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!

FIC: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c7/a6/3c/c7a63c0f9aa1e312f6b51a8ac19d15fb.jpg

She’s Dead.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

I bet many of you are looking at the title of today’s blog and you’re like “What???” But what many of you do not know,  is that a piece of me died today.  Yep, a portion of myself that held me back, that kept me stuck in the rut of my past, that caused me to lose hope/faith in God- that thing/piece died.  That fearful, anxious, timid girl died, and I’m happy that she has been laid to rest.

It’s insane to belong to Christ, yet still live like the world.  Right?  Why buy into this new way if you’re still going to experience the same old troubles and hardships?  Why work to never enter rest?  As I grow in my faith with God, I realized that the way I was living my life was never what he intended.  He did not design me to be stressed, extremely exhausted, malnourished and utterly miserable.  God did not save me so that I could have a miserable life, but this was my life day in and out- miserable.

 I was saved to be filled with joy, to hope in something bigger than myself, to live full out fearless and free from anxiety.

I was a bound daughter, living like an orphan, striving and working in my own strength to make my dreams come true.  Due to this life, I suffered greatly: mentally and in my physical health.  Yet, in grace and mercy, the Father never disowned me but in gentleness and compassion he beckoned me to himself and loved me anyway.  Though I was still the girl who was afraid of living, he still loved me.  Even though I still found myself in the rat race of life, he still loved me.  Even though sometimes I got it wrong: said the wrong thing & did the wrong thing; he still loved me.

It was this love that kept pushing at my fortress of fear,  it kept smashing against its doors, looking to destroy it once and for all.  For His perfect love casts out (banishes) all fear!

When I became a Christian, He promised that I would be a new creature that the old things of life would have no more effect on the new that was to come.  I lived as a ghost of my former self: afraid, anxious, lonely, depressed but my new self is none of those things.  My new self is fearless, full of trust, at rest, loved well, and full of joy.  So today, as I was talking to the Father, he explained that the season I was in was one of the old dying so that the new could come.  So today, I make a declaration in faith that the old person: anxiety-ridden, fearful, striving, lonely, depressed, and overwhelmed is dead.  She died and she no longer exists! I am now fearless, bold, confident, trusting, at rest, in peace, full of joy and optimism, at ease, and never alone for He abides with me.

Goodbye old, may you never resurface again.  Thank you for teaching me about my strength, thank you for showing me that there was more to life than what I was living, thank you for being my past- for my past led me to Jesus who gives me the authority to proclaim my perfected future.  Goodbye, good riddance, may you rest forevermore!

Hello new, may you spring up!  May I perceive you all the time, rest in you, and long for you.  May I never become content with settling with what I’ve already seen when there is so much more to come.  I welcome you, I identify with you, I identify as you: new.  I rest in you, for you are a gift from my Father to me.

Until next time,

Simone (new and improved🦁)

FIC: https://image.shutterstock.com/image-photo/tombstone-graves-ancient-church-graveyard-260nw-508109173.jpg

Scriptural Citation: 1 John 4:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Isaiah 43:18-19

Also, a link to what the word casts out is in Greek and what that means, it’ll provide better understanding and context to the scripture referenced.  (1Jn 4:18)

https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/ekballo.html

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 

FIC: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mZaIKqL7HIM/TyooZ_7sj-I/AAAAAAAAAbI/oBUqO-zywVY/s1600/jacobscoat.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

FIC: https://www.thesisterswine.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Dollarphotoclub_87215424-e1443659647392-450×300.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

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

Valentine’s Day

Today marks a  day for love

love without partiality and hypocrisy….

I’ve tasted of this love & I

with all of my might – extend

this love to you.

One thing is surely true,

nothing can separate us- our hearts

sewn together as one.

A great prize, we won each other.

It’s a day when I remember my eternal gift

love unconditional, from glory to glory…

changing the very story of my life.

To  a husband, I would become wife.

And to a galaxy, stars in the sky

completing creation’s purpose of beauty.

It’s today that I see…

I am blessed.

Blessed beyond measure,

no matter the stormy weather…

Because this love have given me

sunny days…

Maybe I’m in a love haze.

As the smoky glory of God wraps over our being,

in you, His love is freeing-

making forgiveness, easy and breezy

and beautiful

you are suitable…

for me.

©Simone Holloway, 2016

©COVERGIRL, 2016

FIC: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/57/98/3f/57983fcb0715b293fd6094acfda3f9a6.jpg

 

 

Rejoice About What’s To Come

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

So…I applied for a promotion on my job and didn’t get it. There seems to be a recurring theme going on in my life where I would apply for something and not get it or not succeed in the magnitude that would expect. Envy and jealousy began to cloud my heart as I saw familiar names of those that got what I desired…but I rebuked those evil spirits and began to use my mouth to congratulate others. If the door doesn’t open for you then it wasn’t your door in the first place. As I get older I realize that what’s mine can’t be taken away from me, might be delayed a bit but it can’t be taken.  So the position wasn’t mine and I’m okay with accepting that. We need to come to the place in our lives where we only accept what’s ours and if things don’t work out- it’s okay because God has something bigger and better waiting for us. 

Stop mourning over what you didn’t get and rejoice about what’s to come.  Rejoice, because what’s coming can’t be taken away from you- for it belongs to you an you alone. Be encouraged friends and know that God’s plan is perfect even in the midst of our imperfections.

Until next time,
Simone

Simone Holloway, 2015

Step Into Joy

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Hi!!!! I think the last time I spoke with you all- I was going through, but how about God turned everything around? Yes, He did!  This weekend was a fresh breath of air compared to the five days that preceded it and I found myself once again,  in awe of the presence of God.  God has a way of reminding you that His silence is not a signal of His departure from your life, but rather a test of faith.  God wants to know if we can trust Him whether we hear His voice or not.  Once we come to that place in our trust/love relationship, He reveals himself and He changes us with His love.  That is exactly what He has done for me.  God has changed me with His love!

So today, I step into joy. I bask in His presence and I rejoice because He is with me working all things for my good.

Lovelies, God is with you! He is working everything out for your good and His love is changing you.  Have a great joy filled day and I pray that His love overwhelms you in His presence.

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

Featured Image Credit: http://dreamatico.com/data_images/joy/joy-6.jpg