Faith can make us uncomfortable, but it’s a necessity in order that we may mature…

Faith, it’s such a scary concept. Walking off into the unknown makes us cringe and uncomfortable. And though it’s not the most ideal avenue to take faith is the best thing that can ever happen to us. It requires us to trust in someone who’s wiser and mightier than us. It forces us to be bold and fearless, to take risks. It can take us places we’ve never imagine if we allow it to.

You all may have caught wind of my story in the past, but it’s my staple testimony and I believe someone out there needs it. A little over a year ago I took a leap of faith, packed my bags, and headed to Texas. As much as I saw the move as a flop after losing much of everything in a matter of a year, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. What, leaving home, quitting my job, losing my apartment, almost being depleted of my health, and finances was the best thing that happened to me?! Yes it was.

I have learned what it means to walk by faith and not by sight. Though I lost so much in the physical aspect I gained a ton of experience spiritually and strengthened my mental and emotional capacity. Here’s a recent example, last week I received job interviews from two universities in Texas and one back in Florida. Being that so many doors have closed on me post leaving my pervious position you would think I would run back home to a job and team that I absolutely enjoyed. But I didn’t. 

I considered moving back home because not only was I promised a job, but I would be around people I knew I could lean on in the time of need. Contemplating on making the move my flesh screamed go home! You’ve suffered enough and taking another blow would be fatal.  “What if the other job opportunities fall through what will you do then?”. “Are you sure about this? What if you make a mistake?” Doubt and fear bombarded me to a extent that I couldn’t think, eat or sleep. Sure my leap of faith ruffled my feathers, but I can’t shrink back or cave in now. I’ve come too far to turn around and plus I left home for a lot of reasons. Stretching my faith even further I decided to remove my application and eliminated the option to go back home. It wasn’t easy, but I placed my hope in the Lord and in His might.

Though God had presented the opportunity for me to move to a place of comfort and to also move forward into the unknown I had to look at the bigger picture (that of what I could see as least). When in my place of comfortability I wasn’t required to use my faith as much as I have to now. I had no reason to trust in the Lord because I had much of everyone and everything I needed to help me survive. But I started to think what good is it to only survive? Shooting for survival alone put me in the position of jeopardizing more than losing a job opportunity. I was at risk of losing all the spiritual, mental, and emotional development I had gain along the way. 

I needed to thrive and mature, and faith was-and still is- my golden ticket to do exactly that.

Even though I don’t know what my leap of faith will drag me through in the process of reaching my many destinations I am happy to know that I am in a place where I am being stretched and strengthened due to my leap of faith. Sure adversity and other loses will reoccur, but I am confident that my dive into the unknown will move and strengthen me in ways that comfortability and familiarity could never measure to.

I don’t know your story, but will you jump? Will you take that leap of faith for the sake of your spiritual growth and the other things you desire in life? Or will you continue to live in fear and complacency? Take the leap and everything that comes with it because in it all there’s a stronger you and a great God on the other side.

Something to think about.

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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! ♡♡♡

Bible Verses, Music, and Practices that Can Help in Your Season of Adversity and Transition

For the past 8 months my faith walk, willingness to be obedient, and sincerity of surrendering to God’s will has been under intense pressure. Most of what I found comfort in– relationships, jobs, finances, and other treasured values–have been pulled from underneath me in the time I needed them the most. Why? All so that God may receive all the glory and that I may know my place under His sovereignty.

God has been shifting me from man power to divine power by providing me wisdom and experience through these trying times.  He has shifted my thoughts of self-reliance to His reliance so that I may know where my help comes from. He has isolated me from distractions in order that I may fix my eyes on Him and things above. He has been removing anything in the form of idolatry so that I may know who is the true living God and who gets me life. However, accepting this process hasn’t been easy.

So to refrain from throwing in the towel altogether there are a few things I began to pay attention to. Here’s are a few pointers noted throughout my process:

  • Seeking God in Prayer and in His Word – Prayer is another form of conversation with God and His word is a form of His response to you.
  • Seeking God in Praise and Worship – He can speak to you and/or your situation through songs. Plus this time of vulnerability can also help you express to God what you’re feeling when you can’t seem to sum the words up yourself.
  • Start a Journal – God never wants us to forget where we’ve come from, yet alone how He’s pulled us through. Documenting your season can serve as a nudge of encouragement when you face similar trials in the future.

If you are struggling to release your will power, to be strong in tribulation, to remain of good encourage, I hope the scriptures, musical selections, and pointers that helped me in my time of drought, loneliness, fear, and weakness will help you as well.

Uplifiting Scriptures

Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.

John 16:33 I’ve told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

James 1:3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trails of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.

Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks.

Proverbs 12:1 To learn you must love discipline it is stupid to hate correction.

Ephesians 3:12 In Him and through faith we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Psalm 143: 10 Teach me to do your will for you are my God ! Let your good spirit lead me on level ground.

John 14: 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me.

Psalm 94: 19 When anxiety was great within me your consolation brought me joy.

Music of Inspiration

Dear Younger Me by Mercy Me

A lot of the time we regret some of the decisions we make and wish if we knew then what we know now my life  would have turned out much differently. Dear Younger Me reminds us that we are holy, righteous, redeemed, set apart, brand new, and free indeed no matter the choices we make or life has made for us.

Fragile Heart by Yolanda Adams 

In moments of confusion, fear, anger, and pain we tend to forget–at some point– that our eyes must stay fixed upon God and that by doing so we are reminded He will never leave nor forsake us no matter what space we’re in. Fragile Heart also nudges that we don’t have to be strong in our will power, but in God’s strength.

I Understand by Smokie Norful

God why me? Do you see what I’m going through? Do you hear my prayers? Will you come through? I Understand is God’s response to our requests and yes, He understands everything we are going through as He saw the same events through Jesus Christ.

He Will Carry You by Troy Sneed 

We were never meant to be strong on our own, but by the spirit of God. Christ also tells us to cast our cares upon Him for He cares (1 Peter 5:7). God is willing and able.

Crazy Faith by John Waller 

God will call us to release our prize possessions and familiarity to live a life after Him. With this He tests our obedience, faith and ability to trust Him. Through it all following Him is the best way to go.

Before you go help me by:

  • Sharing uplifting scriptures and inspirational songs that have helped you pull through
  • Providing other methods of communicating with God and/or receiving a word from Him
  • Like this post
  • Share this post

XOXO AstoldbyErin

5 Tips Every Single Woman Should Know During the Wait

Ladies, does this sound familiar to you? “God how much longer? My husband should have been here by now. What are you waiting on?” First of all, I want to congratulate you on seeking God first during this period of waiting. But as we can see awaiting on God’s appointed time, being faithful in prayer,and making every effort to prepare for the married life can be tiresome and frustrating. 

It seems like everywhere you turn you find yourself singled out, desperate for answers, and hopeless because of the possibility of never being discovered by “the one”. But have you ever thought about how our attitude and perception in the process of waiting could make the journey harder than what it should be?

As you all may know over a year ago I ended my 12 year relationship with my off and on again high school sweetheart. From that day forward I decided to sit out of the dating game to take time out to heal, petition my love story before God, and grow into the woman I aspire to be. With a fresh outlook on living single, I’ve learned a few lessons along the way. 

Lesson #1 Be content with where and who you are in your season of singleness ! Yeah it sucks attending the singles ministry at church, having to watch a movie alone and/or being your own Valentine, but it isn’t so bad. This is the time to learn how to enjoy your own company, learn your core values, and evaluate who you are, and who you wish to be in the future. There’s no better time than this season ladies. 

Lesson #2 Draw closer to God and find His purpose for your life through prayer, and reading His word ! Call me a Bible thumper all you like, but it is the best book to take advice from. The apostle Paul states “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs:  Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both the body and spirit” 1 Corinthians 7:34.

Dedicating time to explore God’s word even further will allow you to find that He speaks to other areas in your walk with Christ, such as spiritual character building (in other words Fruits of the Spirit which can be found in Galatians 5:22&23). In addition you’ll find tons of testimonials similar to your story, suggestions and/or advice pertaining to trust, faith, obedience, etc.

I am not by any means attesting that married women aren’t concerned about the Father’s business as that is determined by their personal walk, but taking advantage of this time to offer the undivided attention needed in order to learn God, and His plans for you should not be taken lightly. So light a candle, turn on your reprise praise and worship music, crack open your bible and learn more about your Father and who you are to and in Him!!

Last but not least, this is also the time to pray! Be specific when petitioning your wants to God. But also be open to what He sees best for you, if He desires for you to marry. Remember God’s will is the best will.

Lesson #3 Create goals centered around creating a better you! It is extremely important to evaluate your weekly, monthly, yearly goals. For me, I have invested in working out 3 to 5 times a week as I believe that my physical fitness says a lot about how I feel about my personal well-being. Every month I plan to pay off medical, student, retail, and banking debt I have accumulated over the years. Each year I plan to find ways to better myself, my ministries as a writer and public speaker and any other goals tacked on down the road.

Lesson #4 Don’t be a sour puss! “Woe is me. God it’s not fair. Are you deaf God? I’ve been faithful in the little. Where’s my enlarged territory? “. Can someone  please show MsPissy Pattie the exit?! NEXT!

Lesson #5 Learn to celebrate someone else’s breakthrough! That’s right celebrate that girlfriend  who’s now the jewel to her husband’s crown. Clap it up for the best friend who’s planning the wedding of her dreams. Toast to the woman who’s courting with her potential help mate.

I know, I know this seems so hard to do when time is against you, and when your prayers and deeds don’t go pass the ceiling fan. However, this doesn’t mean God is deaf to your requests. In the meantime this season should be used for self-evaluation, drawing closer to God, investing in yourself and celebrating the breakthroughs of others.

So change your attitude and freshen up our perception!

Before you go help me out by:

  • Sharing your experience(s) during your waiting season
  • Sharing what some of your personal goals
  • Providing any advice that can help another sister remain encouraged in God’s response
  • Like and share this post

XOXO As Told By Erin