From Weeping to Joy

Life rocks us. Sometimes to the point of deep despair. When we find ourselves in those moments we look around and all we see is darkness with no light in sight. A lot of us hit rock bottom and we stay there. Sometimes, because we have been there so long its comfortable, other times it is because we don’t know who to go to for help, or where to start to come out of such depth.

I love Psalm 30 because it tells of a time David was sick. Physically or emotionally, I don’t know, but he need healing. And he received it.

Psalm 30:2 says, ” Oh Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.”

I have been in this situation. There was a time depression had swallowed me up and I had no idea how I would get out of it. I did the only thing I knew to do, and that was to cry out to God, literally. It says right here in these verses, If we cry out to God He WILL restore us (verse 3), HE WILL heal us. I find so much comfort in this. At the moment I had no idea this Psalm existed. I just knew I was hurting, I was tired, and the state I was in couldn’t be it for me and my life. I wanted to be better so bad. I wanted healing and freedom more than anything. And I thank God at that moment I humbled myself enough to bow at the feet of Jesus and cry out to Him. I was restored, I was healed.

I know some of you reading this may be thinking that finding healing is easier said than done. As you see no end in sight. Honestly, it is hard, but it is not impossible. We are stepping out of something we have been in for possibly years, into something new. There is comfort in the hurt we are feeling. Not because hurting is comfortable, but because we have felt it for so long anything else could be a scary and uncomfortable feeling.

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” -Psalm 30:5

Such a comforting promise of God! Pain is temporary according to God’s word. We know there that there is hope. Here on earth and in heaven! Romans 8:18 states “The pain you have been feeling can’t compare to the joy that is coming” Yes, you’re going through it today, but think about the joy you will experience tomorrow when you look back at all the Lord has brought you through.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” -James 1:2-4

Instead of wallowing in our pits, God wants us to grow through them. Verse 4 above states, “testing produces perseverance so that we may be mature and complete.” We gain so much on the other side of pain. Our faith in God is strengthened. And praise God, He has delivered us from whatever situation we were in. Our test becomes our testimony. And we will then be able to help someone go through the same struggle we walked through. That is a blessing in itself. I have helped counsel and encourage many because of the pain I have gone through. God doesn’t waste a single hurt.

I pray for all those going through a struggle (as we all are these days) to lean into and press into Jesus. The enemy has you bound and God is waiting to set you free. But we have to want to change. No darkness is too dark for the Lord to find you, and no depth is too deep. Humble yourself and confess your hurt and/or sin to the Lord. That weight you are carrying, cast it on the Lord because He cares for you, 1 Peter 5:7.

Something the Lord spoke to me during my journey,

I am your heavenly Father, willing, and waiting to take your pain away. Remove all guilt, shame, and unforgiveness. Let go of the “what ifs.” Leave your feelings at my feet and begin to walk in the freedom that is waiting for you.

I know God wants to do same for you. Receive it!

Love and blessings, Vanessa

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Perfect Timing

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” -Ephesians 2:10

Instilled in us long before we were created was a purpose. And even before we came to be, God prepared specific works for each of us to do. Not only that, the generation, the time, and the circumstance we are born into play a part in our grand purpose as well. There is no coincidence to all this.

When the Lord first revealed to me what my purpose was, it was in 2016. I was pretty much told to get a journal and write. And that’s exactly what I did. Soon after that I attempted my first blog post. That experience was not the best. I was frustrated all the time because I just couldn’t pull it together. From there I went back to doing the last thing God had told me to do, which was “just write.”

Although I knew what the Lord had purposed for me, I knew I couldn’t jump ahead of Him. There was so much going on in my life, and in hindsight, I was about to go through so much more. So, I kept writing. Never once questioning what I was told. Fast forward a couple of years later, in prayer God revealed to me where He was taking me baggage couldn’t come. He was telling me to heal before my next instruction from Him.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. -James 5:16

There was so much sin in my heart I was holding on to. So much hurt. How could I help someone if I needed help myself? I found someone I could confide in and pretty much confessed all I had been through. Honestly, not because I wanted to, and I didn’t, but because my obedience to God was worth it. To say a weight lifted off my shoulders is an understatement.

In 2018 I really began to heal. And at times healing hurt more than what I had been through. But God!! All I can say is HE IS ENOUGH!! (But that’s another post. LOL). Through all of that I never stopped writing. And God continued to remind me of what was next.

With all this to say, here we are. 4 years after God revealed to me what I was called to do. My testimony would bring people to the knowledge of Him. As I still write in a journal, blogging for the world is the beginning of His ultimate plan. What I want you all to take from this is, even though I knew in 2016 what I was called to do, it wasn’t time for harvest.

 And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” -Esther 4:14

As I said before, there is a time and a season for all things, including our purpose. I could have totally went ahead of God, but how fruitful would I have been? There was so much I had to learn and grow from. I would have completely messed it up. It wasn’t time. But God had called me, “for such a time as this.”I just want to say for the record, this is not an end all be all, this was my experience and I often hear the same for others as well.

I pray after reading this it would help change your perspective. If you know God’s purpose for you, great! That’s amazing. But know everything is done in His perfect time. Not ours. If you never see a harvest for another 3,5, or 8 years, will you stay faithful to the last thing God told you to do? So often we begin to think like the world, and think that life is a race. Who can succeed the fastest? Don’t get into that mindset. The time for you, is FOR YOU! God will make room for you and your purpose. There will be no competition, or race involved. You will fit in your royal position and season like a glove.

Praying God reveals Himself to you!

Love and Blessings, Vanessa

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Gotta have Faith

“The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived–not always looking forward to as though the ‘real’ living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow” -Elisabeth Elliot

“Just have faith” could quite possibly be the most cliche, and the most shallow response I have heard. Although it is a true statement, what does that look like, or what does it mean? Just like myself, I’m sure you have had to wait for something or believe in something to happen just as you desire. The anxiousness and overwhelming feeling we are left with is, for some unbearable. But with faith, it doesn’t have to feel that way.

Being in a season of waiting can be hard. To me, it seems like once one season ends another one begins. And in some way or another I am waiting for something or believing God to change something. Similarly, they both require faith. Most of the time when this happens I am caught in my flesh and I forget God is able and in control.

In Mark 9:23-24 A boy is brought to Jesus to have demons within him cast out. The boy’s father is desperate, and tell Jesus, “Help us, IF you can” Jesus then replies, “What do you mean if I can, anything is possible if a person believes” The father of the boy then said, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief.”

Contrary to popular belief, faith is not something we arrive at. I am a believer, a follower of Christ, and I love the Lord with everything in me, but I do struggle with faith. Just like the father In these verses I have to pray for God to help my unbelief. We, in the natural, can’t do it on our own. It is a constant renewal of trust in Jesus.

I have shared before about somethings I have gone through the last couple of years. The death of my children’s father, a traumatic experience, and walking away from a form of comfort I had for 5 years. All of which required faith to get through. Each time one of these circumstances came I remembered how the Lord had brought me through the last time. Even now, today, when going through something I can remember how great His faithfulness is to get me through. Because He did it once, I know HE WILL do it again. That’s faith! We may never know what our lives will look like in the future or how a situation will turn out, but if we have faith and trust in God, that is enough.

“I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” -Matthew 17:20

We are reminded that even if its just a small amount of faith, and we truly believe and trust in God’s power, it can be done. That broken marriage can be restored. The drug-addicted family member will find the help they need. Your rebellious child’s heart, can be turned into a heart of flesh. And the woman who has been single for years can be presented to her husband. (Me! LOL) Let’s just hold on to that little mustard seed of faith.

God is not a God that He would listen to your prayers and turn from you. He hears you, He knows your heart, and He is standing with you. We get into the habit of bringing God into our worldly ways of wanting things right as we ask for them. But let us humble ourselves and allow God to work in the spirit. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” Isaiah 55:8. Remember, our prayers are answered on God’s time. But we have to keep faith that He hears us and will come through for us according to His will.

I pray when your faith is shaken and wavering, you are humble enough to ask God just like the father did in Mark, to help your unbelief. Or remember a certain situation He has brought you through before to increase your faith. He won’t hold it against you. He loves you, and He is waiting for you!

Love and Blessings, Vanessa

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Humble Hearts

Humility. This is the word that came to mind as I sat in prayer today. We try so hard to be someone we’re not. Claiming to have it all together or presenting ourselves as if we do. But God reminded me of how broken we are without Him. How sinful we are and undeserving.

As I sat at the park and felt the breeze, listening to all of God’s creation around me, I realize how big God is and how small I am. It occurred to me, I often try to put myself on that same level and I was convicted. God created everything in the park that I was in awe over, and at that moment I was reminded that I too am part of that creation.

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” -Proverbs 11:2

There is so much truth to this bible verse. What a disgrace I felt once the Lord reminded me that I am the created. He and I are not on the same level. But, boy, do I get in that mindset. Furthermore, I admit to trying to take control more times than not.

I googled the word “pride” and it is described as poison. And I can see that. A prideful attitude can poison relationships of every kind. Especially the one relationship that truly matters. Pride puts a wall between us and our Father. Knowingly or unknowingly we are saying we don’t need God, and we got this thing called life under control.

By no means am I a perfect Christian. I am a broken Christian, with a perfect God. I will continue to boast in my weakness, my flaws, and my need for Him. God gives us wisdom, knowledge, clarity, authority, and so on through His Holy Spirit. It is not by our doing. We can’t even begin to muster up the things that are produced through us. We would get it wrong every time.

Our humble hearts is what God wants. Again, He knows the things we deal with and wants to be included. God knows we need Him, but He will not force a relationship with us.

“HUMBLE yourselves, therefore, under God’s might hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” -1 Peter 5:6-7

I love this verse. Not only is it telling us to cast our anxiety on God, it first tells us to humble ourselves. Meaning comes under the authority of God. Surrender, submit to His ways. Then He will lift us in due time. He wants what’s best for us. To give us life to the fullest. (John 10:10) But how can He if we are full of pride and refuse to surrender to Him. Rest assured, prideful, or humble, God just wants a relationship with you. The King of the world is saying, Come as you are. I pray you take Him up on that invitation.

Love and Blessings, Vanessa

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Jesus Loves Me

Countless people go through most of their life not knowing what love truly is. They search all over trying to find it or fill that void, oftentimes with relationships. Although, these relationships are fulfilling for a moment, they end up leaving us with that same feeling of emptiness. Then other times we don’t know where to look so we turn to drugs or alcohol, just to feel something. People are searching far and wide to feel an ounce of love, real love. And it’s closer to us than we think.

I have always been loved. I think we can all agree we have all felt some type of love in our lives. Whether from family, friends, or relationships; we have experienced it. I, personally, have never thought about what love should look like or how it should feel until a couple of years ago. I never heard about how much God loved me until becoming a believer, and even hearing it then, it sounded so cliche and it felt so surfaced. It wasn’t until I was going through the darkest moment of my life, when it became real. I had to go back to the cross.

“For God so LOVED the world that He gave His one and only son…” -John 3:16

For God so loved the world…I was part of that. God loved me so much He purposed His son to die for me, for my sins. Yes, that was comforting to me, but I still couldn’t seem to get it from my mind to my heart, and into my soul. From here I had to dig a little deeper.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8

Believe it or not, this scripture comforted me more than the previous one. Even when I was dead in sin, Jesus still loved and died for me. There was a particular time in my life where I openly sinned, knowing I was making the wrong decisions. And He never turned from me. Did He know about the decisions I would make? Yes. Did it change how He felt about me? NO. Where and how often in the natural do we find a love like that? His love is so unconditional and so unwavering. He loves us, despite us.

Once I knew the heart of God, and how truly forgiving He has been to me that love became apparent. God’s love is a feeling I knew in my heart I had been missing. And when I truly discovered that, was when I felt I had all I needed. And because His love for me was so deep, my love for Him became real.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” -Romans 8:38-39

The love of God is the most precious comforting feeling. To live in this broken world can be lonely, and difficult and to know no matter how we are treated, or what is done to us, God’s love remains. And it is given so freely. Absolutely nothing can separate us from it. We can’t outrun it. We can’t self sabotage to get away from it. (As some of us are in the habit of doing; including myself.) Its truly a gift, all we have to do is accept it. Dwell in it. Experience it, and go out and share that same love with others.

I hope that everyone reading this will remember how much they are loved by the Father. Just as a natural mother or father sings over there child, Jesus does the same for His children, You and I. You are loved and highly favored. I pray you to let the Lord draw you to Him. He loves you with an everlasting love. (Jer. 31:3)

Love and Blessings

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Shame OFF You

“So if the son sets you free, you are truly free” -John 8:36

God had a plan. Jesus knew that plan and humbly remained obedient. Beaten, whipped, and pieced for us. For our shame and guilt, for each of our sins. On His way to Calvary Jesus felt those same feelings, each would then be nailed to the cross just as He was. Our sins, our shame, and our guilt. As He released His body and spoke those words, “It is finished” our sins were finished, as well as the shame that hung over you and I. We have been covered by His precious blood that was shed. We have been reconciled, and set free. Being bound and shame filled are no more. We are set free!

How comforting it is to know this. I’m sure we have all gone through something in our lives were guilt or shame has been an end result. And we have continued to play that incident in our heads over and over again, wanting so bad the relief of not thinking about it just for a minute. Even if we are successful for that short minute, sooner or later the thoughts return. As well as that feeling of heaviness.

I have been shamed by others, as well as causing myself to feel shame. It isn’t a great feeling. The worst part is leaving those situations and continuing to feel bound by it. Proverbs 4:23 says to “Guard our hearts above all else, for it determines the course of our life.” In the shame filled moments of our lives, are hearts are less than guarded. The enemy creeps in and begins to still our joy. For the most part I was a happy person, but beneath the surface I was in deep pain. I was sad, and most of the time my smile felt forced.

I came to a point where God had revealed to me where He was taking me in life, and He made it clear that baggage couldn’t come with me. My past had no place in the plans He had for me. So I had to make a choice. I can continue to go down this path of despair, or I can let God have His way, and depend on His strength to get me through. I have to be honest. There were times when the process of healing was worst than the problem its self. Many times I felt like I was reopening wounds, and watching myself bleed. But God pruned me, restored me, refined me, and gracefully broke me. He never gave up on me. He walked through emotional death with me, never leaving me nor forsaking me. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

So what are you facing today? What has been hanging over you, causing you guilt and shame? I know the pain you may be going through, and the fear you are feeling. What would it look like for you to trust God with that situation.

1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you”

God is not a God who would condemn you. God desires for you to give Him every ounce of hurt. Here’s the twist. He already knows what troubles you. Our Father in heaven knows what has caused you that guilt, and shame. He wants you to confess it to Him. The enemy loves our silence. He loves that we don’t speak out about certain things we’ve gone through because in silence is where we suffer. It is where we are alone in the dark feeling so desperate to be saved. I’ve been there. On my face crying out to God, “If you are real, pull me out of this.” I know I’m not alone.

If what you have read today spoke to you, know it is not by coincidence. God is speaking to your heart. I pray you trust Him enough to let Him exchange beauty for your ashes, your mourning for joy, and praise instead of a spirit of despair. (Isaiah 61:3) Guilt and shame was defeated at the cross. You can have victory over it through the power of the Holy Spirit which dwells within you. Christine Cane once said in her “Unashamed” bible study and it still stand out to me today. “The world says shame on you, God says Shame OFF you” Lets remember this the next time we are reminded of our past. Lets walk in freedom!

Love and Blessings

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Unchanging God

We live in a world were things never stay the same. Seasons change. Circumstances and relationships change, even we as people change. Some change is great and other times, its the worst thing to happen to us. Things changing for the worst can have a way of rocking us to our core. Stress and panic begin to come upon us, and in those moments, is it fair to say we tend to forget about God? I know I have been guilty of it!

Towards the end of 2019 I began to pray about a situation God had laid on my heart in prayer. No matter how many times I tried to pray it away, or reason with it, or tell myself it wasn’t from God, He reminded me about it time and time again. A little over 2 months ago, I stopped reasoning and went with obedience. After 5 years of attending a church, and working for them, I quit both.

As hard as it was to do, God lead me into this season of my life. This wasn’t just a church for me. For example, it is where I met Jesus, my kids were dedicated to the Lord, I was baptized, as well as my older 2, and friendships turned into family. Again, even though hard, I had the peace of God.

My last day working at the church, I had a job interview. And on paper it was perfect for me. As some of us do during interviews, we think it couldn’t have gone better. In fact, I still think that. Days passed and no call. A week later I got an email stating they had chosen someone else. Okay. Was my response. To say I was sad is an understatement.

A couple days later I had applied for another job, and began submitting all the necessary paper work for it. And I knew in my heart, God let the last job slip by because, this next job was for me! Well, that idea came crashing down as well. I’m sure you can guess that outcome. And in the midst of that COVID-19 caused my children’s school to close for the remainder of 2019-2020 school year. So with that said, the last 2 months have been full of rapid change.

Now let me ask you, how would all this affect you?

Hebrews 13:8 says, ” Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever”

Despite the changes that has happened thus far in my life, God is unchanging and constant. This truth is what I have had to hold on to. I have definitely had moments where I didn’t know what was next. I questioned God many times because its hard. Its hard to have a new normal, its hard to not be able to financial provide for your family, but every time He brought me back to His word. To knowing that He is my Jehovah Jireh, Lord and provider. He will provide and has provided all things my family and I has needed. Also knowing that God works ALL things together for my good, (Romans 8:28). Although this looks like a not so ideal situation, God is going to turn it around use it for His glory. And in addition, He never left me nor forsaken me in the season of change. He is walking with me.

So what does your “change” look like? I know we are all in a season of “new normal”, and its so easy to let it get the best of us. The anxiety and the fear has crept in, I’m sure. In those moments, can we just turn the T.V off, disconnect from social media, remove ourselves from the change of the world and focus on the One who never changes. The One who said, “I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33) This is a perfect season to press into God more, to know Him, and to know He hasn’t abandoned us in the midst of the change.

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray and lift up every heart struggling in this unknown season. I pray they press into who are and your unfailing word. Lord, you tell us in John 16:33 that, “In this world we will have trouble, but to take heart because you have overcome the world.” Help us God to cling to you because you are unchanging. In Jesus name, Amen

Love and blessings, Vanessa

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beYOUtifully Created

The old saying goes, “If we live for others acceptance, we will die by their rejection.” I think we as people want to be accepted, sometimes anyway we can get it. Changing who we are, how we act, or even jeopardizing beliefs, morals, and truth to feel accepted. I have seen it, and have even struggled with it myself. Its consuming. And for lack of better words, fake. We will never live up to someone else’s expectation of us.

A couple of years back I was involved with a guy who to me could do no wrong. Now, in hindsight, he did everything wrong. But I was so in love with this guy I failed to see it. We had 2 totally different personalities and he always made it a point to speak on it. Before I knew it, I was defending myself constantly. I was too controlling, too introverted, too boring, too skinny and so on. You can imagine how that affected me. I tried so hard to change. I ate more, tired to hide my “controlling” tendencies, and tried in every way to seem less boring. But not only was I unhappy, I still fell short. And questioned myself.

“Then God looked over all He had made and He saw that it was very good.” -Genesis 1:31

Man! Fast forward 4 years and thinking about that situation literally bring tears to my eyes. Because I was so caught up in pleasing someone else and so badly wanted to be accepted and approved by him, I totally forgot about this sweet verse. God is the creator of ALL things, including me. And He calls me GOOD. Every inch of me physically, and every flaw within me. I was so fixated on this “relationship” I let his words and labels hang over me.

You guys, we don’t don’t have to search the world for acceptance and approval. God accepts us and approves of us for who we are, after all, why wouldn’t He. He made us in His perfect image. He calls us..

“A chosen people, royal priests, holy nation, God’s very own possession” -1 Peter 2:9

“Fearfully and Wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14

Just to name a couple. To get acceptance in the world we have to try so hard. Yet we never get anywhere. We remain empty inside, lost, frustrated, overwhelmed and ultimately not becoming our authentic self, who God destined us to be. In God’s, eyes all we have to do is exist and we’re accepted.

The world needs you to be YOU. God created you “for such a time as this” -Esther 4:14. He created you with purpose, but you can’t bring it forth if you’re trying to be someone else, or hide who you truly are. God doesn’t make mistakes, and honestly when you question who you are you are questioning God’s creation. I pray you never doubt who you are!

I am praying for all the hearts who are struggling in this area. For a reminder on who God says you are I encourage you to read Ephesians 1 and 2. Study it, meditate on it, write it down and pick it back up whenever you need it. I can’t express enough, you are loved and accepted just as you are!

Love and Blessings, Vanessa

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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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