Seed To Sequoia

Y’all I have the most amazing news! I just want to scream it from the rooftops! I was hired to be a staff member at an awesome ministry!

I am so overwhelmed and thrilled. I found out about an hour ago. I keep crying– flowing tears of joy and thankfulness!

I graduated in December and I haven’t had luck with any of the jobs that I’ve applied for (and I’ve applied for a bunch). I’ve been interviewed a few times but haven’t had any callbacks. (These were all jobs related to my degree.) I wasn’t sure if this was the path for me just yet.

In the midst of all this, however, I had applied for this ministry position. Back in September of 2017, I started feeling like maybe I needed to go out and participate in the Great Commission– to be a Fisher of Men, to spread God’s Word and love around. I kept thinking about it for a few months, but I wasn’t sure exactly which way to go. In January, a new friend of mine posted about this opportunity, asking for us to reach out if we were interested. I went back and forth about it for about a week or so, nervous to reach out. Finally, with a few seconds of boldness that only comes from the Good Lord, I sent her a message. Within the next few days, we met up and discussed it and I applied. All I could do from that point was wait and pray.

I prayed about this over and over. I asked God that if this was His will for me and my life, that I would be chosen. Earlier in March, I received a message from the director asking me to set up an interview. I picked the soonest times and two days later interviewed. He said I would hear from him again soon. Everything sounded promising but still, not definite. Waited again.

Almost two weeks had passed without a word until earlier. I was lying in bed, trying to go to sleep early because I wanted to go to the gym in the morning. My phone buzzed, text message buzz (most people don’t text me late at night) and I rolled over to check it. It was my sweet friend asking me to check Facebook (where I would be informed that I was, in fact, hired). I flung my quilt off and flew to my mom’s room to tell her, scaring my dozing cats in the process. I started crying. And I still am.

I don’t know about you, but when I get that confirmation from God about something in my life, I feel so incredibly overwhelmed– but in a beautiful way. I just feel filled with love and hope and excitement. I asked God for this. I asked Him to show me His will in this area (and all others, still waiting on those) but specifically, in this moment, this opportunity. And He did. I’m so honored and just unbelieving that I will be doing this– and doing it for Him!

When I talked about obedience, I told you I thought I would have exciting news soon. Well, here it is. I waited. I went through my 40 {plus a few) days. I don’t think I can relay exactly how I feel right now. Blessed. Overwhelmingly blessed.

My message to you sweet friends is not to give up. This could be day 7 or day 40. Keep on walking. Keep on praying. Keep on trusting in our Heavenly Father. He will direct your steps but you have to keep your feet moving.

I’m so excited for this new season and opportunity. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you thank you thank you.

Advertisements

Pouring Out Blessings

Goodness, do I have such exciting news! As I mentioned in a previous post, I have given up social media in obedience to my Father. Well, I know that walking in obedience usually means God is working on something. I am here to tell you He has done so much! A little over two months has passed and slowly but surely doors have opened. Not only that, but I’ve been so much happier and really started digging into my Word even more.

I don’t even miss it. Truly, I don’t mind not using it and when I get it back, I’m not sure that I will even start up again. If I do, it will definitely be rare and I won’t be downloading the apps to my phone. It is relieving, in a way, to not think about Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram constantly. I’ve been able to focus on other, more important things in my free time. I started painting and drawing again. I’ve remodeled my room! (This is a first, it has always been the same). I’ve been reading books and spending more time with God and in His Word. I feel refreshed.

And blessings have started pouring out. God has opened door after door for me. One of the most exciting opportunities is the one for me to be the OFFICIAL Social Media Coordinator for my church! I am creating the new website, along with a Facebook and YouTube page. And I will be monitoring all of those in addition to the Instagram that I have been running since December. I feel so honored to be given this responsibility.

And all of this has occurred because I chose to listen to God Almighty and follow Him. To follow His instruction for me and my life. It’s so incredibly easy and more rewarding than anything ever. I thank God. Thank you thank you thank you, Jesus!

Other things have happened and are in the works, but I don’t want to say too much until it is official. Keep looking out for hopefully some more exciting news from me, y’all.

 

Barren Is Beautiful

Lately I’ve been listening to Seasons by Hillsong on repeat. It’s one of those worship songs that I relate to so well. It reminded me of the word I chose for 2018: delight.

Sometimes we become frustrated with the season we’re in and long for a new one to begin. Don’t get me wrong, I love seasons changing. It moves my soul when I feel the shift in the air. Still I delight in the season I’m in while I’m in it.

If I easily enjoy the four seasons of Earth, why don’t I delight in each spiritual season? The same truths apply. Though the winter is long, even richer the harvest it brings will be. 

Winter has been around for me for quite a while. While others wore their shorts and sleeveless shirts, I donned a scarf and snow boots. I thought spring would have come for me by now. Impatience slowly crept up on me and sent a snowstorm of concern through my thoughts.

Sweet friends, I want to remind you of this truth today. The other day, with a mind full of worries and fears, I heard the gentle voice of my Father ask, “Don’t you trust Me?” 

Do I trust God? Can I trust Him with my life? Can I put everything in His hands? Can I give up my independence and believe in Him to safely lead me? If the God that has been with me always and blessed me in ways I could never imagine is working for me and my good, why do I doubt Him? [Romans 8:28]

Do I doubt Him because of my own impatience and trouble with control? Because I’m still in the winter but I’m yearning for spring? Because I’m watching others gather their crops when I planted mine at the same time? Instead of delighting in where He has me right now and what He’s doing, I’m questioning Him.

We serve an amazing, unconditionally loving God. He is a good, good Father. He has so many promises and blessings for our lives. And along the way, He has much to teach us.

Take delight in your season. I’ve been learning and growing throughout mine. When I’m finally ready, I’ll see the fresh flowers of spring again.

You’re the God of seasons, I’m just in the winter. If all I know of harvest is that it’s worth my patience, then if You’re not done working, God I’m not done waiting.

With love and grace, His promise is loyal.

 

Move Mountains

Today, I graduated from college. It has been a long journey, but an amazing one that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. I’ve cultivated new friendships, grew in who I am, and had some unforgettable experiences. Now, I’m a girl with a degree. I just wanted to stop and take a moment and give God glory for this incredible accomplishment.

Let me start from the beginning.

When I was younger, I wanted to be just like my cousin Scott, who kept a high GPA throughout high school and earned several scholarships for college. My parents told me if I worked hard like he did, I would receive scholarships too. With the strong desire in my heart, I claimed I would do it too. I would go to college and not worry about loans. (I never wanted to be in debt.)

Throughout high school, I didn’t worry about paying for college– somehow I just knew that God would take care of it for me. I worked hard to keep my grades up and I graduated in the top ten percentile. In return, I was blessed with scholarships and grants.

Fast forward four and a half years. I am a college graduate. And I am here, debt free. Never had to take a student loan– not even when I went to England for a study abroad program. Can we just give God a round of applause?

I didn’t get to where I am now on my own. God made a way for me. Family and friends helped me. If it ever seemed like I wouldn’t be able to do something, someone stepped in and lent a hand. Y’all, I have been so so so blessed.

College is something I’ve always had faith in God for. I just knew that He would be looking out for me. It’s kind of funny, to think about. If I can believe in God for something (not having any debt) that so many others can’t even fathom, then why don’t I always have that doubtless faith in other areas of my life? I truly need to work on that.

The music department at my school did a rendition of Andra Day’s “Rise Up” for our commencement ceremony. The lyrics were so fitting. “But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet and move mountains.” “All we need is hope.” With God and a little hope and faith, I was able to move mountains. (Matthew 17:20) How awesome is that?

He sure is a good, good Father.

How can I repay the Lord for all the good He has done for me?” (Psalm 116:12 HCSB)

With love and grace, let us continue to move mountains.

Through It All

2017 has been an interesting year. The new year is coming so quickly and with it being Thanksgiving, I can’t help but think of all that I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful for all the people that have been a part of my life this year, even if you’re not any longer. People come and go and they add something to your life. I’ve made new friends and I’m so thankful for them. And I have an amazing family that I’m so blessed to be part of.

I’m thankful for all the new experiences I had. I went camping (like serious camping in the legit woods in a tent), I flew to North Carolina, I quit my job and was able to be a full-time student, and I watched my best friend become a mom. There are many more, but these are just the highlights.

I’m thankful for my Jesus family. There was so much happening in that part of my life than ever before. I’m so thankful for the Eminent Worship services, for the Wednesday night classes that are always on point, and the sisters (and brothers) in Christ that I have and have met. My soul has been so full of God’s love this year.

Most importantly, I’m thankful for the relationship that grew between my Father and I. I’m thankful for the confirmation I’ve been given over and over again from Him. I’m thankful for all the ways He has lead me and loved me this year. I’m thankful for the pruning and for the growth. I’m thankful for the boldness and trust and faith that has increased because of Him. I’m thankful for the sweet whispers of truth just when I needed them most. I am thankful that He loves me and that is never going to change.

Graduation is coming soon. In roughly 22 days, I’ll be walking across the stage, clad in my cap and gown. I have ideas about what is in store, but with God, nothing is impossible. I’m thankful for what is to come. This year has been a wild adventure, one that I wouldn’t take back. I’m excited to see where this journey will continue to take me.

With love and grace, thank you for reading.

 

Faith vs Fear

Lately, I have been seeing how God has allowed me to minister to others without me even realizing that it was Him. Within the past week, two friends have told me that I have made an impression on them in different ways. Hearing that brought tears to my eyes– it awed me. I know that what I did wasn’t me– it was God. I once heard a preacher say, “The bad stuff that I do– that’s me. The good stuff– that’s God.” That’s completely true– I’m not a wonderful person just because I exist and I am. Whatever wonderfulness that comes from me comes from He who is living in me. On my own, I am nothing.

I want God to use me. I want to shine my Light and be the Salt of the Earth. I’ve always been intimidated to do the things that I think I should do, things that I want to do. And for the past few months, if I felt any compelling to do something, I do it. I know that’s the Holy Spirit weighing on my heart and mind.

I’ve let the enemy use fear to disable me too often– I’ve lost so many opportunities before because I was too scared. I know that fear is from the enemy. Fear means false evidence appearing real. But you know what I have that defeats fear? Faith. Fear ain’t in this house.

If I have faith that my Father wants what is best for me in life, that His promises will not be broken, and that He is always working for my good– what do I have to fear?

Fear holds you back. The enemy doesn’t want you to succeed. He wants to stall you and stop you. He wants the exact opposite of what God wants– God wants to prosper you and give you hope! [Jeremiah 29:11]

Fix your eyes on God. When Peter stepped out of that boat, headed towards Jesus, he was able to walk on the water. He had his eyes fixed on Jesus and his faith in Jesus. Then, he took his eyes off of God and let fear creep in, and began to sink.

You and I can walk on water too, if we fix our eyes on God and hold onto our faith in Him.

With love and grace, take His hand and step out of that boat.

Jesus Is A Gardener Too

I struggle with losing people. My biggest fear has always been to lose people that I love. I lost someone this year and I’m not going to lie– it’s been one of the most difficult experiences I have had to deal with.

I have been having to adjust to my life without their presence. It has not been an easy process, but it has been a learning process and a growth process.

Last night in Bible study we talked about John 15. Throughout our life, Jesus prunes us so that we can be more fruitful. Pruning can mean different things for different people; it can mean removing people from your life, places, etc. These people and places can be wonderful and awesome, but they just don’t belong in your life anymore.

My teacher’s husband gave us an example of how Jesus pruned him for his future. When he was younger, before he met his wife, he was engaged to another woman. She was a great woman, Christian, everything he wanted, but he just felt like he needed to ask God if this was right for him. He prayed about it and God gave him a sign that said it wasn’t right so he ended the relationship. He said it was one of the hardest decisions he had to make but if he hadn’t made it he wouldn’t be with his wife now (they’ve been together for about 30 years). And even after he made the decision, he still went through a difficult time. Still, he put his trust in the Lord and God directed him to his wife.

When I heard last night’s message, I knew it was for me. Looking back, I remember sitting there when it felt like everything was falling apart and my world was crashing down around me and every fiber of my being was wanting to fight for what I thought I needed– what I believed to be right for me. However in the midst of everything, this phrase ran through my mind, “Do not fight it.” And so I didn’t. I did say a few words in disagreement, but I didn’t fight what was happening. I just let it happen. I wanted to fight it more than anything in the world. I wanted to beg and plead and just show that I didn’t want this to happen– but I couldn’t. That phrase held me back from doing what every part of me wanted to do.

Do you know what that was? It was the Holy Spirit. I remember that feeling and I thought it was just me being in shock or whatnot. A lot of times we don’t recognize the Holy Spirit; we think that hearing God’s voice means we’re going to hear a booming voice speaking directly to us, but it’s not necessarily so. It can be a small whisper telling you something different than everything you’re feeling. A glimmer of hope or trust or wisdom.

If God is pruning you, you have to allow it. If you don’t allow it, you’re only going to make the process harder. If you sit and embrace it, it will make the experience much easier for you and help bring in the fruit bearing season.

John 15 gives me hope. If God is taking someone or something out of your life, He is doing it because He is going to replace it with what you truly need– what He has in store for you.

With love and grace, embrace your pruning.