Where do you find comfort?

Is your comfort in food, words, music, exercise, how many like you get on social media , or people ? I mean the list can go on and on …

The crazy thing about these “things” are most of them continue to fail us over and over. As Christians we are supposed to take all comfort in God. However, as time goes on, life happens, and situations occur what did we do in those situations? What gave us peace, reassurance, calmed the nerves , or encouraged our spirit.

For me I found my comfort in words, and sometimes people. Now looking back that is a SCARY thing. We all know people change, words fail , and inconsistency is a major factor. I was putting my comfort and trust in the WRONG pocket.

In my mind I imagine God waving his hands in front of me like

“JANA I AM HERE …. Come to me, find comfort in me , ill ease the pain, I’ll give you reassurance”.

Though I failed to realize this in the past , I am so glad he is teaching me that now. Lately, especially in these last two weeks I have been hearing God so clear. In my praying , mediating , reading , and even listing to messages  he has confirmed that I need to cling to the understanding that through him all things are good. Even more in HIM there is always a YES, and he is my everlasting comforter in all my afflictions.

I was reading 2 Corinthians 1. The whole chapter jumped at me. Let’s look at some of these verses :

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

So not only is this comfort for us , its for others.  God instructs us to share how he comforted us with others going through these same situations – always pointing them to the lord.

This next verse one was my favorite!

20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so, through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Ahh I just love that. This year I vowed to be a woman who says YES to God even when I do not understand it . In this verse , I gained my own perspective:  when I say yes to God and walk in his obedience then he always says Yes to the promises he has for me.

Some might ask what if God never answers me or he says no to what I ask? How do I find comfort in that? I have been currently reading What happens when woman say yes to God, and  I think Lysa Terkeurst described it the perfect way;

“ when he says no it is for my protection, provision , and its part of the process of growing me more like Christ”

That is not just for woman , it’s for everyone . Know that God wants you to trust him! I can be comforted knowing that.

 I found pure joy writing this because in him there is consistency , his word is true and everlasting. I will never have to be confused or wonder if he is there – He always is.  

Love YALL.

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Healthy mind Healthy Life

With the new year taking place I believe it is important to talk and write about mental awareness. We can all paint a picture on social media that life is great, and everything is thriving. However, we all know social media paints a side reel of each other’s life not the full story. Thus, I can honestly say I found it surprising reading some of the new years post and a bunch of people said they were dealing with anxiety , depression , guilt , loneliness ,etc.

I am not sure if I was surprised that I was not the only one , or that you wouldn’t be able to tell from what those people were posting that they were going through anything. These posts started to leave me with questions:

-how do we treat people on a normal basis?

-do we check on other people?

-are we really showing the love of God?

– how is our own mental health?

In this age we hold on to this mentality that we don’t need other people. That is not TRUE! Relationships will come and go , and I do believe there are seasons for some people. BUT We need love, support, encouragement, and prayer. We need to forgive, need to be intentional , and learn to love each other despite our differences. Relationships will come and go , and I do believe there are seasons for some people.

The bible leaves us with so many scriptures on giving the worries and weights of our minds to him;

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6

and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Ephesians 4:23

This year I pray for myself and others for a HEALTHY mind. I believe in order to have a healthy mind , you need a growing spiritual life. In my own personal experience, I know my life would not be where it is today without having God, and others who followed Christ.

When I had anxiety I prayed , when I felt alone, I worshiped, and when I had negative thoughts I could go to sister in Christ.

I learned in my journey that taking care of yourself is vital. I remained silent for many years about some of the things I was going through, and it hurt more than it helped!

So, SPEAK up, be AWARE of others, LOVE others , and LOVE yourself!

Blessings!!  (:

His word, My obedience

Last Sunday my church started a corporate fast for 21 days. It is day 5 and I feel great to be honest. I must admit that first day my stomach, and mind were having war lol .  Now I don’t even hunger for food , I just hunger for his word and presence.

The bible says in Matthew;

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4

The great thing about the fast is that your not just detoxing your body , but it allows you to truly depend on the lord.  I knew what I needed to fast for , and from . I believed it is the perfect way to really hear from him. I am making sure during these next couple weeks I actively seek him because fasting without praying or reading is just a diet.

But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

I loved how my pastor taught it this past Sunday , he said fasting is not what God do for me , but saying “God what can I do for you”.

Today I meditated on psalms 119 – literally the LONGEST psalms ever lol. But MAN, when you really study it , and mediate it , it’s amazing . I read through it in two different versions (ESV,MSG) , and God was speaking me through ever other verse. So, I just want to spend some time pointing out some of the verses that jumped out at me.

V9-10 talks about how we can live a pure life unto him. And I love how the message bible depicts it;

9-10 How can a young person live a clean life?
    By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
    don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted. MSG

Let’s have an honest moment and say it is HARD trying to live a pure life when the world seems to be throwing everything at you. These last couple of days, I have understood that I ALWAYS have to be in his word. Having a 15-minute devotion is not enough to withstand the test and trails of this world.

V32 – This next verse touched my heart. I started to say out loud – Lord, I’ll say yes to whatever you have me to do , just show me how!

32 I’ll run the course you lay out for me
    if you’ll just show me how. MSG

I committed that this year is not about what I am going to do , it is all about what he wants for me. So, I say YES. This theme of being obedient to his voice is going along with a new book I started by Lysa Terkeurst called what happens when woman say yes to God. I cannot WAIT to share more of it with you all!

Lastly , I looked at V67.

67 Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place,
    but now I’m in step with your Word. MSG

These was reassurance to me. All the things i have gone through in life, caused me to be all over the place( My emotions, feelings, and actions) , because that was not what you wanted for me. But NOW I’m in step with your word. Being in step with his word has healed me , and it has delivered me from afflictions. Ultimately it has shown me his goodness.

Whew, there are so many other verses in that whole chapter , and I urge to take the time to study , mediate , and hear what God is speaking to you!

Praying for you all! LOVE yall.

Book Review : “If you Only knew”- what I now know

WOW , that was my first word as I closed and finished 218 pages of the book If You Only Knew – by Jamie Ivey.

The book shows the attempting pursuit of God through a series of heartbreaking, surprising , and understanding stories. Though my story is not exactly like Jamie’s, if I were to insert my sins/flaw , and story where hers is , I couldn’t help but to feel THIS IS ME.  Even more I can’t help but to think how many more of us woman (even men) have some “if only you knew” stories. 

I do not want to give any parts of the book away, because I urge everyone to grab a copy. However , something that really grabbed me in this book was her pure authenticity , and how she was open with the whole wide world. I know this wasn’t easy , and we might not ever share all of our stories with everyone , but something powerful I learned is that sharing with somebody opens up the door for Jesus to come in. when I read through all 10 chapters of her book it was as if something was lifted , and I didn’t feel so alone anymore in my walk and in my journey. This story unleashes how we become free, … Jesus is waiting on us . we don’t have to have shame or guilt , as she put “just remember , Jesus is better “. 

 Not only does she tell us her story , but she shows us how we become free , from whatever is keeping us bound.

“ shame over past sins that have already been forgiving is not from God. No matter how much you go to church , or read you Bible, or give away lots of money, you’re not improving Christ forgiveness for you”.

-Jamie Ivey – Chapter 9

THAT RIGHT THERE! I mean I am guilty of thinking Lord what else can I do or say to right my wrongs in my past , so you can actually forgive me. That thinking is  common but its wrong because there is NOTHING we can do. Christ has already done it .

One of my favorite chapters of this book was  Vulnerability Breeds Vulnerability , chapter 9 (Cough my BLOG name lol).  After reading that chapter It was a reminder why I started by blog , because being vulnerable is not for me it’s for others too. Looking back on those moments in my life , I wish I knew it was okay to talk about my hurt , and the pain I was going through, I wish that knew I was free from guilt and shame. Now I know , and I want others to know.  

“Thank God I’d been willing to be vulnerable. Something beautiful happens when were vulnerable”

Jamie Ivey- Chapter 9

Something beautiful , I can’t  help but tear -up as I say those words because when I think where God has freed me in some of those areas I am overwhelmed by his presence and power. There are so many quotes and inserts I would love to give from this book , but instead I will let you all pick it up, and allow God to speak to you through every page!

Love yall ❤

Jana

New year? No resolutions

As I read through my journal  of 2018 , I noticed it was a constant battle within myself , even with God. It was if I was FIGHTING to even find joy , and remain steadfast to him. I struggled with knowing who I was , and why I loved me. I felt out of place , and I took anything thrown at me because I didn’t know my own worth, and I didn’t understand that God really saw me.

So, What is my worth?  I asked myself this question so many times. and I answered it but didn’t believe it.

God bought us with a price. So automatically we are worth something  right ? I mean he is the most powerful and important being in our lives,  Yet I struggled  with believing that I am worth more than I have been giving , or that I tolerate. Especially, when we live in a world filled with a constant reminder, we aren’t worth anything. When the materials fade, the past resurfaces, the makeup is wiped off, and when you’re by yourself how do you see your own worth?
Something that THE AMAZING Sarah Jakes Roberts said in her book Don’t Settle for Safe  was

“ avoiding vulnerability allows the entirety of your life to be controlled by one moment, one decision, one memory. YOU must choose to stop punishing your destiny because of your history that brings you shame.”

– Sarah Jakes Roberts

As I think about my own journey, I meditated on how I progress, and walk away from situations  knowing who my heavenly father is.  Some of the scriptures I found , and meditate on are;

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. – Psalms 139:13-15

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11


Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. -Luke 12:6-7

I have learned for myself constantly dwelling on the lord’s words are the only things that can fight the “not-worth it” thoughts. So, I decided in this NEW YEAR (2019 whooohooo!) I am walking in a NEW Confidence that I AM WORTH IT. Even if people don’t acknowledge me , the ONLY opinion I need is the lords. No need to make a list of new resolutions , as I remain faithful to him , and trust HIS words the rest will flow. I continue to trust him in this self-worth journey , and I continue to pray for all the others who are searching for there own SELF-WORTH.

HAPPYYYY NEW YEAR!!!!! ❤

The meaning of my 24th birthday..

This is my first blog writing as a 24-year-old . My birthday was Saturday , and people would ask me how I felt. Honestly, I was not sure , it was weird lol. I was grateful, but it was not till today that I really comprehended what turning 24 meant to me . 

This past month I have been slowly studying the book of Job. As I finished today, I came across this verse

And I actually STOPPED and CONSIDERED all he has done for me for the past 24 years. I could think of the things I wish was going on in my life , but after reading about how God allowed the devil to take everything from job , I was humbled in my spirit. I am blessed, I am loved by the ones the matter, and as long as I am operating in Gods will , I am where I need to be in life.

I believe the culture we live in today continues to ideally tell us that our life is not ENOUGH , and to question why it is the way it is. Once I realized this , I started to invest in what Gods tells me , and less of what the world thinks. Ultimately God knows what he is doing yet we STILL doubt him , and question his ways.

So, I challenge my fellow readers to stop and consider Gods wonderful works that he has done in your life thus far!


Renewed

 
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Psalms 51:10-12

The process of being  renewed happens as soon as you confess , and believe.That seems like the easiest part, but I think the hardest part in living in the renewed mindset , is the process. I  honestly think I have asked for a renewal more than I can count , sometimes I  wonder if I asked to many times. However, I learned that we will always need a constant renewal , and sometimes that means daily.

We tend ( by “we” I definitely mean I ) to ask God for a renewal of the heart , mind , and soul . I think we know or should know what we need to be renewed from, for me it definitely been centered around relationships , and negative thinking.  Every day when I prayed I would as for a renewal but in a couple of hours , or weeks I would  act , think , or say the very thing I am asking to be changed from . sounds like common sense right ? its like living in this world seems to test us .. the very thing we struggle with is yelling in our face I’m right here , and its so quick and required no process,right?

The thing is God never said the process would be easy , but he did tell us the prize on the other side is so much better. So how do we not stay on track ?

Well , we must know that we are bigger than the current state we are in ,because our God is BIG. second take responsibility , and runaway from the things that our destroying or distracting you from your process. Lastly,  beat those feelings into captivity and bring them to him. I struggled with living a headless live separating how I feel from what I KNOW. And what I know is I am valuable , I am chosen, and God will never forsake his child. So, no more shortcuts!  This spiritual renewal  is the best journey you can embark on.