The Greatest Gift

As I sat in church service on Christmas morning, my pastor spoke about the benefits Christians have by being  justified through faith. (Romans 5: 1-8) With this process he said that we had “benefits” so to speak. One of these he said was peace with God.  I started thinking how in the past few months I have truly found so much peace with God.  I can’t think of a time I have been happier in my life! As my relationship grows with the Lord I see myself growing spiritually and I get excited about the things that he has done, will do and is currently doing in my life to make me a better person. Not just a better person, but the young woman he would want me to be.

Peace with God is truly amazing because I feel  free from everything I use to let burden me down. And when I think of all the burdens I’ve left behind I almost feel like a brand new person! I’m now able to focus on where God is truly trying to take me. The  last half of the year has been amazing for me, I’ve come really far in such a short time. I get excited because I know this is only the beginning of what God is capable of doing. If I felt like this year was good, then 2010 will be AWESOME and I can’t wait!!!

At one point, I was looking for happiness and peace in all the wrong places. I kept hoping something in the world would fill the piece of me I thought was  missing. But what had really been missing was God and his love, Love that can’t even begin to compare to the “love” a dude could ever give me. Because as my pastor said in service, God’s love is based on commitment. A commitment that still stands even when I’ve done wrong and offended Him. A commitment where God loves me enough to jack me up, because he knows I can do better and that there are better things in store for me. A commitment where I know he won’t give up on me until he gets me where I need to be.

Peace with God means trusting God. I’m guilty of trying to fix my own problems thinking I had all the sense in the world to make things better.  I was so convinced that what I was doing was really going to work. But let me tell you, once I got in line with God, everything I had been trying to do, God worked it out. When you do the little things God tells you to do, everything else falls into place.

 Sometimes I feel like I’m invincible because of God’s grace.( lol.) My pastor also said in service that you have to be able to see where God is taking you and then “strut” God’s grace in the devil’s face so to speak.( lol.)  Let the devil know who’s on your side. Since I’ve found peace, I feel like I’m capable of things I never would’ve thought I could do.

Truly peace is amazing and I hope that someone else knows where I’m coming from. And for those who don’t, I hope you find it soon, because this is one gift that’s truly priceless!

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Importance of Setting a Good Example unto Others

I went to my church’s youth night for the first time, and I can truly say I’ve never seen a group of young people who minister so well through their various presentations. Seeing those youth participating in something positive that glorifies GOD made me proud. Even though I didn’t know any of them personally. Just by their presence alone it was obvious something spiritual had been put in them. Near the end of the service there was an altar call and some of the youth walked up there. And the guy who was over the program told the parents: if your kids are at the altar you need tobe behind them. And to me that was something so awsome.

And it made me think of my own relationship with my mother. I got to thinking and realized we never truly formed a spiritual bond as mother and daugther. And she hasn’t really formed that bond with my other two sibilings either. And this made me throw up my hands in prayer because it wasn’t me that I was concerned about. I know that I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve formed a relationship with God and I’ll be okay. Although I didn’t have my mama to truly show me when I was younger, I know my training came from my grandmother (another blog in itself…to be continued…coming soon) But I was concerened for my brother and sister and the example my mother has been setting for them. I love my mama to death  but I know that she’s a very broken woman. She’s had an abusive history with men, and the men she chooses to allow in her life ultimately break her down rather than build her up. To sum it all up the “drama” in her life has 98% of the time involved a man; and there have been many. Not to call my mama out, but she’s always had a man. She’ll leave one just to go find another one a few weeks later. Back to back. And so this is the example she has set for a 13 year old son and a 7 year old daugther.

Imagine 7 years old, my little sister may grow up thinking that men are suppose to beat her, talk down to her and treat her any kind of way. Not knowing that when GOD puts a man and a woman together they have a purpose. To help  lift each other, build each other up, challenge each other to stay in the word and fufill the purpose placed on their lives by God. But children can only go by what they see. Imagine being 13 a growing young man. My little brother has been troubled since he was small.  He was diagnosed with A.D.D and he wasn’t really doing well in school at one point. Not only does he have to go to school and deal with everyday puberty just growing up but then he comes home and he doesn’t have a solid male figure to look up to. All he  sees is mama with a thug. A man who takes part in drugs, alcohol, cursing, anger issues and always yelling. Is this an example of the kind of man my little brother should aspire to be? But believe it or not it’s really al he’s been exposed to. Not a man of God to sit down with my mama to put something in him to keep him when nobody is around and life gets hard.For now I thank God that both of my sibilings seem to be doing okay. My little sister is extremely smart and my brother is making A’s and B’s compared to the D’s and F’s he used to make. And he’s also active in sports.

But I know that nothing in this world can compare to having a parent who cares enough to take time out to instill certain values in their children. The bible says to train up a child in the way they should go so that when they grow old they won’t depart. Mama and daddy will not always be around but if a child knows God then instead of turnin to the streets, or to drug when the world gets hard, they’ll turn to HIS word for guidance. Since I’ve gotten back on track with my own spiritual journey, I try to be that example for my sibilings. I take them to bible study with me and invite them to my church. But I can only do so much. I’m still learning the training starts with the parents.

Not saying that my mama doesn’t take them to church. But she doesn’t attend with the intent of truly opening her heart to God’s word to grow. Hearing the word and then applying the word are two different things. My mama can hear a good word and then never follow through on what God has said. Sometimes it might seem like she’s on the right path and then before you know it, she’s turned around and going back down the same road. I’m not knocking her, I love her honestly. But to me this says my mother is not desperate enough  for change. She hasn’t reached the point in her life where she craves truth in God’s word.

But today, for the sake of her being a better example to  my sibilings I say a prayer: God open my mother’s heart so that she may recieve the word and believe all that is spoken. Open her eyes so that she’s aware everything she does affects my litte brother and sister. Give her the spirit and the mind to want to desire to follow your will. So that she can live a life that glorifies you and that it be enough in her to put something in my siblings. By becoming a better example I pray that it helps take their relationships to new levels.  That it helps to keep them close to God when times get hard. I’ve tried to be the example, but I know I can’t do it alone. I’m not asking that she be perfect, but that you at least give her the desire she needs to seek you continuosly for guidance. I hope that the changes in her life set an example for my siblings so that they may see with you all things are possible. Allow them to know you God. Let them see your glory for themselves that they may know and believe and never stray too far from your word.

Amen.

Where I AM…and where I COULD BE

While riding in my car recently one afternoon, I came across the song “A rose is still a rose” by Aretha Franklin. I’ve heard this song a thousand times, but when I heard it this time, it didn’t quite sound the same. I was actually listening to the lyrics and when it got towards the end there’s a part that says, “without him your life goes on.” And it made me think of my situation with my ex-boyfriend of 2 years.

A little background: I was dating a guy ten years older than me for the last two years. Recently in July we decided to break up. It was at this point that we both realized we had different directions for our lives. While I was trying to grow spiritually he was more concerened about being in the streets. Two people can’t be in a relationship together and expect for it to work if they aren’t on the same path.  Even though we had broke up, we had decided to remain friends.  At this point I can admit that he’s not fully out of my system, so by being friends it was almost as if I was setting myself up.  The realtionship wasn’t completely bad the past two years. We had shared some good times and the emotions were hard to forget.

So the real trouble I was having was letting him go. I had heard God speak to me numerous times saying that we didn’t need to be together. But I thought that meant we didn’t need to be in a “realtionship” not that he didn’t need to be part of my life. But because my emotions were still tied to him I thought by saying we were “friends” that everything would be cool. But when you become soul-tied to someone, labels don’t matter beause I still knew that at one point we had been more than friends and that was very hard to look past when we would hang out just as “friends”.

For the past week in church my pastor has been preaching a sermon called “Faith or Emotions”. Basically the idea is that we should live beyond our emotions by tapping into the higher power; GOD and the HOLY SPIRIT! When making decisions it should be based on FAITH not emotions. Our emotions can’t be trusted, because they are so fickle, but our FAITH is something that’s more reliable because it should be something grounded in GOD’s word and what he has spoken to you.

Thursday night that just past, I found myself at the Ritz Theater (in Jacksonville, fl.) with my ex. We were just hanging out as friends. It was open mic night and I was going to read a poem. Funny thing is when we got there and I sat there with him…I started to feel so disconnected from him. It was almost as if something about him had suddenly turned me off . I kept asking myself, why did I want to stay with him? What was it that kept making me want to keep him in my life? The answer to my question: MY EMOTIONS!! I had been soul-tied for two years and that’s a very intimate bond to break. It doesn’t just happen over night. Not only that but I sat there in Ritz and I had to finally admit to God that I had problems with being lonely and that I was guilty of trying to fill my void with everything but GOD! Everytime I would find myself lonely I was turning to my ex for comfort..because that’s what I had been use to for the past two years.

I admit I did some things to keep resisting God’s word, but that night at the Ritz I could only surrender. I had only been trying to hold on because my ex was comforting to my emotions. However, the lesson here is that our emotions should NEVER overide our faith. I realize now that if I had stayed with my ex, things could be worse than what they are today.  Even though at times my emotions want me to go back with him, God won’t allow me because of how far he has bought me. I’ve come too far to turn back.  Recently I had been told that people will throw away their blessings to keep people in their life that don’t belong. And I was almost one of those people.

I was living before I met my ex and with God’s will I’ll continue to live without him.  I thank God for opening my eyes because I know he didn’t have to. I thank HIM for putting something in my spirit to finally see that it was time to let go. There was no need in keeping my ex as part of my life if he didn’t match up with God’s purpose. I pray that as I continue to grow spiritually, my faith in God grows stronger. That he helps me to deal with my issues of lonliness and wanting to be wanted by someone else.  I’ve only just begun this journey, but I know where I am and where I could be. So to that and much more I say THANK YOU LORD!

Simply The Beginning…..

I started this blog because I like to write. I figured if I’m going to write, I might as well share it with others. Writing for me has been a form of therapy since I was in the fifth grade. It helps to keep me sane by allowing my thoughts to escape without having to be verbal. Problem is, I love to write, but speaking is not my strong point. Over the years I’ve gotten better, but I best express myself using paper and pen. I also write because eventually my goal is to connect with others through the things I write. Maybe someone might be able to relate or be inspired by the words I choose to share. I just want the words to get out. I’ve always wanted to share my story with people and this could be my chance. I know that God has given me a gift  and it’s something I would love to share with others every chance I get. This blog is only the beginning. My ultimate goal is to first become a journalist and then write a book based on my life. I’m not saying my struggle was worse off than anyone else, but I know I’ve  had some breakthroughs in my life that I would like to share. I’m open to discussing any topic, any issue. I’m also open to recieving feedback as well. Positive or negative, but constructive. I hope that this blog can be a starting point for me to grow in my skills and eventually go on to achieve greater things.