminded me that he was my guide, that he was the strength and power I needed to move forward and that he was the one who loved me deeply! Then He reminded me of our six-year journey and his faithfulness brought me to tears.

I’m walking right beside you, I’m holding your hand.  I’m walking right beside you, though you don’t understand.- ©Simone Holloway, 2018

Long story short, I’m taking an exam that can determine my career in a few days and I am not afraid.   Because guess what?  Jesus will be there with me!  He’ll be there holding my hand, looking out for me, and making sure that everything works for my good. He’s near, He’s right here and He’ll be with me forever!

The Lord is my revelation-light to guide me along the way; he’s the source of my salvation to defend me every day.  I fear no one!  Psalm 27:1b TPT

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://www.churchleadership.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/leading-unafraid.jpg

Was It Worth It?

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Good evening.  Tonight’s post was hard to write, for it forced me to face another level of vulnerability within myself.  Transparency makes me slightly uncomfortable but I’ve resolved that to live the life the Father has created for me, I must be transparent.  I don’t know if it’s been noticeable, but I have been pretty silent on this platform.  The fact of the matter was the passion I had for this blog 4 years have diminished greatly.  It was no fault of WordPress or even of you all, my blog family, ultimately it dwindled to the absence of passion for life.  Have you ever been in something for so long, you didn’t realize that you no longer found joy in it?  That was the place I found myself in, stuck in this grind for success that I hit a brick wall of pros and cons to why I should continue in this race.

Everything I loved to do became a chore.  Reading became a burden as  I read 100s of pages for class, writing became a nightmare as I realized that my style didn’t add up to academia, singing became an obligation and reminder of imperfection, even serving the Father seemed like a weight that was too heavy to bear.  I lost myself in the day to day routine of trying to become something so that I can finally act on what I felt called to do.  Frankly, I got to the crossroads of my purpose and hated what I witnessed.  Then regret began to sink in: regrets for orchestrating my whole life toward a certain career, regrets for choosing a lifestyle void of an intimate relationship to abstain from distraction, regrets for choosing to do what’s honorable when wronged, regrets for making certain vows to the Lord, regrets for obeying what He has asked of me,  just a whole lot of regret for what seemed to be wasted time…

The concept of waste is a real one for me, for I have invested countless things and it seems like there was no return.  I wonder if there is anyone like me:  you’ve sacrificed time, energy, money into things and people and it seems like there was no return.  What a waste, right? Wrong.  Tonight I had to come to the reality that all that I’ve done was not in vain, that my pursuit of the hard thing over what was convenient and comfortable was indeed worth it! The Father has seen every stride towards purpose and to him, all my sacrifices were sufficient.

I believe that the moment we see our lives as a giant garden, filled with seeds of actions sown to better those around us – we’ll keep planting even in the hard times.  Seeds appear to be dead before they bloom, and what we sow now will reap us a harvest later.  All that we’ve experienced will reap a harvest in the season to come!  I am reminded of Jesus’ action of dying on the cross, his sacrifice is reaping the harvest of salvation even today.   Friends, if I can encourage you with anything- your hard work, your choice of what’s right, your pursuit of the Father, and your continuous love for people is worth every second.  In spite of what circumstances want to convince you of, may you be persuaded that a harvest is coming- a harvest of “success”, continual joy and fulfillment, and everything you need to change your world. May you be reminded that your good deeds are not in vain and may you continue in this race to the finished line.

My passion for life has been renewed, for the Giver of Life lifts me up and encourages me to remain in my pursuit. He reminds me of His faithfulness and nudges me with His goodness.  He speaks words of wisdom and comfort to combat my troubled heart, caressing away every fear.  In Him lies all joy and his truth reminds me that I am equipped to do all He’s placed in my hands.

Friends, I’ve battled so many relational issues in the past months, and I would love to share my thoughts with you.  I don’t know about each of you, but it seems like this painful place was designed to grow me in my pursuit of the Father- to teach me what to do and what not to do.  Seasons like these are not only critical but absolutely necessary to evolve.  It is the winter that seeds are sown, surviving the harsh weather in preparation for spring.  Life has been a giant winter season: dark, cold and slightly discouraging but spring is coming and because of that there is hope.

I look forward to sharing many things with each of you in the near distant future!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://www.thespruce.com/how-deeply-should-seeds-be-planted-2539711

📷 Credit: Roger Spooner/The Image Bank/Getty Images

It’s Just Easier

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

It’s been awhile, I’ve been hiding out for a little while.  I was thinking about writing about what I was feeling but I realized it’s easier to stay on the shore, within a shallow zone and to not extend more information than what would be necessary.  I bet, there are more people out there feeling the same way- “I would open up, but that would require emoting what’s on the inside, and I don’t know if I want to go through all of that.” But lovelies, I feel like my spirit is going to burst- like a giant bomb waiting to EXPLODE.

Ummm… let’s see, my day was super crappy- between issues with my health,  my desires for change in my personal life and the sadness I feel concerning someone I dearly love, I’m not sure if I can hold all of what I am feeling on the inside.  I bet there’s someone reading this, like OMG you’re expressing where I am right now.  If I could encourage you with anything, let what’s inside OUT!!!  If it’s anger, sadness, frustration, whatever it is- let it out because you’re not strong enough nor was you created to hold it all in.  Get into the presence of Jesus and give him what’s plaguing your spirit and let Him handle it.  That’s what I am about to do, because though it’s easier to pretend like everything is okay- it’s taxing and annoying and to tell you the truth, I’m tired of it.  When will you become tired?  When will you become tired enough to change what’s around you and demand better?  Lovelies, I’m in that place and I am demanding change and joy to come to me.

Until next time,

Simone

FIC : https://image.shutterstock.com/z/stock-photo-little-girl-screaming-and-shouting-with-megaphone-347845292.jpg

Rock

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

I can’t remember the last time,  I shared something with you all.  I’ve been consumed with school, church, extra-circulars and have carved out some time to hear from God to speak to you.  So… I was thinking, what good is a home without a solid foundation? 

Really though, if the foundation is cracked underneath the house- how long does that house have before it caves in?  

I would say, not very long.  Foundation is everything!  The one thing, the Lord has been speaking to me about is foundation.  Specifically, the foundation of our faith,  and our churches.  As I was sitting in this study room, mentally prepping for finals- I was reminded of the parable of Jesus about building our houses upon rock vs. building them on sand.  You know the story! Maybe??? We are supposed to build our houses on rock so that when the storm comes and the winds blow, our houses can withstand that storm.  If we however, build our houses upon sand: when the storm comes and winds blow, our houses will cave in and fall to the ground.

So what are our houses?  Our house is our heart.  The innermost sections of ourselves, the center pivotal focus of our spiritual walk with God.  It is in our hearts that we make a majority of our decisions.  Similarly, where our treasures resides, our  heart resides there also. So as a believer, someone who follows/believes in Christ, it is very important that Christ is positioned at the center of our hearts.  It is very important that he resides within us there.

So if our house is our hearts, what’s so important about rock?

Rock is sturdy, steadfast, not easily moved by condition and circumstance.  I’ve never seen a rock adjust because of someone’s feelings or because someone had an opinion about it’s purpose or use. Rocks remain in position regardless of the change happening around it.  Therefore, if our faith in Jesus is built on a rock, it can’t be easily moved by bad news and awful circumstance.  Unmovable faith is not shaken by sickness, disappointment,  or loss.  Unmovable faith is not shaken by the validation or opinions of others, but remains steady during times of change.  Unmovable faith is built on a rock.

So… what about sand?

Sand is unsteady,  not sturdy, inconsistent and easily moved by condition and circumstance.  When we go to the beach, as soon as the tide comes in the sand underneath our feet moves in response to the seawater.  Therefore, if our faith in Jesus is built on sand, it’s fickle and changes based upon our feelings.  If we feel like we love God, then we do.  If we feel like we don’t, then we don’t.  One day He’s friend, next day He’s enemy.  There is no consistency in the time we spend with him.  There is no consistency in our witness and if others were looking to us to point them toward him, they would not find the way.  Faith built on sand, breeds confusion, anger and waste.

Why does this matter?  Things in life are going to happen.  Some good and some terribly bad- it’s apart of the process and if our foundations are cracked or not steady then when these times come we won’t know how to withstand the storm.  Can you imagine being in a home with “sandy” foundation in the middle of a Hurricane?  Think about it, the fact that you are within that home can costs you your life.  Would you not rather be in a sturdy home built on a “rocky”/ solid foundation?  I believe that God is challenging our foundation, and he wants us to truly find out if we’re built on rock or if we’re built on sand.

Since we are the church, when we gather together- in an organized fashion, either we are worshiping on rock or we are worshiping on sand.  Churches built on rock produce fruit, demonstrate maturity and walk in true love.  Churches built on sand live in carnality, produce church hurt and discord, and contain a building of immature stagnant individuals.  Let’s build upon rock, in fact let’s build upon the Rock who is Christ himself.  He is worth building our faith, churches, and simply our lives upon.  Let’s build upon Him!

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.  But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.  When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.

Words of Jesus, Matt 7:24-27 NLT

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: animatedviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/flintscomp-01.JPG

 

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

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

FIC:http://www.christmastreeassociation.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/christmas-tree-fire.jpg

Sin Paranoia

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers – 

Have you ever noticed that sin causes us to be paranoid?  Paranoid that people are going to find out that we failed, that we engaged in something we probably should not have engaged in.  There is a level of a paranoia that comes when we engage in sin/sinful behavior. I do not pretend to have everything together, neither do I pretend to have arrived in my Christian walk- there are all kinds of things I have walked through and have engaged in.  I am so ashamed when I look back on the details of my past but that is why we call it a past, meaning that it has no relevance to where we are right now. I think this is where we get stuck, we get stuck dealing with the details of the old; we allow our past to define us when we are no longer in that place.  Anyways.. when we are doing wrong, I sense a level of paranoia.  That is when I just begin to air all of my dirty laundry and do some confession.  I confess before God and man because confession is so good for the soul and it sets us free.

We can not run from who we are for too long.  After awhile, we are going to have to face who we are and what we are choosing to bring into our lives.  I face things all the time, lately it has been temptations of sinful behavior, pressure to be successful and dealing with individuals I really do not care for.  On top of that warfare, I  am in a new environment living in a new city so the stress and anxiety wrapped in that one fact has tried to consume me heavily.  My archenemy depression has paid me a visit and so this week has been one for the books.  I lost a piece of myself in the shuffle and returned to behaviors I swore I would never go back to out of fear.  I am human and I mess up and I fall but the great thing about Jesus is that He has given me grace.  Grace that goes beyond my own performance and my own intentions – His grace picks me up when I fall and tells me that Simone, I want you- all of you, just the way you are in all of your “jacked-up”ness (not a real word).  I love that God loves me completely, knowing that I would mess up- knowing that I would disappoint Him, that I would not meet his standards sometimes- yet, He still loves me.   That is the beauty of grace! Should grace be taken for granted, absolutely not!  It should be recognized for what it is, a second opportunity for repentance.

So let me encourage someone this evening,  I know you made mistakes – we all have.  Trust me, even that one you deem to be the best saint has made some type of mistake, but take heart- God give forgiveness and compassion to those who confess and make it right with him. The  beauty of this forgiveness is that your sins are thrown into the sea of forgetfulness and you do not have to be bound to them anymore.  You need to forgive yourself.  Trust me, I know it is hard.  Sometimes, I look over my life and all of the mistakes I have made and I know that I have been forgiven but I still hold my mistakes against myself.  I do.  I say, “okay Simone you failed before so work really hard so that you do not fail again.” This is totally opposite of the gospel, which says I need Jesus to walk upright.  I cannot walk upright in myself because this flesh is awful and wants nothing to do with God, I have to rely on God in order to become a better person.  He makes me better.  That is the problem, we have been taught for so long that we have to get ourselves together, but the truth is we do not have the power or strength to perfect ourselves and that is why we need God- He perfects us!  Forgive yourself and move forward.

I go to Forward City Church and our call is, “The past is gone.  The future  awaits. Move forward. ” And I repeat this mantra over you all, “The past is gone.  The future awaits. Move  forward.” Let it go and live.  God is ready, willing and longing to love with forgiveness drenched in mercy and grace.  He already released your mistakes/past, now will you?

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: http://www.masternewmedia.org/images/little-sisters-sharing-secret-by-Viewimages-dot-com-72482743-415.jpg

 

 

Condemnation Eliminator

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers – 

Today is has been a great day, made some mistakes that I’m not too proud of but overall today was great.  Even though today was great as mentioned prior, I found myself consumed with the awful things I had done.  Isn’t it just like the Enemy to keep the past over our heads when forgiveness was already given and received.  Condemnation and shame clouded my thinking and I begin to think of how much I failed in a short period of time.  This is usually the beginning of the downward spiral that results from what I believe are BIG mistakes.   I began to pray as I tugged with these feelings and afterward the Holy Spirit spoke to me in such a sweetness…“Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who walk after the spirit and not after the flesh…(Romans 8:1)” I knew the passage of scripture and hope immediately filled my heart.

Condemnation.  The expression of very strong disapproval; censure.  This is feeling that surrounds us after we do something that is very wrong.   It is as if we can feel the shaking of God’s head, disapproving our very essence.  Some of us have convinced ourselves that God believes He made a mistake in the creation of us, because we mess up- time and time again.   Some of us have convinced ourselves that God wants nothing to do with us after what we’ve done.  Some of us have convinced ourselves that God no longer hears us, we’ve sinned way too many times and our privilege of conversation has been revoked based upon our behavior.  We have have convinced ourselves of things that are NOT true.   All of the statements above are lies that we believe, lies that we have fell for over time.

What if I told you that God was not surprised by your mistakes? Neither was He alarmed when you “failed” in your own definition of the word? What if I told you that  God was willing to not only talk to you but to forgive you and help you get back on track? What if I told  you that God chooses to forget about your mistakes and the only one keeping you hostage to them were you?

When we repent and choose to do what is right, God cleans our slate and create a new chance for us – this my friends is grace.  Grace is our opportunity to get it right this time and it is because of grace that we can live our lives free from shame, guilt and condemnation.  Our mistakes become the avenue to our restoration – creating a platform of God’s love & forgiveness with others.  Without our mistakes, we would not have the experience to share the hope of forgiveness with others.  Sometimes we treat God like we do others, we expect him to have limits to drop us when we do awful things- but God is not like man.  He does not drop us because we mess up from time to time, instead He draws us closer so that His love can change us and  make us into the great women and men He desires for us to be.  Your mistakes are your messages of hope and restoration to others. Share graciously!

Until next time,

Simone

FIC:http://66.media.tumblr.com/3e357d63254984645e76d2fdbc3f1c28/tumblr_ns4bhvtsuq1tjj2sjo1_1280.jpg

 

Illumination

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Good morning!

It is a quiet morning here in the Upstate and to tell you the truth, it should be, being that it is nearly two in the morning. LOL 🙂

I thought I would share something super profound with you- that the Light of the world comes to illuminate the darkness that is within us.  I find myself, sometimes hiding from the light- afraid that it is going to expose those things that are messy and would make  me vulnerable.  I told a friend that I am like a wild animal that likes to lick her wounds in isolation – trying my hardest to prevent anyone from having the power to hurt me.  This defense mechanism, has caused such pain in my life and it needed to be dealt with.  I could feel the Light wanting to illuminate the darkness within my heart but I ran, busied myself with frivolous things and did not heal properly.

Why lick one’s wounds when a perfect surgeon can mend broken hearts?

When we do not address things, and we dismiss what the Light is showing us- we find ourselves in a constant strain between our past and our future.  We know where we want to go but we sense this hindrance on how to get there.  Like a glass ceiling of sorts, a weight that is too much for us to bear.  Jesus is the Light of the World, and His truth illuminates our wrongs not to call us out- or to make us feel bad but so that we may address these things and heal. Healing comes through our confession of what is and that confession is built in the illumination of darkness through the truth.  We need His light, so that we can break cycles that keep us from progressing forward.  WE NEED HIS LIGHT.

So this morning, I encourage you to embrace the process of vulnerability.  I encourage you to deal with some things that haunt your future based in the reality of your past.  I encourage you to shed light on the situation and make things right within your heart.  We are robbed of our peace because of things we refuse to deal with.  We are robbed of our joy because of our refusal to heal.  May today be the day that the Light, Jesus, comes into your heart and expose those hurts and pains to bring about healing within you.  May you be overwhelmed by the power of his illumination.

Until next time,

Simone

 

©Simone Holloway, 2016