With Everything Inside…

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

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

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

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

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

Xoxo,

Simone

A Lover of Love

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xoxo,

Simone 

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Oozing With Words

Hello old friend, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

I wish I could say that I’ve always had the right words to say, or that I was always confident to speak my heart, but that is not the case.  I remember times, having so much to say but not knowing exactly how to translate my pain.  I remember moments of feeling incredibly numb, lacking the motivation or the passion to write my truths.  It’s crazy how pain makes us silent.  It robs us the freedom of bold speech and instills within us the fear of being misunderstood or hurt again.  So, to make sure we don’t experience pain again, we become silent.  The last blow to my heart almost took me completely out emotionally.  I remember doubting my words, my actions, my friendships, my family, my ability to be loved and to love.  I remember the pain of betrayal gagging me.  I remember word curses binding me, words such as “you’re not good enough.” “Oh really, you want to sing?”  “Do you really think you can write that?”  words uttered by those close to me: those I served with, those I called my Columbia family, those who were once my home.   I was dropped as a daughter, dropped as a sister, dropped as a friend and it was at no fault of my own.  So here I am, gagged by pain.  What’s even more bizarre is that I served through it.  I served through my pain.  I gave through the pain.  I danced in the midst of pain.  I sang songs of victory while bound.  I was mentally and emotionally at a standstill with God, numb by pain.

Over time, fear became my portion.  I lived in fear because I saw life through the lens of regret.  Regret causes us to doubt everything, to come to a standstill, to live in delayed obedience ( which is simply disobedience), and to become hesitant concerning everything.  Regret turned into unforgiveness, and unforgiveness turned into bitterness except I was bitter against myself for opening up in the first place, for placing expectations upon people that did not have the capacity to carry me, for desiring community that I did not see that this community was more toxic than helpful and bitter for trusting my own instincts.  In my mind, I couldn’t trust myself so I stopped advising, writing, singing, encouraging, and speaking.  I became mute.

I went to Charlotte a few nights ago, a young woman began to pray for me and encouraged me to forgive myself.  She said these words: “You have not been treated well as a daughter and God knows that it was not of any fault of your own.  He wants to heal that heart pain where it concerns sonship.”  I broke down in tears because for the first time in a long time, she saw my pain.  She spoke to my pain and all the words I wanted to utter began to ooze out to the Lord.  Her intentional prayers destroyed the gag of pain and released me to a place of tears and healing.  I’m oozing with words because pain no longer binds me.  I am free to express my heart and I’m healed to share the story of my pain with each of you!

Friends, I don’t know where each of you is in life.  Some of you may be like me:  serving through pain, some may be experiencing pain now and some of you may be alright and that is great! For those who were feeling like me, I want to remind you that God sees you.  He knows all about your pain.  He knows what they did.  He knows what you experienced.  He invites you to forgive, to open yourself to his healing voice and he invites you to freedom from heart pain.  He wants you to ooze with words of life, no longer gagged by painful experiences.  I pray that he speaks to you and that you will be healed!

Xoxo,

Simone

“Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul” Proverbs 16:24

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The Process

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

It’s Thursday! We are one step closer to the weekend and I could not be more excited.  I was talking to a friend of mine about my feelings concerning law school, and I explained to him that I truly desire to be a lawyer- it’s just that the process of becoming one is taking a toll on me.

So… I was thinking, how many of us give up on our dreams because of the process it takes to gain them? 

Whoa… that was a profound question, right?  I know.  This was the question that came to me when I contemplated quitting law school, as I contemplated forfeiting my dream.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we need to let things go: we need to walk away to grow as individuals.  However, what about the times we walk away from things because of the process?  Sometimes life becomes tougher than we imagined so we forfeit, we surrender in the middle of the game.  If I am honest with myself, I think of how much it took to get into school.  I remember a period of time when not one law school wanted me.  I remember the rejection letters coming  into my mailbox and I remember feeling like law school was never going to happen.  I remember those days….  So why would I give this dream, that I worked hard for – that I sacrificed in blood, sweat and tears for – up? Why would I forfeit what God has placed into my hands?

You know… we as a society do not like pain.  At the mention of pain or suffering, we become uncomfortable. Pain is bad, comfort is good!  However, what if I told you that being comfortable does not equate growth.  What if I told you that in actuality, comfortability can be one of the worse things for growing strong?  Hmm… how so? Well, think about it!  If I fell and broke my ankle but did not feel the pain, how would I know that I needed my ankle to heal?  Or if I wore clothes that were too small for me but never felt the discomfort of this clothing, how would I know that I needed new clothes.  It’s okay to feel pain, it’s okay to feel discomfort- to be faced with adversity because at the end of the day, adversity reveals how strong we truly are.  Adversity shapes our growth and all of these life lessons are learned during that process.

Ladies and gents…

Let us not become bogged down in the process of becoming who God has created us to be.

Let us not allow the hard times to propel us to give up what God has placed into our hands- let us continue to move forward!

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

-Galatians 6:9.

One day, we are going to get what God has promised us.  One day, we are going to find ourselves operating in our dreams, walking in manifestation of our ideas, listening to our music, reading our books and we are going to find ourselves witnessing the faithfulness of God.  Who knows, that one day could be tomorrow if we do not give up!  I just want to encourage you all to stay at the grind, keep working toward God has placed within your heart.  You can do this!!! If you were unable to fulfill your dream, God would have never given it to you. He believes in you, so believe in yourself and survive the process!

Until next time,

Simone

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Don’t Avoid The Pain

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Welcome to the new  Authentic Love blogging site!  Are you excited for the new year?  I am and I am also looking forward to some new  big things!

Well family and friends… I was doing some study for tomorrow’s Sunday school lesson when something came to me- “Don’t seek to avoid the pain.”  How many of us actually like pain?  Be honest.  Who actually enjoys the process of pain? Any kind of pain?  Society has ingrained within us that if something hurts then we need to avoid it, because pain is bad and we need to avoid the feeling of pain at all costs.  Why do you think prescription med sales are at an all time high?  It’s because we live in a world readily seeking to numb the agony that is around them.  So instead of changing habits and  moving to become better, we band-aid the issue with a pain reliever in hopes that will be enough.

Think about it.  Have we truly taken the band-aid off of the those sensitive issues in our lives and allowed the cold air to touch the open wound?  No…why not? Because that would make us feel pain.  And no one wants to feel pain.  I rather take my Advil then feel my body go through the healing process.

In order to heal there must be pain.

When we fall and  scrape our knees, we feel pain because that is our body’s way of saying “Hey I’m paying attention and I’m sending what is necessary for healing.” If we would have fallen and our body felt nothing, then our body would not be working within it’s  God-designed purpose of self healing.

Pain prompts healing.

When we seek to avoid pain; avoid opening those “can of worms” out the fear of our hearts hurting- we are taking away the ability for us to heal and become new.  The good part about the healing process is that the pain is temporary and when we finish healing- that place that once hurt before look and feel almost brand new.

Tonight, I studied the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  He endured this painful death that lasted a few hours, to be granted the chance to sit in all of His glory on the right hand of the Father for eternity.  His temporary pain, caused his eternal glory.

God is waiting for us to endure that temporary season of cutting away, pruning, addressing those hard things- so that when we heal, our healing can be eternal.

God wants us to be whole and not just bandaged up as temporary relief.  This is the year of being new, of looking new, of loving new and that comes through healing that is perpetuated through the process of pain.

Friends don’t avoid the pain, deal with it and heal so that you can live a life that is whole.

Until next time,

Simone 🙂

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

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Ghosts

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

I was listening to Andy Mineo’s song “Ghost” and I got to thinking….how many of us entertain ghosts? Ghostly people, ghostly heartbreaks, ghostly regrets, ghosts that haunt us when we are feeling low in our spirits about what we are experiencing with life. It’s as almost as if everyday is Halloween- a day of reflection for what is dead, for what is lost…

I’m reminded of the tragedy Hamlet, and how William Shakespeare wrote of Hamlet being visited by the apparition of his late father…haunting…calling…And like Hamlet, some of us are constantly visited by the apparitions of what if and what could of been and why not… These apparitions come to haunt us and to cause us to feel poorly about where we are and who surrounds us. Ghosts.

Last time I checked Ghosts were also classified as Spirits and last time I checked, they can be bound and sent to the pit of hell. We need to start binding the things that haunt us … we forfeit our authority as a result of pain. We were not created to be haunted, to be tormented, to constantly live life in regret. We were created to have dominion, to be loved and treasured, we we were created to win. So tonight let’s decide together to forever banish our ghosts, to make them vanish into thin air, to not allow them to have so much power over us. Tonight we lay our ghosts to rest and we command the haunting of our hearts to die. We release ourselves from our self torment tonight.

We say goodbye forever to our ghosts.

Until next time,
Mo 😀

Simone Holloway, 2015

 

Lesson Learned

what’s the point of being hurt

if you gain nothing from it

I learned that pain can be used

to fuel healing to a lowly spirit

what’s the point of making mistakes

if you repeat them over and over again

I learned that in over to move forward

I had to live different, my friend

a lesson learned is a well learned lesson

a phrase my mom would say

I didn’t understand these word’s significance

until I crossed a similar path one day

I opened my heart and surrendered

to one who thought I was a fool

who would know that this heartbreak

would be my inner “me” greatest tool

I cried until I grew

I sobbed until I became strong

I knew that if I kept on striving

It wouldn’t be long

long before I move on

long before I overcome

the lesson that I learned

made me victorious, darling I won

(c) Simone Holloway, 2015

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Correcting Love

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-

Today was an amazing day.  It was youth Sunday at my church and the theme was “never-ending love”, about the continual love of God.  What I love about the love of God is that it exposes our wrong  in hopes that we get right to move forward.  Love does not delight in wrong, but celebrates doing what is right and living in truth.  This infinite love that is given to all, delights in us recognizing our sin and then making an effort to be free from it.  Can you imagine a father that never addressed his children when they do wrong.  Can you?  We would say that the father mentioned, did not truly love his kids.  How can love someone but say nothing when you see their lives being destroyed? Love says…I love you so much that I’ll tell you the truth because at the end of the day, I want you to be better.  People who sacrifice your purpose to spare you your feelings, do not love you.  People who tell you what you want to hear, instead of what you need – do not love you.  If God chastise those that He love, why wouldn’t those who represent God do the same?

I’m thankful for God’s chastisement, because even though it was painful at times- it got me out of my mess and made me a better person.  Sometimes we can be so stubborn that God has to get our attention some way, and pain does just that- it gets our attention.  I remember growing up and my mom would tell me not to iron clothes by myself,  I was rather small and clumsy and she would warn me that if I iron by myself, there was a possibility that I could get burnt. “Wait on me and I’ll do it for you…” she would say.  One day I remember wanting to be a big girl, I was eight years old and I felt like my mom was treating me like  a baby.  “I can do this by myself..” I said in my heart, as I made my trek to the ironing board.  I plugged the iron in, took my shirt and placed it on the board.  I reach for the iron but because I was too small to carry it, I dropped it and it fell on my wrist, leaving me with a burn scar that I have today.  My mom looked at me, bandaged my wrist and kissed my forehead- but there was an issue that needed to be addressed: my disobedience.  She chastised me and took away one of my favorite treats: ice cream.  I learned that it was better to obey her voice than to disobey- pain came from my disobedience.

“For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12

Sometimes God has to do the same with us, He has to remind us what is right and wrong.  He does this through chastisement out of love.  If God didn’t care about you becoming a better person, then you would have something to worry about but because of His love- like a good parent, He’ll go to the end of the world to get you back on course.

Until next time,

Mo 🙂

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See

I remember

looking over my shoulder

peering your way

I remember

you looking over

asking my gaze to stay

I remember

our conversation

nothing came from our mouths

I remember

the frustration

as our emotions went down south

I remember

wanting you to get it

to truly feel my pain

I remember

you wanted to talk, to sit

that day it rained

I remember

you seeing my soul

seeing the scars that were still there

I remember

hoping that my heart didn’t have a hole

that I could still care

All in all, I remember

I remember looking at you

You looking at me

I remember

Us figuring out what to do

begging to really see

(c) Simone Holloway, 2014

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The Revised Letter to My Ten-Year Old Self

Hello Authentic Lovers,

Maybe a month and a half ago, I published an article called “Dear Ten- Year Old Self” it was letter full of regret and angst at my current love life. It was my way of saying that I was destined to be alone, which is totally not true. It was probably the most depressing piece of literature I have ever written; it was REALLY depressing.

So today…I was in my kitchen thinking about the last few articles written and decided that my perception of love and how I’ve experienced it has darkened my views.  Love is not as bad as I have made it out to be. In fact, love is a beautiful gift that should be treasured and acquired by many.  Those who are hurting, project this image of a broken world because of their own brokenness and that is the image I was projecting- an image of brokenness.  I was so broken, to the point that I thought I could not be repaired; but God works with things that seem to be impossible, things that cannot be salvaged. He relishes in the lost causes. I thought I was a lost cause, a tragic story that had no hope in its ending- I was wrong. I was so wrong about God, about love and about myself. I saw myself as weak, vulnerable, a victim- a target just waiting for the next broken heart, but that is not who I am.  I am not weak, fragile, broken; I’ve been made whole and should live my life as such. I was not the same little girl that always felt unloved, nor did I have the same little heart that had been smashed into a million pieces- I was no longer her. The funny thing about life is that sometimes little people grow up battling the same demons, feeling the same way, going through the same motions of childhood, of adolescence.

As I’m writing to you, I feel a sense of rebirth and renewal- something that my middle name (Renee) means but I have yet to truly experience.  I sense this difference in mindset and I’ve come to understand that the same God I thought wanted to hinder love from me was the same God begging for me to receive His love.  God has loved me from the beginning of time and yet I sought after this love in people, in places, in things. I’ve searched for my prince charming, like a princess without a home; when I had a prince waiting for me to embrace the gift of His life. You know, sometimes we have to hurt- we have to experience pain to learn a lesson, to truly move forward.

Pain is not a curse but rather a gift, a signal to instruct us that we are in the wrong place- that we shouldn’t be comfortable with what we have. Pain distinguishes what is good and bad for us and therefore comes in handy.  I was seeing pain as this obsolete apparition that followed me into every stage of life, but rather pain was making me and shaping me into the strong young woman I have become.  Pain was my blessing and it’s life lessons have helped me grow.

So if I could write a new letter to myself at ten, I would say “Stay the same- be you!” Yes, there will be pain.  Yes, people will hurt you. Yes, at times you will feel alone- but remain true to yourself. Love with everything inside of you and realize that the prince you seek so badly is waiting for you with His arms outstretched, waiting to give you His life. Today, I am loved. I am strong. I am fearless. Does that mean I have everything together? No. Does that mean that I don’t have more learning to do? Oh course not! But I am not longer the victim, waiting for my demise. I am the victor, the one that overcame and chose to love in spite of.  I am no longer broken, I am whole. This is who I am and I don’t apologize for living my life as such.

If you’ve felt like me once upon a time in your life, I would love to hear about it! Feel free to share your thoughts with me. I hope that this post tonight encourages you and helps you realize that you are stronger than you think. I believe in you! I believe in your dreams and ambitions. I believe in the greatness of what you was created to be. Lastly, I believe in the power of your love. I know that your love can change the world for the better. Love is powerful, the same way it can be used to destroy is the same way it can be used to heal. Love healed me. God’s love healed me and it made into the person that I am today. I believe in your love. If you need anything- someone to talk to or just a friend,  you can reach me via email: authenticlove789@gmail.com, like my page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authenticlove789. Follow me on Twitter @framesofdust8 and finally join my Instagram family: @lawnmusic578. I can’t wait to hear from you and we’ll speak soon!

Until next time,
Mo 🙂