Outgrowing people, being okay with it, and moving forward peacefully

No one wants to be responsible for the death of a relationship, but I at one point I started to believe that I was the common denominator in what appeared to be failed friendships and relationships throughout my life. What could I have done better? Did I hold my weight in the relationship? Did I look for every possible solution to work things out? Did I, did I, did I was always the first to come to mind for a while until I learned that sometimes God will call for me to walk a particular path that others may have not be chosen to take with me. Before I learned of this possibility, outgrowing relationships pushed me to forcefully position certain family members, friends, and past companions into places within my life they were not meant to preoccupy at that particular time in my journey.

The thought of us no longer being as close as we once were ate me up. We had witnessed some of our biggest dreams come true together, watched each other grow up from childhood, and we helped each other recover from tough times. We’ve come this far to part ways? Is it really necessary?

My want to extend the life of these relationships caused a lot of strife and frustration. I had become so consumed with determination, pride, and love of control that one of those individuals in my life had to put me in my place, “our friendship was only for a season”. I saw it coming, but I still wanted this person in my life. Every once and awhile I’d reach out and get a response, but eventually the communication stopped. I was hurt for a moment and blamed myself for something that may have went wrong along the way. Shortly afterwards I found out it was a part of God’s plan. Where God was calling me He needed my full attention and where He had called that individual required their attention and time as well.

As I watch my life and theirs from afar I see the extraordinary work God is  doing in each of our lives. Had I continued to force those people in a place not meant for them I would have done them and myself a huge injustice by holding up our journeys and blessings that awaited us and those in need of us.

So if you are in the place I found myself in not too long ago I encourage you to relieve yourself of guilt, trust in God that whomever He’s removed from or placed in your life at this time was apart of the plan since the beginning of time (don’t take it personal), move forward knowing you fulfilled your assignment in the lives of those that were assigned to you and that they too served their purpose as well.

 

 

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Be Still

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God are you there because I am stuck at the intersection of ‘make a U-turn, keep straight, turn right and turn left’ and honestly I’m extremely confused and lost. Can I get some help here? Hello? Hellloo! I know this call didn’t drop. Op, it did. Ugh!

That’s my line of communication with God from time to time. It goes from I can hear you, to can you hear me now, to dead silence. This is not the time or place Lord! I am literally sitting at this intersection in my life that will determine if I’ll sink or swim, live or die, receive my promise or lose it all. I cannot afford to move without You. Hello, can you hear me up there?

His silence at times leaves me playing with the fateful idea of making a hasty decision.

There other times I ponder the thought that maybe, just maybe God is waiting on me to make the move. But every time I attempt to put my foot on the gas I am too afraid to turn the steering wheel on my own.

I don’t want to play a game of Russian roulette by driving down each road to figure out which one is a go. And no I don’t want to make any outbound calls to–the know it alls and “guesstimators”( best word that comes to mind lol)–because they’ll likely to tell me to “follow my heart” or tell me to go with the first direction that comes to mind. Don’t get me wrong there are some who encourage me to pray, but even with that I want to reduce as much noise as possible.

So what do I do?

Like any desperate and mortified traveler who has absolutely no freaking clue where they are, losing service or being hung up on is not okay. So keeping in touch with the travel guide is extremely important as I would like to travel down the correct path and arrive to my destination on time.

There’s no doubt in my mind that God’s with me, but it doesn’t take away the fact that I –at times– feel abandoned, frustrated, and dazed. Sitting in one position for a while leaves me anxious and in need of answers. As a result I find myself praying a little louder and a lot longer. I figure if He isn’t going to speak to me I’ll trouble Him until He answers my question, “I am stuck at this intersection in my life and I’m not sure which direction to go. Which way?”

You may be asking well does it work? Yes my constant poking, praying, crying, and fussing works!

He hears me from His throne and answers my prayers, but before I hear what He has to say I’m already predicting His response.

He will now lead me in the direction I should go. No more waiting, no more delays, but today is the day I will be unstuck. Today I will receive the answers to my prayers. Destiny here I come!

But as I said I can get a little ahead of myself.

“Be still”. Not what I want to hear a lot of the time, but this is His response for the most part. Yep hold on, not yet, wait here, it’s not time.

Ugh fine. But are you sure Lord?

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Sometimes I believe that God is mistaken, but He knows what He’s doing and there’s nothing I want to do about that (a hard head is a result of hard lessons I would know). But of course I’m always wrestling with His answer, “Be still”. Though I get antsy, frustrated, and anxious I refuse to move without clarity and His direction.

So as I am still waiting on the answer as to which way to go and when to move—which I’ll share this major decision in a later post–I have learned a few things about God. #1 He’s always listening and speaking even when He’s silent. #2 He’s constantly working on my behalf even when I feel His timing and plans aren’t Erin friendly. And #3 He is so patient, loving, and kind enough to put up with me despite my lack of patience and understanding.

As challenging as it is to be still I wouldn’t want to make a move that could jeopardize everything God has predestined for me to receive. So remaining still I will be.

When Dead Things Resurface Shove Them Back In The Grave, Dust Yourself Off and Carry On

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Wait a minute I am positive I nipped that situation in the bud. Oh no no, that thing has been dead and buried for years. Surely I locked that door, threw away the key and called it quits. There’s no way my past has resurfaced as I have made it my duty to forget that of which is former and to focus on the things ahead.

Lately I’ve been having a lot of WTF (what the freak) moments. It appears that certain people, places, and things who are deemed deceased to me have suddenly resurrected.

Ugh, it seems as though when I get a grip on living a life of healing, prosperity, and wholeness I am ambushed by things that should no longer exist. I will confess I was tempted to buckle and fold at the sight of them, but I refuse. Instead I decided to do a little investigation on why they reappeared and what I could do to put them back in their respective place, the graveyard.

If you’ve been following me for a minute you’d know that I can find my life in any book of the Bible (lol) and it just so happens to be Exodus 14: 15-31. Here’s the “Escape through the Red Sea” story in a nutshell:

“The Lord said to Moses, Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. The cloud settled in between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. The Lord opened up a path through the water with strong winds so the people could walk through the dry sea. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived. And the Israelites saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the seashore. When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the Lord had unleashed they were filled with awe before Him. They put their faith in the Lord.”

Assignment complete! I’ve taken everything to the Lord in prayer, ditched the pity parties, burned the bridge between my past and I, moved on, and by faith I know I am free from it all. What is laid to rest is laid to rest and that’s it.

What’s laid to rest exactly? Allow me to get a little more personal. That depression is laid to rest. The thought of suicide is laid to rest. Those family members and friends who molested me as a child is laid to rest. The urge to entertain that counterfeit relationship that lasted 12 years, is laid to rest. I have silenced the lie that I will never be loved or I could never love again. I have killed the lie that I am incompetent. I have slayed the lie that my life couldn’t get any better than that. Fear, doubt, and anxiety is laid to rest. That fake identity sold to me and the lie that I’d never walk in my purpose is dead. That’s what I’m talking about.

With the help of God I am victorious and free from the insecurities and condemnation that followed those horrific and unwarranted events in my life.

Hmm, if that’s the case how did these dead things manage to make their way back into my life? Who sent them and why?

Like Exodus 14 explains, when pharaoh and his army followed the Israelites into the waters, they were swallowed up, and washed ashore on the land promised to Israelites. That’s when it hit me. It wasn’t that I was digging up the remains of my past, but it was divine power behind it all. Here’s what I’m thinking as to why the pharaohs of their day and mines resurfaced.

#1. Pharaoh and his clan were ticked because they were no longer in control– influential or powerful– over the Israelites and they were forbidden to enter their land (a land of newness, prosperity, and freedom).

#2. Pharaoh was livid that the Israelites had the audacity to defy him and walk away.

#3. God wanted to make His provisions known to His people so He did what the people thought was impossible. He set them free from the brutality and evil rule of Egypt.

Did you catch that? I think these folks got it!

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#4. The enemy at times will remind me of where I’ve come from and what I’ve experienced in order to discourage and confuse me. He does these things to bully me, and to persuade me to buckle under fear so that I won’t put up a fight.

He wants me to believe that the only purpose in life for me is to spend my days under demonic strongholds. But I will not because God says I don’t have to as long as He’s on the throne. And let’s be real He’s not going anywhere.

Let’s go back into the word. God declares, “I have called you by name and I have redeemed you. You are minesIsaiah 43:1. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has passed away” 2 Corinthians 5:17. Leviticus 20:24 says, “But I’ve promised you that you’ll inherit the land that I am about to give you as your permanent possession a land flowing with milk and honey.”

I. Am. Here. For. That. And you should be too if you find yourself in my shoes.

I’m going to tell you like I tell myself just because dead people, places, and things resurface doesn’t mean they have a place in your present or future. God calls for us to live and not to die with the things of the past.

Remind whatever it is that comes up against you that it’s been crucified and buried. Remind them that your future is calling and you have some place to go.

After you’ve done that cleanse your mind, spirit, and emotions from it, fix your focus, stand up straight, and move forward into the newness of life.

I hope this blessed you as much as it’s blessed me.

You Are Valuable in the Body of Christ

Have you ever felt as though you were in competition with someone who shares the same objectives and goals as yourself? When you look back at your level of productivity to achieve the assignment set before you, do you find yourself frustrated, envious, hopeless, and burned out because your level of impact or influence isn’t as effective as your neighbor(s)? Do you find yourself running for the benches because you have convinced yourself that there’s no place for you on the field anymore? “I mean what’s the point of my participation if everyone else around me is involved? Why should I get involved when they are doing my job better than me?” you think. If you ever asked yourself the following you’re not alone. I’ve been down that road before where I felt powerless and insignificant especially in the body of Christ.

I recall running a YouTube channel and being so excited about it because I knew that I was–through the help of God–wheeling women in to come to know Christ as they were recovering from unhealthy relationships and directing them to establish a more intimate walk with Christ etc. The adrenaline that rushed through me was unbelievable. My confidence was at an all time high, my motivation was through the roof. I believed I was making a change and doing what I believed God planned for me to do for His Kingdom. Until my YouTube feed enlightened me that I wasn’t the only one sharing life experiences and tips.

What really put a damper on my fire in fulfilling my part in the body of Christ wasn’t so much of other women with similar objectives and goals as myself, but the fact that they were doing their jobs well. God’s favor upon them was obvious because the fruit of their ministries were great. 1k subscribers, 125k subscribers, and I only gained 10 subscribers. 16 video shares and I had none. High audience participation and I only received 5 comments. Really?! If this is the assignment God has placed in my life why am I so terrible at it? I knew my intentions were to please God, but I felt as though I had been disqualified. I don’t have as many subscribers as she does so God must have given my assignment to one more qualifiedWhat makes her better than me? Now I have no place in fulfilling the call God placed on my life. I am no longer needed on the battlefield. As you can imagine I lost all motivation and eventually aborted the mission. However, I refused to continue to walk in the idea that I had no place in the body of Christ to manifest the Kingdom of God.

Well hello WordPress! Writing was God’s first press on my heart beginning at the age of 12. Surely, I could perform my service in the body of Christ here. But I found myself discouraged–yet again–because of the “competition”. I was faced with the reality that there were other women in Christ dominating in their God-given gifts and assignments. A flood of intimidation and jealousy weighed on my focus and drive. I became inconsistent in advancing God’s Kingdom. I’d write here and there even when God pushed me to get over myself and publish what had been laying heavily on my heart. “No thanks you have other women who can get the job done because obviously I am not providing the results you’re looking for. You’ve called many to reach the masses and I have only reached 10 women so, yeah, no“.

I began to discredit what God placed within me and where He had placed me. Looking back I sounded a lot like Moses who felt inadequate to speak to the people because of His speech impediment. Here’s Moses’s rebuttal to God’s command to lead His people, “Lord pardon your servant. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you spoken to your servant. I am slow to speech and tongueExodus 4:10. Of course God being One who will not take no or excuses for an answer pretty much told Moses get over yourself and your unbelief. I’ve commanded you to speak to my people, deliver them and bring them back to me.

Like Moses I couldn’t see it. Lord I’m okay as a bench warmer. I’ll can watch on the sidelines and root for the women on the field from over there. They can handle and produce what You need. But! God saw the importance of my participation no matter how I felt. He reminded me of this:

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. If you have the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladlyRomans 12:4-8.

How awesome is that?! God called what He placed in you and I, special and effective. Wow! His response raised me from my idleness, my jealousy, my bitterness, my unbelief  and carried me back to the field.

Like me you are a valuable vessel in the body of Christ. You are a contributor in the completion of God’s Kingdom. You possess something special and powerful because He has placed it within you!

There are men and women who are in need of your divine talent, testimony, tips etc. There are men and women looking for you to take on the responsible assigned to you because their lives depend on it. They are seeking hope, they are desperate for comfort. Someone is looking for the God sent, you and I are that through Christ Jesus. God has entrusted us to carry out what He’s planted within us for His glory.

Another valuable point here is that we as brothers and sisters in Christ should NEVER be in competition with one another, EVER. Jealousy, bitterness, excuses, laziness get rid of it. You are on a mission to tend–with the grace of God–to those in need of the direction, hope, and courage.

Another nugget of enlightenment is that you have members in Christ who are for you, who desire to support you, and to cheer you on in your assignment. And believe it or not they too rely on you to fulfill your part in the magnificent body of Christ because without your participation it can impact the rest of the body. So get up and get in. Our God, our Savior, your brother, your sister, and the lost are depending on you.

Love your friend,

Erin.

 

 

 

Have You Forgiven You?

Forgiveness, it’s a melody that’s been prancing around me and a tune I’ve been humming for the past week. The song goes a little something like this:

“Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness, forgiveness
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness” – Matt West

I won’t lie the first thoughts that came to my mind were those who have offended me and how difficult it is to forgive them. I couldn’t help but to also think how rare it is to come across someone who desperately wants to forgive those who have wronged them.

Honestly how bold is Matt West’s request!? He’s literally demanding God to provide him the opportunity to love the unlovable, the unreachable, to do the impossible and forgive! Matt did what a lot of us seem to struggle with and that’s letting go of a grudge, starving resentment, and moving forward in forgiving those who’ve offended us. 

How many of you have that same fire as Matt? Are you just as hungry to push past unforgiveness and move forward in extending a peace-offering to your offender(s)?

Let’s take this up a notch in not focusing on what’s been done, said to or about you, but to ask you who are you extending forgiveness to. Is it a friend, a family member, or  yourself? Did you catch that? I’ll say it again, HAVE YOU FORGIVEN YOU?!

We are all guilty of offending someone by something we’ve said or done directly or indirectly and have received forgiveness–I hope. What many of us fail to realize is that forgiveness is not only extended to those who have offended you and I, but it is also available for you and I to extend to ourselves.

There are so many people who feel that they should walk in shame and regret even after they’ve been forgiven. Trust me I would know.

I felt like one of those unreachable, unlovable people who could not be redeemed from my misdeeds. “I can’t believe I said that. What was I thinking? If I were them I wouldn’t forgive me.” Time after time I found myself in a tug of war with condemnation.

It baffled me that even after being forgiven I still felt guilty. One of the reasons was because I hadn’t taken the time to ask myself for forgiveness. Isn’t that something, forgiving ourselves is rarely thought of and possibly one of the most difficult things to do?

Going without forgiving ourselves–to me at least–is like holding a grudge. It’s like saying we’ve received forgiveness from those we’ve offended, but there is nothing that can break the guilt and shame we may still be experiencing. There is nothing else that can be said or done. However, there is something just as powerful.

I believe that when we release ourselves from our hiccups, stumbles, and falls, forgiving ourselves is just as powerful as receiving it from someone else.

“It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you” – Matt West

Can we look at Philippians 3:13 really quick? Paul states, “Brothers and sisters I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” This verse can be viewed in a number of ways. My understanding is that not one of us is perfect, but we must come to terms with our deeds, let go, and forgive that of which that has been done in the past.

Lastly, it says to me let us move forward in doing and being better to those around us –and of equal importance, to ourselves.

No matter what you’ve done forgive yourself. They’ve forgiven you now it’s your turn.

Love your friend,

Erin ♡♡♡

What’s Your 10 Empowering Affirmations?

Hello lovely people! I know it’s been awhile, BUT here I am and I’m here with a challenge that was presented to me.

I challenge you to create 10 empowering affirmations. Yes! Empowering, cloud 9, can’t come down messages about/to yourself!

Too often we fill ourselves with doubts and lies about who we aren’t and who we will never become. It’s time to cut that out.

Creating my list took me a few days, but after digging deep within myself, and really thinking about the facts regarding who I AM I feel like I hit the jackpot.

So join me on the path to self discovery by commenting down below your 10 empowering affirmations.

*Challenge credited to Ashley Empowers’s Mani-fest Your Godly Man Boot camp

If you guys haven’t heard of Ashley Brown, founder of Covenant Coaching and Dating with Purpose, check her out. Her ministry will give you LIFE, no lie.

Any who can’t wait to hear your 10 empowering affirmations.

Until then nighty night! ♡♡♡

Filter On Through

 

high-grassLife can be sweet sometimes and at other times not so much (I guess we can call it the “sour patch affect”).

Life says what it wants, does what it wants when it wants, and it has no respect of persons.

It at times puts us in some uncomfortable, unpredictable, uncalled for situations that we never asked to be in in the first place.

It doesn’t provide us with a owners guide on how to deal with the cards it hands us and we are left to figure it out.

It dumps, and dumps, and dumps overloading our senses and clouding our judgement. At that point we are forced to take a closer look at what’s in front of us.

And in the midst of making the best with what life serves us, sometimes it’s hard to see the good in all things as it can be a needle in a haystack.

No life has no way of filtering itself, but we have the power to filter through the situations and circumstances we find ourselves in.

Find the good in it all.

Filter on through even when life makes it almost impossible to do.

-Erin

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