A woman feeling scared and unprepared before she has a baby. A med student about to do their first surgery. A teen before they get their license and a cosmetologist as she does her first clients hair. What do all of these have in common?
Each of these examples are what we face almost everyday. Its the question of, “am I ready for the next step? Because I don’t think I am yet” and “maybe I just need more time/practice/patience/etc.” We push off these things because of the fear of the unknown and doubting our own ability. And I get it…it can be scary and worse yet, all the self-doubt hits you like a ton of bricks. But then God reminds us, “I gave you these abilities for a reason! I want you to take the next step. Trust me.” God isn’t asking for you to sit still and ponder the ‘what ifs’. Instead, He is telling you that taking that next step IS the confirmation that you are ready for it!
My advice to you is…go for it! Be brave! Taking that next step is the step, letting you know that you are ready and you had it all along! And if you need more encouragement than that, well, you know where to find me (:
Do you ever see someone and just think, “What is that shine about them?” Well friends, to quote the great Pharrell, it’s because I’m happy, The Holy Spirit is alive and well!
What battle are you having a hard time over-coming right now? For me, I struggle with letting new people into my life. At work, in my relationships, within my family, I have a wall so high, you’d think Trump built it. All jokes aside, we all struggle with something: hating someone, not being able to forgive, gossiping, over compensation with lies and a big ego, addiction, whatever it may be, it can be hard to shake these things off.
And low and behold, who sweeps in to remind you of these feelings and kicks you while you are down, saying “you’ll never be able to beat this. Why try? This is just who you are now.” But remember, all these negative feelings and things that bring about stinky feelings, they are not of God. Plain and simple. Going back to my example, when I meet someone new now, I am consciously aware of how I can better open up to them and push my own worries aside of who they are or what their intentions may be. But then like clockwork, the enemy steps in and says, “You won’t like this person. They aren’t good for you. And why are you even trying to fix this when you know you will just go right back to doing this again?” and to that I reply, “Shut up, stupid! I am the daughter of Christ [a son of Christ] and you will not talk to me like that. I may fall down but God will lift me up again!” Princess and prince, this (fill in the blank) does not define you!
There may be many different reasons why people don’t believe in God. Some of the reasons are: they think its all a load of crap, they believe more in science & evolution (refer to my past post about this), believe in another idol, their culture forbids it, their government forbids it and the list goes on and on. But one of the largest reasons that people shy away from God is that they don’t think God could ever love or forgive them for what they have done in the past.
Let us assume that is what is holding you back right now- fear that God would reject you because of your past mistakes. Well let me tell you friend, you fell into the trap of the enemy. God has made it perfectly clear that He will love and forgive you no matter what. One example is in Psalm, “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” You may think to yourself, God could never forgive me for what I did to my spouse, boss, with drugs, abuse, etc but, those thoughts do not come from God. If you give in to those thoughts, we have lost. There is a constant war going on each and every day; good vs. evil, God vs the enemy. When we believe that we cannot be loved, or forgiven, or worthy, we have given in and let the enemy win. Stand strong in this war and know that you are worthy, loved, beautiful and forgiven because God, your Father, told you so and tries to tell you each and everyday. Its a nasty and hard cycle each day, though, I know. Let me lay out a scenario: Susie went to Target and was planning on buying a bunch of things but was short on cash when she went to the self-check out. She quickly glanced over her shoulder and decided to throw that eyeliner in her bag without paying for it. Susie walked out of there feeling so paranoid and guilty that she doubted she’d ever return to that Target. In that moment, she was ashamed about how God would feel about her and worse, she heard whispers of, “I’m a terrible person”, “God could never forgive me” and “that was kind of fun though right? Let’s try something bigger next time.” Don’t let him win the war-God is waiting for you with his arms wide open, regardless of what you have done. It’s the enemy who is trying to convince you that you are not good enough for Him but God is saying, and I paraphrase, “That is just not right. I sent my only son to die for you because regardless of what happened in your life (mistakes, sins, failures), I love you.” Talk to Him today, He has been waiting!
When was the last time you sinned? For me, it was probably eight minutes ago when I said sh*t to the TV. Have you ever really thought about that? It’s easy to point at others and know when they sinned but how about for yourself? Most people only think about sin as homosexuals, cheating, stealing and lying. After those, people have a easy time deciding what isn’t a sin and what is a sin based on their personal beliefs. They justify it in the moment with: I didn’t mean to do that, it was an accident, God would understand, everyone does it… This works the opposite way too. For example, what are your personal beliefs about biracial couples? Tread lightly! You then look into the Bible and pick out what you want to hear from it (and not always what the meaning was) because it may make you feel comfortable or right in your thoughts.
Instead of pointing fingers at others about how terrible they are and the level of their sin- remember John 1:8-10, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” The conclusion here is a sin, is a sin, is a sin. Homosexual. Cheater. Liar. Trash talker. Swearer. Talking bad about someone. Sin is equal in Gods eyes and regardless of the sin you, I, him, her do. The great news is we are forgiven! Praise Jesus! Just like 1 John 1:9 reconfirms, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And at the end of the day, our brothers and sisters are not our enemy! We fight our enemy each and every day as he lurks in the darkness—remember that the next time you judge so harshly the gay couple holding hands, the husband who is lying, the teen who is smoking or the Venesotan who swears at her TV! We ALL sin!! Embrace it, you human!!!
A long time ago someone said to me, “I want to be the same person in each environment- at work, church, at home with my family or out with my friends.” And I remember thinking, well who else would you be? But the older I got, the more I understand this and started to notice that I too wanted this. I would have a tough exterior in one setting but would be a soft, sensitive person in another environment. I began to question, “which is the real me?” and “why am I doing this?”
God’s word says, “Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
As I reflect on my own actions, I started to notice that I wasn’t the same person, for example, at work as I was at church and that really started to bother me. I took a hard dive into finding out which persona was the actual Venesotan. And while each of them may make up who I am, only one is my true self. I decided to morph each version and let the reining Erica immerge…what a relief! Think about how much effort goes into being mad at someone, telling a lie or pretending to be tough or maybe even happy; Well the same effort goes into being a certain type of person, one that doesn’t seem to “fit” or be “natural” to who you are. Why not cut all of the crap and be the one beautiful person God created you to be? Can I get an amen?!
#acceptance #bewhoyouare #loveitordon’t #Jesusdoes #Iamone
Control is an evil monster whose goal is to come into your life and tell you how to think, live and move. Control is the enemy, who has masked herself (#feminism) as your brain. Control is what makes us feel in charge of our own lives and makes us feel comfortable. But really…it is the cause of Stress and shows God that we do not trust him.
Lets flash back to the mind of Venesota a few weeks ago: (Cue flash back music) What will my next job look like? Well maybe if I get this job, I can move here. But from there, I would need to get this amount of money. And I need to leave the house at exactly 11:48, otherwise I’ll miss my train and lose my current job. Then on Saturday morning, I’m going to Target because I need to buy this present and if they don’t have it…. And oh my gosh, are you already exhausted from reading that? Because I’m exhausted trying to control everything in my life! What I’m getting at here is that I let this hideous beast come into my mind and try to take over, to control what was believed to be the best thing for me. And in actuality, what I was doing was telling God, “Oh, I got this. You can carry on with the other things you were doing. I know what my life should look like and better than you do.” Rough, huh?
Fast forward to this past week: I gave it all up to God. I thanked Him for loving me through my own stubbornness. I apologized for trying to control my destiny, I apologized for not being patient, I apologized for being imperfect and not coming to terms with it and I finally let go and gave it over to Him. And let me tell you…I feel 10 pounds lighter (not so much in the love handle area but in my anxiety level!)
The best things in life come when you let go. For instance, in the summer of 2015, I told God that I was giving up control of finding a partner or my “soulmate”. Months later, very unexpectedly, I met my husband. What can I say, we fell in love in a hopeless place. And now, after I gave up control of wondering what my next career move would be, He led me to a job in His line of work that had just opened up!
“Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth.” Psalm 46:10