Embrace The Pain. Walk Away In Gain.

Our world is saturated with coping mechanisms because we’re engraved to feel shame from setbacks. We suppress our suffering and project a false sense of perfection. A projected perfection that social media craves to entice you to believe is the only thing people would accept to see… if they really knew the truth…they’d reject me.

It’s easy to want to sacrifice just about anything to run from our pain in desperate hope an outlet will just make it all disappear.

Addiction. Idolatry. Busyness. Substance Abuse. Relationships.

Fill in the blank.

Do you have an outlet you’re running to? What pain are you trying to hide that’s burning inside of you?

Let’s talk about fire. I don’t know about you but I love candles. One day, I randomly felt this nudge to research the science of a flame as I was lighting my candle.

According to “Explain That Stuff“, this is what I learned:

Perhaps surprisingly, the brightest part of the flame is not the hottest. The blazing part of the flame gives off three quarters of its energy as light and only a quarter as heat…The hottest parts of a candle flame are actually the blue, almost invisible area near the base.

After reading this, I recognized how our pain in life is relatable to the process of lighting a candle. When we go through loss, heartache, hardship – you name it – initally, we are all-consumed with the infliction of our wicks burning from the fire. But…I couldn’t help but notice that if only “25%” of the flame’s energy is given off as “heat”, and “75%” of the flame’s energy is given off as “light”…could we possibly find hope that we have a greater light to gain from our burning pain on the other side?

I also came across an interesting fact from Darling Candles – did you know that “large, untrimmed wicks make hotter and larger flames”? This “means your candle is burning up faster and turing your dollars into soot and smoke. We recommend trimming your candle wicks before each burn to 1/4 inch to maintain a healthy candle.”

I’m here to tell you not to forget we’re always faced with a choice.

Do we continue to surpress or wallow in our pain and allow ourselves to fuel the magnitude of the heat? Or do we surrender by trimming back the wick to let Jesus take over and come in to become healthy, and choose to live again?

The story in the bible that immediately came to mind is that of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel Chapter 3. I encourage you to read the entire chapter for full context, but below I will just share the portion that really spoke to me.

“…but if you do not worship, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand…’If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Magesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you set up.’ Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual.” Daniel 3:15-19 (NIV)

Nebuchadnezzar was trying to force the nation to bow down to his idol of gold or they would be thrown into fire as punishment. Enduring Word commentary states that Nebuchadnezzar’s intent of creating the idol was “to say that the day of his regin and authority would never end – in contradiction to God’s declared plan.”

Fully aware that being thrown into a fire, logically, would inflict a serious amount of pain, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed in faith God would save them; whether that meant physically or, “IF NOT”… He would still be good…because they would get to be with Him for eternity. This friends is what our mindset needs to be focused on – eternity. He may not take away your current circumstance inflicting the pain. Whether or not He does, there is still something for you to gain.

Let’s continue:

“‘Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Certaintly, Your Majesty.’ He said, ‘Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed , and the fourth looks like the son of the gods.’…Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire…They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies…Then Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anthing against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

Daniel 3:26-29 (NIV)

Remember that flame I mentioned above? “The hottest parts of the candle flame…are almost invisible near the end of the base.” You may not see physically what He is doing or working in you in the midst of the hottest part of the pain; but God is already with you in that place.

Just maybe it is of no coincidence that science tells us the brighest part of the flame is not the hottest. I believe it’s because the light we shine once we’ve overcome our season of pain cannot compare to the beauty brought back to The Kingdom as gain. We have to be willing to walk through seasons of painful ignition in order to become the result of a light that shines in someone else’s darkness.

One of the most influentional mentors in my life, Tammy Park, shared a deeper context to Psalm 23:4 with me back in July of 2018, and it is something I will not and cannot ever forget.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me” (NIV)

She said, “Rhianna, even in the darkness you are sill walking which means you are moving and you’re not stuck. This will pass.”

The reason this remider is so profound is because Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were “WALKING” in the fire INTENDED to KILL THEM! They had NO idea that their faith in embracing whatever pain was about to come their way would have brought such a massive Kingdom gain. Their trust in The Lord ended up convicting this King consumed in darkness to proclaim God as the true King, and further empowered the rest of his nation to repent and do the same.

What do you think…are you ready to turn your pain into gain?

As for me – I initially couldn’t imagine wanting to process the deep tretcherous pain of being abandoned in marriage. Could I really handle anymore? Instead of running to the outlets the world could’ve offered me, I surrended, embraced it, and laid it before Jesus’ feet — and in time gained a beautiful transformation and a testimony to which nothing could compete.

In transparency, I was absolutely terrified of sharing my testimony. Many moments I wrestled with fear. Fear of the potential that the result would only open a multitude of doors of judgement, shame, or even blame. Then one day The Lord convicted me. Just what if I have the opportunity to be a light that empowers someone else to embrace their pain — so they too can seek hope and find purpose in the light of their flame?

“For at one time you were in darkness, but now you are a light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” Ephesians 5:8

I encountered 7 people in JUST the first year after I shared my story. People who were also intially afaid of embarking on a similar journey to mine. I then went on to step out in faith and publish a book, and today those numbers continue to grow. In due time, I was finally able to see what The Lord was speaking over me as I continue to watch some of those people to this day pass forth their story of pain — igniting empowerment in others to do the same.

Friend, I encourage you to embrace your pain. Because with Jesus you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

“I have made you a light for the gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” Acts 13:47

Through The Thickest Of Thorns Redemption Is Born

The pieces once left before me made me believe life as I knew it was nothing but empty. One by one the petals were ripped away — I knew from this moment forth my life would never be the same. All that remained was the stem of thorns, which convinced me my life couldn’t possibly have purpose anymore.

I had grasped on to those thorns because it was the last of all I’d known. Broken and worn I couldn’t do this anymore. These damaged wounded palms weeped for a release because truth be told my life was the furthest thing from living in peace.

With the faintest glimpse of hope, I slowly started to release, and instead chose to cling to the promise He could and He would restore my broken heart and soul. Deep within my heart I was convicted this facade of love was something I had to completely let go.

Then came the day I humbly laid my broken worn stem of thorns before the throne. It was in His mercy and grace, He began to prune the dead pieces away. My heart began to beat life again in an entirely new and beautiful way.

I finally encountered a newfound love — a love here to stay. A love that pursued me to my darkest trenches, and committed to never let me go. A love in the deepest capacity I had yet to fathom or even come to know.

“Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I got up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” Psalm 139:7-8

The tears never went to waste as they served quite an important job; though in the moment it felt like they were drowning me, God’s intent was to grow me. God had a specific plan for the tiniest seed of faith I humbly planted, and with the watering of my tears began to grow something far more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

“He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3

Though the thorns created scars, the scars painted the picture of a redemptive story. Because Jesus was working it all for good, as promised, in exchange to magnify His glory.

When I learned to love me, and recognized the magnitude of what Jesus had done in His sacrifice of life to make me free, I began to live my life completely differently.

Wholeness and incomparable joy were genuinely felt for the very first time. I praised God with unending gratitude for every broken moment; those moments lead me to where I now stand firm in faithfulness today because healing had finally taken place. The Lord ignited a fire in my heart and spirit to give anything and everything to empower others to also seek Jesus’s face — to faithfully remind them that their pain would become anything but a waste.

“The spirit of The Lord God is upon me, because The Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners” Isaiah 61:1

When you come to this place where your contentment is in Jesus alone, you my friend have become whole. He longs to bless you and revive the old into something beautiful and new. Or, even completely surprise you with something that might just be right behind you.

Even through the thickest of thorns, redemption can be born in many impeccable different forms. The real question is will you simply, yet boldly, proclaim, “I trust you Lord”?

“See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19


I would like to extend a huge thanks and unending gratitude for Ashia Mosley with Ashia Mosley Photography

Follow on Facebook + Instagram @ashiamosleyphotography

Ashia has been a faithful friend and one incredible woman of God. You will without a doubt be blessed by her presence, passion, and God given gift of photography.

Faithfully Fervent: On Sale Now

Summary:

Faithfully Fervent takes you along the journey of how Christ resurrected a once-dead life inside and invigorated a radical fight for love and redemption. This journey is rooted in what it means to truly stand for Christ and His promises when faced with the most debilitating adversity. Faithfully Fervent takes you through a transformative process to equip you to stand firm as a child of God despite the world’s invitation to run.

This book empowers you:

To say yes to becoming a fierce warrior.

To run your race with endurance and chase the prize that is Christ.

To faithfully choose to become victorious when, against all odds, the world pressures you to do otherwise.

Strip off all your pride. Deny self, Pick up your cross. Get ready to live free and do a mighty work to bring glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Your story serves a mighty purpose because God isn’t finished with you yet.

Come along on the journey to being Faithfully Fervent.

Continue reading “Faithfully Fervent: On Sale Now”

All-In Faith or Security-Blanket Safe?

Tell me — do you have an “all-in faith” or are you reaching for “security-blanket safe”?

In all fairness, and to extend some grace, it’s not in our innate nature to reach for or cling to something we physically cannot hold or see.

Grasping and believing in God’s promises, without seeing, is the product of faith, obedience, discipline, and trust.

I know there are moments this can be so incredibly difficult. The ugly truth is, what is physically in front of you is almost always more comfortable than blindly believing in something that can’t necessarily be assured before you.

Before you know it, you’re bound by the cycle of control.


Comfort —> Complacency —> Control

08/06/19 I was reading in Genesis and came across “The Tower of Babel” passage:

“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:1-4

In all honesty, this seemed like a passage I was just “reading through” because I didn’t really understand the context. Something had spurred my curiosity, and I felt The Lord tugging on my heart that there was something in this passage I could learn from. I went over to, my all-time go-to, Enduring Word Biblical Commentary , to gain perspective and understanding.

Sure enough, I was heavily convicted.

This passage reveals the desire of man to take things into ones own hands because of the fear and uncertainty found in trusting in God’s plan.

Enduring Word states:

“The heart and the materials relevant to the tower of Babel show that it was not only disobedient to God’s command to fill the earth (Genesis 9:1), but it also shows man did not believe God’s promise to never again flood the earth. A waterproof tower was made to protect man against a future deluge.”

When I read this, my conviction came as I began to relate to the way they responded; they responded out of fear. I recognized how easily I can still find myself reaching for what is in front of me, planning and organizing things that are in my control, and finding comfort in what I can physically see. Trusting in what is unseen can still to this day be incredibly hard for me.

Just as the people used their bricks to build their tower wall high, our wrestling for control builds up our own wall that keeps God outside. While we think building up our own walls is for our own protection, at any instance God can still tear it right back down. Defying His will, by fighting to figure things our in our way, only leads us to disappointment. Our vision of what is best for us taints and morphs our trust in believing God’s way is what is best for us. When “our” outcomes don’t come to pass, we immediately resort to feeling and believing the lie that it has to be because God is against us…

Yet, time and time again…when I’ve taken those leaps of faith, trusted in God’s hand, and or taken Him up on His call’s for me to act in obedience to “go”—

He has proven

EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

to be FAITHFUL.

And ultimately beyond greater than my original plan.

I’m simply reminded, I’ve just got to trust Him.

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Un-clench those fists that persistently grasp on to that security blanket, and trust that your God has this. Having an “all-in faith” opens up the floodgates to experience His mercy, His goodness, and His grace. Things may not come to pass in our time or our way, but scripture declares that God’s way is promising and will never fail you on any given day.

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

“However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him—“ 1 Corinthians 2:9

Lay It Down

What does your crown look like?

Are you securely fastening it to your head?

Would it be insane to ask if you’d be willing to lay it down, instead?

The crown of logic filters and shields to protect the heart.

The crown of planning keeps the focus forward to prevent from failing.

The crown of free-will declares things will happen in my time and my way to prevent the agony felt in the wait.

What if Jesus told you, “lay it down”.

Oh, but the crown…it feels confidently sure…it fuels determination of worth…it protects against the hurt…

Over time that beautiful, glistening, tempting crown…fades away.

It instead becomes a crown of thorns; pressing in and keeping you captive in your bondage — day, by day.

——— What if I told you there was another way.

Jesus laid down His crown for dark, depleted, desolate sinners because He knew the price He had to offer: light, fulfillment, redemption, and freedom.

If He laid down His crown for me — an imperfect sinner who could do absolutely nothing worthy to deserve it — can I not lay down my crown for the infinitely perfect King?

My plans, my will, my way — are what I have to die to every single day.

What is The Lord calling you to lay down today?

Lay down your crown, and pick up your cross.

You can confidently trust, genuinely declare and believe that, “Jesus has me”, and walk away completely free.

“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8

When The Darkness Dissipates

Imagine the darkest, desolate, deserted night.

It surrounds you. It blinds you. It disseminates fear within you.

In the moment you may feel there’s no sense or path of direction to lead you back home. You keep walking, yet you find there’s no escape. All you know is exhaustion is setting in, and you have no idea where to begin. The darkness creeps its way in to tempt you to believe this is complete and utter defeat. What then, could ever make this darkness cease?

Light.

But where? But how?


In the name of Jesus darkness dissipates.

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46

When you invite Jesus into your heart, immediately, you are granted victory from the very start. The fear that once disseminated inside you…the darkness that creeped its way in you or around you…begins a mass exodus by the one and only power of the Holy Spirit within you.

While initially you still may not physically see the light around you, you faithfully trust and believe that if your God is for you, a glimmer of hope, a glimpse of light, is surely yet to come.

You may be waiting. Waiting for a really long time. But Jesus will faithfully fill you with perseverance and endurance to keep you pressing on to not give up on your fight.

being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” Colossians 1:11

Now — enter the light.

Even from the greatest distance, the small faint glimmer catches your eye. The darkness surrounding you is now forced into your peripheral view because there’s a light that’s drawing you. As you continue to reach for the light, you suddenly begin to regain all of your sight. When you finally embrace the light, there’s absoultely no denying the power, the warmth, and the fullness of Christ that ignites your entire being — your entire life.

It may have been a painful journey — searing, and burning the lifeless wick away; but oh, the light that illuminates once it’s finally lit by the power of Jesus’s name.

It’s a light you now carry onto your brand new journey. You can boldly walk before and into someone else’s darkness by carrying and shining this hope in Christ; to be a light reminding them there will be freedom at the end of this fight…despite the darkest of nights.

Your story has a purpose to be used for God’s glory. Whatever darkness you have carried or walked through, I can promise it will never compare to the beautiful story and brightest light God is establishing for you.

Be the light and don’t fear the dark. God has His lighter ready longing to ignite the fire in your heart. You have the power to become this light, when you run towards The Lord with a longing for Him to be the center of your life.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome” John 1:5

Watch Me Work While You Wait

Have you ever found out something really good was going to happen to you, or you knew an incredible blessing was headed your way?

You know it’s coming. You see it’s coming.

It just hasn’t happened, yet.

Waiting is hard. Really hard. Especially when you can anxiously anticipate the good things coming your way. You just want it now, why wait?

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” Ecclesiastes 3:1

The Lord intricately places us, and allows us to stay, in particular seasons for a purpose. If we’re not in a season of abundant blessing, it may be a season of tumultous trial. If we don’t find ourselves in either of those, we’re probably in a season of rest or waiting.

In our season of tumultous trial, we desperately seek the day we can finally rest. Yet, when we finally rest, we’re usually pretty quick to long to move on to what’s next.

We don’t want to rest or wait because that means we’re being called to forsake.

Forsake our will. Forsake our plans.

Forsake our timing.

You have two choices to make. Either you wait on God, or make God wait on you. Here’s the thing about making God wait on you – in the end, you still have to wait on God. Now, just twice as long.

You can only go so long fighting to do things in your will power, and in your way, until you finally recognize God’s way is the only promised way.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

I love Galatains 6:9, and here’s why:

It’s a promise.

You don’t find any maybe’s. You find a WILL, and a DUE TIME.

This means, no matter what, whatever you sow in the name of The Lord will reap reward and blessing. Knowing that it will happen, still means you have to trust God’s time of when.

No amount of trial, length of time we wait, or mighty storm can ever compensate or take away from all that God divinely has in store.

I felt The Lord speak into my heart, “Watch me work while you wait“, which is why I felt lead to use it as I wrote this blog.

The beauty in the waiting is we are able to sit back, trust, and watch God unfold all that we’ve been awaiting before our very eyes.

In this season, The Lord has graciously given me the work “steadfast”.

Steadfast means IMMOVABLE.

I don’t know about you, but I want a faith that’s fierce and will never bow down to move.

I want a faith that stands firm so that GOD CAN AND WILL MOVE!

 “These trials will show that your faith is genuine.” 1 Peter 1:7

While this scripture specifically says trial, I feel this also applies in the waiting. From personal experience, in trial, I was more prone to doing WHATEVER God called me to because I was clinging to Him by a thread of desperation.

In the waiting however, we may be more prone to sway our own way because we’re tired of God not “making a move” yet. The genuineness of our faith in the waiting magnifies our actual trust in The Lord. Even though we may not be desperately hanging on God, we confidently and boldly have the opportunity to fiercely trust our God.

We can either worry while we wait or worship while we wait.

When we choose to woship in the waiting, we boldly declare we believe God will fulfill His promises made unto us. It is an act of faith, and proclaims if God is all we have at the moment, than it is exceedingly more than enough.

So, Lord, thank you for working amidst my waiting.

Let us wait. Let us watch.

Let Him faithfully work and move right in front of you.

The Vanity in Victimization

Very few people have learned my story of being physically and sexually abused in the past. In extreme transparency I open up about the dangers of falling into the trap of living in a state of victimization, and how powerfully Christ can redeem trauma by transformation.

Vanity manifests from victimization because your focus is only on YOU.

Your pain. Your burdens. Your unfairness.

Victimization breeds bitterness, resentment, a constant state of suffering, and completely prevents you from healing.

It becomes all consuming, exhausting, and isolating.

Instead of dealing with my trauma, I chose to repress it.

As a result this is what happened to me:

  • I longed for control in any area of my life because at one point it was robbed from me
  • I struggled to cope when things didn’t go as planned because I couldn’t function when control was taken from me
  • I built up walls that were once seen as “protection” that lead to defensiveness and victimization
  • I couldn’t sit still or have any “free time” in my life because it served as my outlet to compensate for actually processing my pain
  • There was little room for grace because any pain inflicted upon me convinced me to believe that person had to automatically be against me
  • When I was abandoned in my marriage, I had the prime opportunity to feed that deeply engraved victim role. Instead, God took hold of my heart and told me, “I’m going to use your pain as a trajectory”.

    See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” Isaiah 48:10-11

    I realized there was something rooted within me that allowed me to always feel like the victim, and as if the world was falling apart every time control was ripped from me.

    I prayed for The Lord to reveal everything to me. In turn, through my dreams, He replayed my traumatic events before me that I fought for so long to run from. I finally had understanding.

    Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

    I decided I was going to be done with being the victim, and choose to take the stand as a victor. I could stand confident as a victor because Christ already declared it into existence before me.

    I was a survivor. I was rescued. I was healed. All because I allowed Jesus to reveal the hidden root, and with open palms welcomed redemption to begin.

    Are you going to be the person who points the finger? Or are you going to fight to be the person who draws the circle? The circle that says, let me step back and examine ME.

    Develop an acceptance and awareness that each and every one of us is fallen and broken because of sin. We are not perfect, and that’s completely okay.

    What’s not okay is to blame someone else or the circumstances you’ve faced in your life for the state you choose to live in.

    Yes, I said choose. Because it’s our choice.

    People and situations are not responsible for how you respond.

    Tragedy can become a trajectory because of the power behind Christ’s mighty love for you.

    We can either be free and believe the truth that Christ will heal me, or succumb to the lie and blame the people or places around me.

    Our circumstances don’t define us when Christ defied our circumstances by His sacrifice on the cross.

    Stop living in the blame, and instead ask God to reveal how He can utilize you through your pain to bring glory back to HIS name!

    Yes, the trauma or pain you have endured be so dang difficult to fight through. Friends, remember there’s absolutely nothing you can’t do with Christ walking alongside you.

    Your pain will NEVER go to waste. Your pain has purpose.

    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

    Once you shift the “why me?” to the “how can you use me?”, you will see freedom and healing and transform that victim into victory.

    Surrender before our mighty defender, and expectantly watch your beautiful transformation unfold right in front of you.

    Materialism Manipulated Me

    Investing confidence in financial or materialistic things robs you from the freedom Christ died to bring.

    Don’t get me wrong, having or desiring really nice things are not always a bad thing. While I say that, it’s imperative you sustain an awareness of it not taking root and becoming a heart issue.

     “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24

    Keep in check where your driving factors come from:

    Does it drive you closer to Jesus, or dig the hole deeper into sin?

    Does it drive you to work hard to convince people you’re happy, when reality is you’re nothing but empty?

    Does it drive you to be selfish in places you should be selfless?

    Does it drive dependence in the world or on the One who created the world?

    It’s important to keep tabs on the places you find your deepest drive in selfishness. It’s in those places that God is trying to show you that there is something in you that needs to be humbled and renewed.

    “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

    The scary thing about glorifying our lives with worldly things is you end up preaching the wrong gospel.

    You proudly preach, “look at me – then you’ll be happy”. By this people start to believe success, money, travel, and materialism really will satisfy.

    Reality is, it’s nothing but a massive lie because we know the truth is this world can never satisfy.

    “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10

    Don’t let materialism manipulate you

    Instead, we should be more proud to say, “look at what Jesus has done for me, within me, and what He can also do for you – so you can find freedom too”.

    I had my own fair share of battles with financial status and security. It became an ugly idol. This idol conformed my identity to the likeliness of the world, and made me my own enemy.

    • I was driven to have my dream car (Explorer) because it looked like a Range Rover.

    • I was driven to go back to school to become a Nurse Practitioner for better hours and higher salary.

    • I was driven to believe going on fun trips would give me the opportunity to escape problems or things I was avoiding.

    • I was driven not to tithe because I was so worried about building a significant financial security blanket, yet I made sure to have money for things I deemed “worthy” – superficially.

    What a stab, worthy. Isn’t is sad how easily we find ourselves just so entitled and worthy. Truth is, we deserve absolutely nothing, but our Savior gave us everything.

    How is it that I could be so consumed in doing what was “best for me” while I completely neglected praising my savior for how HE blessed me.

    He blessed me so I could bless others, not to live for self.

    “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10

    While sometimes having and doing nice things can be fun or de-stressing, I allowed myself to get carried away to fill the void of needing Jesus.

    *Enter conviction*

    I started tithing. I sold my dream car. I withdrew from NP school. I moved to the suburbs, and gave up city life.

    When my paycheck comes, my first 10% is now immediately tithed before any other financial obligation – no matter how scary it may seem. I can affirm without a doubt God will provide and bless me. Scripture says so.

    He knew I didn’t need the fancy car. He knew I wasn’t meant to be a NP, but instead, He wanted me to pursue ministry. He knew I didn’t need a high-rise because He wanted me to have an extra room to better serve HIS people who may have a need.

    I gave up several material things that were significantly driving me, and today I feel freer then free.

    My prayer is that you too will search your heart, and ask Him to reveal if there’s anything that could use a little “less of me”.

    Trust me, God has no problem giving us a dose of humility. God convicts us each differently, but longs to do it lovingly – to give you freedom.

    Let’s spend less time making our lives look pretty, and instead make our hearts and how we steward others pretty.

    Be financially free and trust God will make you rich by the grace of His promises.

    “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5

    Simply Be Still

    “Be still”. What does it mean to “be still”?

    For some, the word “still” may not even exist in their vocabulary. I can humbly admit I’ve faithfully lived in this place at times. Life itself finds a way to  barricade our spare moments and engulf them instead with opportunities to do more, see more, be more.

    More. More. More.

    If it’s not good enough, it’s not done yet. If it’s not successful enough, it needs more work. If it’s not fulfilling enough, it needs another outlet.

    Are you tired of not enough? I am. It’s exhausting. It’s a never ending cycle with an aimless destination. Completely empty.

    I spend a lot of time reading biblical commentary to give me greater depth and understanding to the passages I read. This quote below is from “Enduring Word Biblical Commentary” on what the bible says about being “still” and how to apply it.

    "...as you know the glory and greatness of God, stop your mouth from arguing him or opposing him. Simply surrender." - Enduring Word

    I became fixated as to why the commentary chose the adjective “simply” to describe our process of surrender. If we’re really honest with ourselves, we have this pretense that surrender appears to be far from “simplicity”. Some may even equate the thought of surrender to a near tragedy.

    But ask yourself, does it have to be?

    Truth is, there is absolutely no simplicity found in control. Once you deal with one thing, you’re already 5 steps into the next thing. There’s never any time to stop and breathe because you’re so consumed in believing “I know what’s best for me, but thanks God”.

    We grasp for and grip control in any shape or form because we cling to the belief “I’ve got me”, instead of in faith declaring “God’s got me”.

    We do so because of the battle with living in fear. All too well we know if we surrender we blindly step into the unknown. That’s what scares us, the unknown. We long for control because we long to know the destination and outcome. In our way, our time.

    But what we fail to understand is that it’s amidst the unknown, The God of all creation, faithfully sustains us to be complete and whole.

    Surrender actually frees those exhausted, tight, clenched hands, and serves as the key to releasing the blessings God has already intended and planned.

    When our palms are too busy gripping our own selfish desires, we end up completely closed off to accepting  all God transpires.

    So let me ask, what are you desperately grasping on to that could instead use a solid “God I trust you”?


    The stillness is meant to refresh us. One of my mentors, Tammy, always says to me “He never once tells us to figure it out, but to trust and be still”.

    She’s right.

    In being still we are met with peace. The peace is found in knowing that with The Lord leading me nothing will be lacking or taken from me. The simplicity lies in believing God is for me; therefore, allowing myself to rest because nothing can or will stand against me. (Romans 8:31). Being still is confidently trusting whatever direction the unknown goes is ultimately to bring Him glory, and teaches me how to grow. 

    “The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul, He guides me along the right paths for His sake.” Psalm 22:1-3

    So my friends release,

    simply “Be still“, andknow that [He] is God”. Psalm 46:10