Don’t Shrink with fear, Stand with Confidence

What an honor to be used by God. If I would have know 6 yrs ago the ride I would be on today, I wouldn’t have believed it to be true. Being as introverted as I am, and always shying away from others and situations, getting to where I am today was not the easiest. Some things are still hard to get through. I loathed talking in front of others. Even in small settings. I still til this very day, would rather be in the back of the room instead of the front. So many times I have tried to run, but EVERY TIME the Holy Spirit has stopped me.

I remember one situation where I was at a leadership conference and every one was talking and engaging, except me. I was later driving home with the person I came with, and she so nonchalantly said,” I need you to talk and speak up more.” I couldn’t believe it. She then followed that statement with a scripture.

“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you” -Jeremiah 1:8

Wow! That little bit of truth so gracefully summed it up for me. I wasn’t just not talking, I was afraid. Afraid of what may come out of my mouth and possibly sound dumb. Or was it because I was afraid and wondering if I would sound smart enough? She continued the scripture.

V.9 “The Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.”

As irritated as I was with that comment she made, God used her. He was telling me, I don’t need to worry about what will come out of my mouth because the Holy Spirit will give me the words to say. Because of my fear and my worry of what people would think about me I would shrink. And so often label my self as an introvert. One day in prayer God spoke to me. He let me know that word “introvert” I tossed around so loosely, the enemy used to hold me back. I was mind-blown. (Not saying this is the same for all, but this was a specific word for me.) I had to take into consideration everything I was being told, as hard as it was.

Fast forward a couple years later God has not only changed me but He has changed my perspective. I wholeheartedly believe God wants the best for us, and to walk in abundance and our purposes. I also believe when we say “yes” to God and allow Him to bring us to our full potential for His glory, someone else is attached to that. Yes, our healing and our walk with the Lord is ours, but as Christ followers we should be living our everyday life as a ministry.

Jeremiah 1:10 continues, “See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot, and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant”

This verse gave me chills. Not only did God appoint Jeremiah, He has appointed us as well. What a privilege! But, how could I have done such an important job if my fear had gotten the best of me, and If I had continued to shrink in uncomfortable situations. My perspective changed, I had to stop thinking about myself. It was is no longer about me, but about God and His Kingdom. That’s it! I was soon praying, “Here I am Lord, Send me!”

He was so faithful to show up, to work through my messes, my weakness, and I allowed Him to take me where He wanted me to go. As hard as it was, and sometimes still is. God has allowed me to counsel others, encourage and pray for random people in public, or just remind someone how much God loves them. I couldn’t have done that before.

We all have to step out on faith. I pray that that fear would bow In the name of Jesus, and you would all remember, what God is telling you to do may potentially reach and help someone else. Someone out there is trapped in bondage, and you may have the encouragement they need. Someone may have an addiction and your testimony may be the exact thing they need to be delivered, Maybe there is a post-abortive women who is suffering in silence just wants a compassionate listening ear. Or whatever that thing that may be on your heart to do. Do it.

If its placed on your heart, God may have given you that desire. And you have authority to do so through the Holy Spirit. Don’t shrink back. I pray you stand in boldness and confidence. And you will not be standing alone. God will ALWAYS be with you. Praying for you all!

Love and Blessings, Vanessa

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Worship, Not Worry

“Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of it strength” -Corrie Ten Boom

This quote above rings true. What good has ever come out of worrying? We wake up with that heaviness on us, go through the day, and end it exhausted, physically and mentally. And we are still worried. I don’t know about you but when I worry I have no joy, no peace, and no internal rest. Its almost suffocating. And what has changed while you worry about that bill not getting paid, that illness not going away, that rebellious child still rebelling, or that relationship ending? Nothing.

I know how this feels. Previously I went through a season of crippling worry, and its friends, fear and anxiety. I had unfortunately experienced the passing of family and friends back to back for 5 years straight. So all these negative feelings were upon me. And I went into panic mode. I was worrying about my children’s well-being, as well as my own. I was genuinely afraid. Then out of nowhere I had an AHA moment. What was I gaining from all of this? I’m unhappy. I always have this feeling of doom over me. I was expecting something to happen, and that was not how I wanted to live.

In Matthew 6:27, Jesus asks. “Can all of your worries add a single moment to your life?” The answer is no it doesn’t . I used to think to myself, if I worry enough about this maybe it won’t happen, or if I worry or fear enough it will help me brace for impact when that unfortunate event finally does occur. And you know what, those things I worried about and feared never actually happened. The enemy is so good about placing fear, worry, and anxiety over us. We forget that we should be focused on what God is doing for us today, not the “what ifs” about tomorrow.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus….Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things” -Philippians 4:7-8

I have read this verse many times before, but on one particular day it really jumped out at me. I focused on worst case scenarios, and all the while, God was letting me know I need to guard my heart and my mind. Instead of thinking of what may happen our minds should be focused on the good that has already happened, and the promises of God that will happen. We were not created to worry, but to worship our God. And we cannot worry and worship at the same time. Does this happen over night? No. Its an everyday intentional decision. Make the decision to pull out your bible, to pray, and to meditate on the scripture above. Every day, every hour, every minute if you have to. The Holy Spirit is faithful to show up.

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

God is the God of all creation, including you. Before He formed you in your mother’s womb He knew you, He knew exactly how your life was going to go. I don’t know about you but that gives me so much comfort. I don’t have to worry, or pace around wondering whats going to happen next, and you don’t either my friend. God has got it. He knows your life from beginning to end and He considers all good things for your life, even in the bad time. Romans 8:28. When we worry it shows our lack of trust in God and our lack to give control over to Him.

My prayer for you all is you begin to find comfort in knowing God has “plans to prosper you.” I pray those who have trouble, find peace in surrendering to God and His plans. Worship your God in all things instead of worry. He will not forsake you! Praying for you all.

Love and Blessings, Vanessa

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A Psalm to Jesus

“I cling to you, your right hand holds me up” -Psalm 63:8

I cling to You. That is a cry I have for my Lord. I desire You, I love You. I cling to You now and forever. You are my strong tower. In chaos, You are my rest. I cling to You in all circumstances. I don’t want to be without You. “To whom shall I go?” There is no one else but God for me. My one desire is to please You, to do Your will above my own. To live for You, To Take up my cross for You. To love You, and deny myself for You. I cling to You. I ache for You. I seek You. I thirst and hunger for You. My Lord, my God, my Father I draw strength from You. As a planted tree draws water from a nearby stream. I cling to You. Now and forever, I cling to You!

I wrote this the other night after time in prayer. This scripture above was one that was in the devotional and instantly, it spoke to me, And from there the Holy Spirit started stirring within me. It is evidence to me as to why in the middle of storms, in the middle of this pandemic I can remain at peace. Because I continue to cling to, and depend on my God. My eyes remains fixed and focused on the cross. Do I get it right every time, no! Do I sometimes get into a panic, yes! But my heart, my mind, and my soul always goes back to our loving Father. Peace, rest, and comfort are found in Him when the world is in pandemonium. In the midst of all the chaos, not just in the present time, but in all we go through, lets continue to cling to the One who is in control. I am praying for you all!

Love and blessings,

Vanessa

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Get up and walk

We all have a past. Some worst than others. The bible says “We all sin and fall short,” (Romans 3:23) and we all have. As we get older we begin to may be move on from our pasts physically, and let that former sin go. But in some way people are still attached. Still bound and, and still dictated by what they went through. In different ways it begins to show. In relationships, how we speak to others and handle situations. We want so bad to heal and move on, but many times we don’t know where to start. And its okay to not be okay. The good news is, there is hope, and a God who is able and bigger than what it is your going through.

Blame is put on others for our hurt, when in reality it is our responsibility to heal. Healing takes time, and I know this first hand. I have had my fair share of hurt and when God began to heal and work through me it was PAINFUL! But healing couldn’t have begun until I gave God permission and complete surrenderance to do so.

I have had to deal with my own hurt and healing. Knowing God had a plan and a purpose for me, I also knew He was telling me specific things that had to be dealt with and brought to the light first , before walking in that purpose. From there came months of pruning,crying healing, transformation and renewal. Just like the conversation Jesus had with the invalid man, Jesus had with me. “Do you want to get well?” Yes! I did! “Then get up and walk!”

In John 5 there was a man laying near a pool is Bethseda who had been sick for 38 years waiting for his turn for healing. Jesus seen this man and asked him, Do you want to get well?” The man told Him he couldn’t because no one has helped him. Jesus then told the man, “Get up and walk”.

The Invalid man felt completely helpless and probably hopeless. Much like we do. We feel as though there is no way out, especially with emotional and mental hurt. We may also feel like our healing is someone else’s responsibility. Many times we don’t know where to start even if we are ready to begin the healing process. So we stay in this bubble of pain. God’s desire is not for us to live a life of hurt, guilt, or shame. He wants to give us a life we have never imagined for our self. The only problem is, He wants us to heal first. Baggage can’t come.

While God is not a God who would force Himself on us, He does however, want us, His children, to seek Him for help, and all the while He IS waiting for us to invite Him into to our deepest hurts so He can then begin to minister to it. By no means is it easy, but it is absolutely worth it! I get it, there is comfort in the past and how we feel. Being afraid of the unknown is enough to paralyze us and keep us in bondage, but the day Jesus was nailed to the cross was the same day He scorned your shame, and your guilt, and your hurt. (Hebrews 12:2)

We have to have faith and trust God will do what He says He will. Trust that God put those situations in your life for a reason. He never wastes a hurt. Your depression, addiction, past abortion, abuse and future healing is a testimony for someone else to get through what they are dealing with. So really, your healing may have someone elses name on it. God will use it. My prayer for you all reading this is that you will take that step of faith and be obedient to what God is telling you to do. Humbly get quiet before the Lord, you may just hear Him tell you “Get up, and walk!”

Love and Blessings.

Vanessa

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Love, God

Our days are jam packed. When we rise in the morning we hit the ground running, and are most likely not stopping until we lay in our beds at night ready to end the day. I know for a fact I am not only speaking for myself. In our days, we are also doing things for others. If you’re anything like me, most of your day is like that. From doing what our bosses tell us to do, to helping our friends and family. Does it ever stop? Recently, I have felt more and more like this. Normally I am all for extending a helping hand, giving that ride, helping that single mom with childcare, lending money, or just being a listening ear. We strive to give “With a cheerful heart” 2 Corinthians 9:7, but even the most cheerful givers loose their strive, and that is what happened to me.

I most recently went through a season of doing. Every weekend I was doing something, for my children, family, or friends. SN: Doesn’t it seem like when you start to do things for others they never let up,or someone else catches wind and starts to ask also? Anyway, this was my situation. By nature I am a giver, and Jesus calls us to be givers and servants. That’s what I was doing. But it began to be too much and my servants heart turned into a burden. I began to get exhausted, and irritated. I wondered and asked God, why was He using me to do so much for others when I feel like I am being looked over, used, and unappreciated. Not only that I was in need myself, and who was coming to my aide…. Selfish, I know. But I was over it! Earlier that same week I had read a devotional that stated, ” I see you with a steady eye”, this sentence jumped out at me, but I didn’t really think much of it. My prayers that night were more of a cry out to God. All I could get out with tears in my eyes was, “God, I need to know that you see me!”

That next day was a normal day of getting the kids ready for school and going off to work. Mid-day I received a card in an envelope in the mailbox where I worked, along with some money in it the card read:

“Much more often than you know, you’re thought about warmly, cared about always, and wished every good thing.

Love, God 

Tears. filled. my. eyes! And for a moment I was completely taken aback. Never mind the money that was in the card, but God spoke to me! The one who earlier in that same week let me know through a devotional that He sees with a “steady eye,” has now answered a specific prayer that has to do with Him seeing me! All I could do was thank Him over and over again while still in shock. But at the same time that was confirmation. Everything I go through, every favor I do, every exhausting task I take on, God sees me. Although I feel overlooked here in the world, His steady eye is forever on me. His strength is given, and I am restored when I feel weak.

God is so faithful and He always shows up when we need Him the most. We just have to have the faith that He will. We tend to feel so overlooked and pushed to the brink in our daily lives, we forget there is always our loving Heavenly Father who see us, and who loves us so unconditionally. My prayer for you all is to never forget you are now and forever the apple of God’s eye. Yes, we may be the one doing all the favors, and the one who feels overlooked, but God is looking down at His beloved with love in His eyes.

Love and blessings,

Vanessa

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Give Thanks

Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving; give thanks to Him and praise His name” -Psalm 100:4

Normally when November 1st hits I join in the 30 days of thanks challenge. This year I just didn’t feel led. Years past my challenge would consist of worldly things that I was  grateful and thankful for. But God convicted my heart and helped me really put things into perspective. So today on Thanksgiving I give thanks to my creator.

Not only is God my Lord and Savior of my eternity, He has been just that here on earth. When we give our lives to Christ we look back at the mess we were before. What we’ve been delivered from, healed from, and saved from. We could not have done that on our own. God is so faithful to rescue us in the midst of our sin, and so relentless to keep trying when trying when we push Him to the side to stay in that sin. All the while he waits for us with open arms.

God is so good; even in the bad in our lives. The Bible says,

Give thanks IN ALL circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” -1 Thessalonians 5:18

In all things, and circumstances we should give thanks. God gives so much of who he is, the least I can do is be thankful and grateful for Him and the path he put me for for His will for me. He is worthy of that! Today I pray you all join me in thanking God for all He has done for us, starting at the cross. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Love and Blessings,

Vanessa 💜

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Laugh without Fear

This is something I’ve had to truly get from my mind to my heart. We sing the hymn, and say this to ourselves over and over but do we really believe it?

Things happen in our lives, sometimes not so good things. People get sick, family members pass away, we lose our jobs, marriages fall apart and so on. Life happens. As I have stated before in previous posts I have experienced loss and grief. And from loss and greif came anxiety and fear. I would have anxiety about the fact of not knowing what was going to happen next in life with my kids or myself. Some days it would be all I thought about. The worst case scenario played out in my mind. I was gripped with fear. The enemy was successful at playing these things over and over in my mind. He knew exactly what would throw me off track.

One morning at church a song was sang, it was about a man who ultimately ended up losing everything; his business, finances,his family, everything. And he still managed to say, “It is Well.” How??? This song was sang so beautifully that morning and I broke emotionally. God was speaking to me in that moment. I have heard that song many times before, but that morning the Holy Spirit knew what I needed. For so long I have been thinking about “what if’s” in my life and it wasn’t doing me any good. That morning I came to a point where I had to say whatever my lot in life, It is Well. I came to a point of complete trust and surendering of those feelings and thoughts to the Lord. There at the alter is where I left anxiety and fear, and picked up the peace of God!

I am leaving with you a gift- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” -John 14:27

Are these things hard to think about? Yes! Death, financial struggle, divorce, a bad diagnosis, all of things are unthinkable, but I know I have a God who is bigger than all of this! Waking up worrying everyday is not how I wanted to live my life. And it didn’t add another moment to it. John 14 states that God has left a gift for us and that is His peace. Not only that, we have to remember God is the creator of ALL things, including you and me. He put your life in motion. He formed you in your mother womb. So all that you go through (even the negative) is not a surprise to him. As we go through the bad, God has already put into motion what will get you through and how it will happen. We just have to be humble enough to express these feelings, let Him take it, and leave it in His hands. God does not desire for us to live in this emotional bondage. We can not be used by Him if we bare these feelings. We know fear is a liar and both the spirit fear and anxiety have to bow in Jesus name!

I pray all who read this received something. I pray you all remember and recognize that God has not given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. 2Timothy 1:7. Repeat this scripture when anxiety or fear arise, because  Bible tells us when we pray God’s word, the enemy will flee. So laugh without fear of the future (Proverbs 31:25) God is already there. Praying for all of you!

 

Love and Blessings,

Vanessa

 

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Only the beginning

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be starting this blog, or ministry, if you will, with you all. This blog has definitely been a long time coming, and I would love to share the story with you as just a little ice breaker. So please stay and join me on this journey.

Back in 2015 I went through something I didn’t think I would ever have to go through, I lost not only the person who I loved dearly, but the father of my children; so suddenly at the age of 30. It rocked me. Leading up to this I had gone to church very randomly and was not serious about it at all. So when this happened life and death became very real, and I knew God had called me to get into church full time! I thought, “okay, I will go to church on Sundays, maybe a bible study here and there and that would be it.” Boy was I wrong!

His passing was a push to get into church. About a year into it God really began to work in my life. “Friends” were being distanced, and the things I enjoyed doing were not fun anymore, life became so foreign to me. I went through a process of complete isolation and questioned a lot. God had made it very apparent to me that this season of my life was going to be just He and I. In this season He spoke a great deal.

At the end of 2016 one day I had left a little early for work. I was too early so I went into a store to look around and  waste time. I was hitting every aisle, and then in front of some journals God told me to Stop! Okay? As soon as I grabbed it I paid and walked out. Still having time to waste I went back to my car and started writing. The first sentence I wrote down was, “God told me to get this journal and start writing.” And that’s exactly what I did. Every pain, burden, trial, emotionally, hurtful, dysfunctional, messy, ugly so on and so on, situation I have gone through in life I needed to write down. Everything I have gone through and everything I will go through had to be put on paper, according to God. So that’s what I did and that’s what I have been doing since then. And it all has brought me to this moment.

God has a perfect plan and purpose for us all. “For know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future” -Jeremiah 29:11This is my plan and purpose. Through this blog I want to share my testimonies and stories of how great God has been in my life. Through the good and the bad. I want someone out there to know despite hardships God is still for them and there is hope! Even in your worst situations God loves you! For the single man or woman, the single parent, the one struggling with mental or emotional trauma, the one with a terminal illness, and even the woman suffering in silence from a past abortion. Anyone and  with any struggle there is hope and His name is Jesus Christ. No matter the depths God can still pull you and you out, and not only that, USE YOU! My hardships did not go away over night. There was about a year and a half of pruning, healing, renewing of the mind, humbling moments, realizing that what I have been doing is not working, and true surrendering to Christ. I pray this blog will help and touch all who need it. I pray for seeds of God’s Holy Spirit and love to touch all who desire to know Him. I hope all of you stick around and enjoy!

Love and Blessings,

Vanessa

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