HEY! HAPPY NEW YEAR + BHM.
Coming to you live post-polar vortex. I was minding my business most of January (!). It was an intense month with an increased workload, more expenses (health insurance wow...y’all wild, USA), old s*** resurfacing, among other stuff. But, I must share that in the midst, there has been an immense amount of spiritual growth and breakthrough. I randomly came across this skeletal photo of myself last week from 2015, and it was mind boggling. Seeing this image of myself catapulted me into an indescribable place of solemn praise and worship. I was so moved that with all the wear and tear, the flirtation with death, I still have the same body. I’ve been sustained, and simultaneously, made completely new. Soon after, I was sent to a text that spoke to my innermost thoughts, unshared, the entire month— John 7:10-18 NLT.
Jesus Teaches Openly at the Temple
14 Midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. 15 The people were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked. 16 So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. 17 Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. 18 Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. - John 7:14-18
As I aim to shake insecurities and chase fears to live out my purpose— this text reminded me that everything that flows from me, is the result of my commitment to submit to Christ daily. Whether I’m having an off day or not, he will not let me fail if my desire is to honor him and simply share what he’s said. I can always ask myself, is what I’ve done or said, of God? Did I have an interaction with the text that incited godly inspiration or conviction? This provides confidence in moments when I’m tempted to criticize or discredit my own personhood. Many of us are hesitant to be spiritually bold, because we think we need a theology degree to share Jesus. But implementation on earth is about living in the scriptures, befriending Jesus, and listening to the Holy Spirit.
Anyone can do this.
Anyway, I’m really excited for what’s to come this year. I’m anchored by the truth that this life will not be easy- which helps to manage my expectations, I’m acceptant that there’s no need to fake the funk on the internet, and encouraged that I can still feel God’s presence and experience spiritual transformation in the midst of trials. I can’t even stunt y’all, I’m good!!!! My god baby was born! My best friend is incredible and I’m so proud of her. She told me a little while ago that she always knew I would be the godmother of her child. Me! Lost nat, dark nat, 100 lb nsum change nat. Her faith in this was the evidence of things unseen. And years later, here we are, in perfect timing!
8 this-year-has-been-freakin-weird-already life tips
do not be pressured to live life on social media.
In fact, be thankful that your livelihood is not dependent on your personal participation (unless it is, then boundaries are imperative) While I’m working to maintain some “social sharing” consistency– I have to admit with no shame– Sometimes I’m posting on IG, and sometimes I’m NOT! And it’s ok. Few things are worse than the feeling of regret after posting something you were on the fence about– “just to post”, or with questionable intentions. I talk about this more in an interview here.
submit to christ daily means talk to god daily.
“I’m going to commit to God today. Lord, align me with you, your will. Order my steps. Remind me of your word”.
say what he’s said.
You do not have to pepper God’s word to share Jesus. Say what He says and you’ll have impact. This is a great reason why we should know our bible. Simply state a powerful verse of truth. Proverbs 30:5-6
worship god and he will encourage you in miraculous ways.
You’ll be surprised how God will affirm you if your heart is in the right place (worship). Last week, I heard go to John, got no specifics on what chapter, found my bible already OPEN TO THE BOOK OF JOHN, and this passage was right there. Super targeted message, that seemed like I was reading it for the first time even though I had a highlight in there. I hadn’t even read my physical bible that day, nor was I studying the book of John the day before. The text was so incredibly specific to what I was dealing with, and frankly, unrelated to what sparked my worship. He does this regularly. Hebrews 4:12
contentment will free you.
Honestly, there’s so much freedom in contentment. This isn’t like an auntie saying “be happy! you got this this and that” and internally you’re thinking to yourself– “mmmk. whatever...p.s. you hating”. No, this is a real message of be genuinely settled with what you have, or be bound. January has been exhausting not only because of the climate of our society, but also because of the ongoing pressure to join in the perpetual capitalist rat race we face IRL and online. We are bombarded with people sharing epic stories of entrepreneurship, others flaunting privilege and excess, daily. More becomes an idol when left unchecked. Do not think of contentment as something “that would be nice to have”– but rather something that you require of yourself in 2019.
you can have SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT whILE you’re sad/things are hard.
It is countercultural to believe that spiritual/internal peace can coexist with difficult circumstances. I love that God has shown himself to be God in this time by going beyond my experiences. I’ve had euphoric interactions with Him and His word while still dealing with earthly nonsense. This reminds me that this world is temporal and temporary– and we really are spirits in bodies. This perspective can be acquired if you acknowledge that earth is not your forever situation.
chase your fears.
Oftentimes fear comes from fear of scrutiny. People are critical but God is greater. Operate in the fear and it will lose power.
go easy on yourself.
I’m not an advocate for mismanagement of time or laziness– but if you are not well (perhaps spiritually great/circumstantially not so much or on the decline in both) please take time to yourself. Rest. Cast or “roll” your anxieties to the Lord. There is grace for this. You may just end up with an extended deadline or postponed test. Just saying. henny-thing is possible.
My prayer for 2019 is that God will encourage and empower me to be more consistent with writing, and communication! That I will begin piecing together my book! And that I will continue to chase my fears.
Let me know which one of the 8 things listed above stands out to you in this season! I’m also interested to know what you’d like to see/read more of this year.