Open.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

“Be Open.” That is the instruction ringing in my heart.  All of my fears are contending with the Lord in the form of what-ifs, yet in kindness, He repeats himself once more: “Open your heart. Open your heart to love.”  Tears stream down my cheeks as I realize that I’ve been closed to the idea that someone will actually love me.  Fully.  To tell you the truth, I’ve just fully accepted the idea that He loved me fully.  I just became content with that phenomenon; that in spite of all of my mistakes, weaknesses, and shortcomings, this great God was in fact deeply in love with me.

My heart resisted but the instruction remained the same, “Open your heart. Open your heart to being loved.” “But God” my heart persisted, “What if he hurts me?” The instruction remained the same, “Open your heart.  Open your heart to being loved.”  “But God.” my heart pleaded, “What if this breaks me worse than last time?” The Father remained gentle, in pure kindness- he stated one more time, “Love, the choice is yours. But darling, I’ll ask again – Open your heart.  Open your heart to being loved.”  I sat on my couch and I heard his gentle voice like oil caress my spirit and I had a choice to make.  Either I would open up and take the risk of pain or remain closed and ultimately alone.

At the end of the day to trust in the instruction of God is to ultimately trust in Him.  To trust Him requires the hard thing:  it requires facing our fears, it requires confronting our doubts, it requires trying again at the thing we think we suck at the most.  For me, love.  I have this obvious track record of failed relationships, of apparent heartbreaks.  I have this rap sheet of ugly moments and countless memories of love lost.  I am a woman who has made peace with her regrets yet fear gripped me when I heard his voice.  Fear came to remind me of my past and shame came as a drinking buddy ready to cosign me into self-sabotage.  Yet, here comes Holy Spirit: kind, gentle and full of truth with one simple instruction.  Be Open. Open your heart to being loved. 

So, here I am completely open and vulnerable and just plain scared but willing.  I am willing to be open, I am willing to be loved.

I have no idea where this heart journey is going to take me.  All I know is that I am committed to obeying sweet Holy Spirit’s instruction.  I am committed to being open and to keep my heart open to being loved. I am willing and my heart says “Yes.

Until next time,

Simone 

FIC: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/371447628482-0-1/s-l1000.jpg

 

Steadfast Love

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

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

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

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

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

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

Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

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

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

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: http://freedomcrossroads.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Adobe-Spark-27-777×437.jpg

 

So, I Obeyed God…Now What?

Hello old friends, new followers & fellow bloggers-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, I obeyed God…now what?

Xoxo,

Simone 

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

FIC: https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TBZw5dQ8oN4/WDBeBCCvn1I/AAAAAAAAZ5g/ZrPUHCvFqqobU6U7VDHLsskd9cUqT5IcwCLcB/s1600/Path.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

Things We Learn From Movies….

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-

Have you ever watched a movie, invested in it and then at the end was left disappointed? Literally, my life ten minutes ago.  I checked out a new film, invested two hours and fifteen minutes into the film, but by the time I got to the end I was like “OMG ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?” It was as I was #AvengersInfinityWar’d all over again!  But, Ladies and Gents- that feeling of disappointment matches some of the relationships I chose.  I entered into these relationships:  excited, intrigued and overwhelmed with the hype of who their representative swore to be but by the time I got to the root of the substance that lied within the individual, I was quickly disappointed.  It’s nothing worse than wasting time, especially in people.  How many of us were attracted or intrigued by an individual and when push came to shove, was ultimately disappointed by what we invested into?  This is something, I’ve experienced and I these are the thoughts I would like to share with you.

So…why are we attracted to the shallow and insufficient?  Why do we jump all the way into things without testing the weightiness of it?  I think all of my experiences were rooted in fear.  Fear of being alone.  Fear of not connecting with someone in the same way.  Fear that nothing better will come along.  The crazy thing about fear is that it will have us dancing on the line of desperation, in an effort to control what’s next.  I think that we jump too soon because we’re scared that we’re going to miss out because of time.  Time like sand slips through our fingers and we feel this anxious clock hovering over us telling us who we should be by a certain year. I ran into relationships because of these fears and I was disappointed because I invested in something without counting the costs. I made decisions out of my fears and I was disappointed.  However, the Father promises that if we place our trust in Him, we will never be disappointed.  God choices do not disappoint.  Choices construed out of myself, feelings, and fears are going to disappoint me every single time.

What I love about God is that He doesn’t get mad at us if we choose wrong, but instead He reveals to us what we need so that we can choose right.  He does not disappoint us, we disappoint ourselves!  So… let us move forward and let us make the God-choice where it concerns relationships!  Let us choose what He desires and we won’t find ourselves disappointed.

“… those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC: http://www.patrickbetdavid.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/movies-red.jpg

Hold My Hand

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Lovelies, sweater weather is upon us and it seems like everyone is rushing to find a suitable beau to bring home for the holidays.  I’m peering through the window of social media, chuckling at the events that are soon to take place.  Tis’ the season when single women and men yearn for companionship as humans should and seek the warmth of a body near them (I’m gonna leave that there…) To tell you the truth, some individuals just want the security of a held hand.  There is something so intimate, careful yet secure about having your hand held by the one you love and the one who loves you.

I was sitting in some unconventional quiet time, just trying to make room for the one I love- the Father, when I ran across this verse: For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13 HCSB) Like a gentle whisper in a storm, these words caressed my soul.  Once again, the Father is reminding us that within Him lies our security- for it is Him that hold us together.   If we think about the Bible or just the nature of life, we find a beautiful story of a Creator whose love for his creation propels him to live eternally pursing a relationship with them.  His love creates, fuels and  signifies his pursuit and in his love is no fear.  When we hold onto His hands of security and we leave our apprehensions behind, peace reigns in our hearts and joy springs forth from our spirits. We find that in his security lies our help!

Friends, the Father desires an intimate, secure relationship with each of us.  I won’t go into this trend of “Jesus being our boyfriend or boo”,etc., lol- but I do believe that we are the bride of Christ which signifies this desire for intimacy.  For where intimacy is found, trust resides, and where trust resides, security can be found. A majority of us desire security but we lack the capability to give trust- and that is just half of the battle.  For trust is fueled through intimacy.  Let’s ask ourselves some hard questions: (1) Why is it so hard for us to trust our Creator? (2) Why do we lack security within? and (3) Is the thing we have chosen to become intimate with capable of satisfying our desires within? We were called to be brides, not side-chicks and that comes from spending time with our Beloved.

He desires to hold our hands and to dissipate our fears. 

Until next time,

Simone

FIC: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/56/08/40/5608408d569780afce30308db4a84956.jpg

Until The Very Last Minute

How BIG is your faith?

How CRAZY are you willing to look?

Crazy enough to get CRAZY results?

How BIG is your God?

Does your FAITH truly reflect how big He is?

These last few days, I learned a big lesson regarding faith.  I learned that faith only produces results in the absence of fear and with the unction of obedience.  I think that I am coming into this special relationship with the Lord, where I follow his lead in my life.  To tell you the truth, I trust him to the point of automatic submission.   This weekend was one of those weekends when you have something planned, but you have no idea how things are going to come together.  I was scheduled to arrive in  Chi-town for a law school reception, but a lot of unfortunate events begin to shake my faith regarding my departure.

First, the money that I was supposed to use for the trip never came.  I was promised some bonus money from my job, but the amount was cut severely short.  I planned to fly, but the flight I needed was sold out and all the other flights from home to Chi-town were almost double what I could afford.  I was offered a discount rate for a hotel room but the rates was still pricey considering the downtown location of the school.  Money was the BIG obstacle standing in my way of going to this reception.  I prayed on it and I said “Father, if this is Your will, work everything out.”  I looked for change on yesterday, and nothing happened- I heard nothing from the Lord.  All I could do was wait and implore of Him again.  My bestie/big sis and I prayed together and agreed that whatever the Lord’s will turned out to be- we will wait out the results and trust him.  I sat on my bed, I got the prices of what everything would cost and I placed that concern at the feet of Jesus.  To prove that I believed that God could change my circumstance, I even packed a bag and when my mom and dad asked if I was still going to Chi-town – I said “Yes.”  I didn’t know how I was going to get there, had no clue what I was going to do once I got there- but I believed in God so much to the point that I knew He would back my confession.

I woke up this morning, not with an answer but with a heart of faith, a mind that was determined and complete trust in the will of God.  Even to the very last minute,  I confessed out of my mouth- “I’m going to Chi-town for this law school reception.”

Now, family and friends I am writing to you as I am traveling to Chicago.  Everything worked out; the travel, the hotel, and I have everything I need for when I arrive to my destination.  Sometimes, you have to operate out of faith and not out of  the reality of what something appears to be.  Children of God, we speak about faith and trust, but do we truly live these principles out?  We live life out of convenience- blocked from truly seeing the hand of God move for us because we are so uncomfortable moving out of not knowing what is to come.

The greatest adventures are the scariest ones and the most rewarding memories are those that we never thought we would have.

Until next time,

Simone.

Heb 11:1

An Evident Shift

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers!

I know that I have been away from my blog community for a little season but I have appreciated all of yall’s love displayed in the comment section of some of my previous posts.  I really love you all who are in my blog community and family.

Okay, let’s get started with tonight’s discussion.  Today was a snow day for me, and I am doing all that I can to survive snowpocalypse 2016.  I had to attend work this morning, but the inclement weather forced the company to shut down and therefore I went home- driving EXTREMELY slow…. I would hate to face an icy death, I’m just saying.  As I watched the sky release snow, and then suddenly shift to sleet and then to freezing rain.  I realized that today we are living in the season of an evident shift, a time where we will see the hand of God moving in our lives.

I have spent so many years guessing whether the hand of God was moving in my life, like maybe – maybe not.  My faith shaky because each day was a guessing game as I looked at the present details of my life.  As some of you know, the last few years have been the hardest season of my life .  It was a time of disappointment, loss, betrayal and it took everything for me to trust and to believe in God and his goodness.   It took everything for me to continue to follow him even though I did not see him walking in front of me,  this faith walk took everything out of me.  I believe that God wants us to get that place, where it takes everything inside of us to continue to believe…

It is at the peaks of these crazy faith moments, in the moments that we trust in the midst of havoc that the Lord appears by our side and once again prove that He was journeying with us the entire time.  I believe that the reward for our trust is not only this relief in the presence of God, but it is his hand moving quickly in our lives and in those moments – WE SEE HIM MOVING!

I don’t know where you are in your faith journey.  I have no clue where you are in your walk with the Lord.  But I do know, that if you stick it out with Him and choose to trust and believe in the midst of the pain and in the midst of chaos, you’re going to see Him show up in your life and you will experience an evident shift.

Until next time,

Simone

“The race is not given to the swift, nor to the strong but to he that endures until the end.”

FIC: http://www.wallpapervortex.com/wallpaper-52913_winter_snow_snowing.html#.VqL1bCorLIU

Invisible Hands

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

God must not be moving.  That is the thought that runs through our minds when we see all of the chaos and confusion around us.  God must not be moving.  How could He be moving in the midst of this? Plus,  I don’t see Him.  I don’t see Him moving. Good thing, faith is not dependent upon our eyesight. Faith is dependent on our trust and belief in God.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV

Chaos.  Complete disorder and confusion.  That is what I am seeing in my life right now, a juxtaposition being that I am also free- falling in the Will of God.  It’s crazy that in the midst of my obedience to God in expectation of the promise, all I see is confusion and chaos.  My current situation shows the promise being impossible.  My life is set up in impossibility- the perfect environment for the presence of God.

 Jesus looked upon them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 KJV

Maybe this is where I need to be, maybe this is where the Lord was leading me- into the place of impossibility so that His glory can be revealed on a greater level.  God does His best work in the land of impossible and reveals Himself the best in the area of nothingness.  And maybe, just maybe…He was waiting for me to be void so that he can create something to fill the void forever.

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2 ESV

The beauty of God is that when we think He is not moving, those are the moments that He actually is- being Spirit moving His invisible hands.  Naked to the human eye but tangible to His spoken Word.  He is not only moving; but he is watching, orchestrating, rebuilding and working on bringing His promises concerning us to pass.  God is moving, and just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean movement is not happening.  I’m reminded of the air we breath, though naked to our physical eyes- we witness it’s power within us each and every day.  If for a moment we forget to breathe, our lives could be cut short from lack of oxygen in our lungs.  We need air to be alive, yet we will never touch an air particle in our lifetime.  We need something that is not tangible, that holds no form or shape.  Isn’t it crazy how God’s word is sort of the same, intangible to our fingertips yet necessary for our being to function (including our fingertips).  We need His Word and His Word is moving to make us  into who He desires for us to be.

So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 ESV

God is moving.  We just cannot see it.  And to tell you the truth, that’s okay because our sight does not hinder His movement.  I want to encourage you guys tonight to let you know that there is still hope in what is to come.  There is still hope.  Trust in the hand of the Lord, though invisible to you; vital to your well being.  I hope each of you have a great night!

Until next time,

Simone 🙂

And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. Luke 1:45 ESV

FIC: http://allwallpapersnew.com/wp-content/gallery/hand-of-god-images/Jesus+hands.jpg

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