Can you have everything? (8)

In less that a year, one of my friends has gotten married, bought a house, got a new job and had a baby. She is definitely having the best year.She is living her best life. All the things that many women are trying to accomplish she had it happen in no time, so it appears. It looks like she has everything. How many people do you know that have everything? I used to believe that you couldn’t have everything. Life just cannot be that good. Even Paul one of the greatest biblical figures of all time, had a thorn in his side that he prayed that God would take away, and God didn’t.

I wrote before about being happy but not really being able to enjoy it because I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel like that is a pattern in my life that I can be really happy but I don’t have everything. I am still wanting for something. I am not wanting like that never satisfied wanting but really truly waiting on God to answer prayer. Although I have never seen God show up like that in my life yet, I now believe you can have 90% of what you want.

Image result for can you have it all

I am not talking about prosperity gospel or any name it and claim stuff. I am just saying that I believe God wants us to be happy on this side of heaven.The bible has lots of scriptures about having an abundant life. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

I say 90% because I think about Serena Williams who people would consider to have it all, nice husband, daughter, tennis champion but she cried because she missed her daughters first steps because she was out practicing. That Oprah quote really resonates with me. I want as much as God has to offer for me and I want to be in a position to give back to others. That is why we are blessed, not for ourselves but to be a blessing to others. So when we have it “all” we can be in a position to help someone else get their “all”.

 

 

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Broken

 

Broken-
having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order 

(of a person) having given up all hope; despairing.

I used to think I was broken using both definitions. That I was living a lie, that I was going out in the world and acting like everything was ok when it wasn’t. I felt like something inside of me was broken and could not be fixed. I had a hole in my heart that was irreparable. I tried a lot of this but nothing could fill it, not partying, not work, not my friends, not my husband, everything I was trying to do wasn’t working.

So in my last resort I turned to God. I’m glad I did. I learned I’m not broken. God made me this way. He has plans for me that are good. I didn’t always believe that or understand but I stayed in the word. It made a huge difference on my outlook in life. There is beauty in my brokenness. I wouldn’t have grown in my relationship with God if I wasn’t broken. Everyday is practice in reminding myself that I have to meet no one expectations but my own.

If you feel broken just know you don’t have to stay that way. There is a way out. You won’t be able to do it on your own, not long lasting. Getting out of your head and closer to God is the only long term solution and potentially seeing a therapist.

Updated: since I wrote the above words Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have both committed suicide. This has sparked debate about what role does prayer and God specifically play in mental health. I think that God is our first resource in working on our mental health. Getting into your bible, prayer, fasting, meditating, it’s all an important part of the healing process. We can’t do it on our own and believing you can may be a fatal mistake. You need tools to overcome things you have been through. Seek help if you need it.

Not in crisis

I felt like at the beginning of the year I was always talking to God about something and he was talking to me. I felt like there were some things he wanted me to work on and I was definitely going through a pruning phase. I do not feel like that now. I don’t know if the devil is messing with me because things are going really well. I have still been doing all the things I normally do for the most part. I was sick all last week, so I didn’t do much reading or writing because it physically hurt to do so. I have caught up on my Bible in a year plan. Thankfully I wasn’t too far behind. Something seems like its missing though. Don’t get me wrong, nothing is wrong just something seems off. Things on paper are great but I feel distant from God.

I know as always that is not him that moved but me. I know that I have to be intentional about keeping the fire in our relationship going. I know also not to trust my feelings because feelings will lead you astray. I don’t want my relationship with God to be me moving from crisis to another. I want to continually feel his presence. If I think hard enough I am sure there are some things I am supposed to be doing that I have not done. Not many though. Thank goodness! I have been down that road before and it can be a miserable one. I also know I have been spending a lot of scrolling through Instagram. It was the only thing I could really do on the internet while I was sick. It was mindless and took no effort. I am going to make some tweaks and see how I feel next. My creative juices don’t seem to be flowing as much either which is why I haven’t been writing. I am going to write a separate post about that.

Do you ever feel just a little off? If you do, how did you get over it?

Putting my suffering on display

I was in church today and the woman preached about the man in Mark 3:1-5, who had the shriveled hand but was healed on the Sabbath. She made several good points but the one that spoke to me the most was when she talked about Jesus making him come up to the front of the congregation before he healed him. Jesus could have healed him from anywhere, he didn’t even need to talk to the man and the healing would have been done. Why did he make him come to the front of the congregation? She said Jesus made him come to the front because exposure is necessary for victory. God wants to put our suffering on display so he can get the glory from the situation. He wants everyone to see it, so that people will know that it is him.

suffering peter

I have never been one to put my suffering on display. Not at first anyway. I usually suffer in silence. It doesn’t really work that well but its a trained habit. I usually put myself in a bubble, well hidden and insulated until I pull myself together and then I come back out, seemly refreshed, although not healed. God had been telling me to tell my story for years but I didn’t want to put my suffering on display. Most people know at this point about my fertility challenges but its still sometimes feels like a dirty secret.

suffering in silence

While I have been hiding out, people are still living their lives. Another one of my good friends is pregnant and this is a great thing. I am never not happy when someone gets pregnant, a baby is a blessing from God. I was sad for me, but the longer I go through this, the more I see this is not a good way to think either. When someone is sharing their good news, I shouldn’t even be thinking about me. I should be 100% celebrating with them. Joyce Meyer says a sign of spiritual growth is reacting differently to the same situation. This is the first time that I heard someone’s baby news and didn’t first think of myself.

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade. I don’t want people to feel like they can’t talk about their plans just because I am not making the same plans. That is not fair. I was mad at friend because she didn’t tell me when she told everyone else that she was pregnant. Everyone knew but me and that really hurt. She said she didn’t know how. I can understand that. Dealing with someone else’ s infertility can be challenging. I don’t know how I will feel about things. Someone texted me a picture of their positive pregnancy test and I really didn’t like that. Someone else texted me their sonogram pictures. I really didn’t like that either. They didn’t know that and I never told them. I probably never will. They were treating me like a normal person, I shouldn’t be mad. I don’t always feel normal but that isn’t their problem, its mine.

I have been trying to get the focus off of myself and on to other people but I still need to do more. I was so depressed at the beginning of the year. I didn’t know though and other people didn’t either. I didn’t realize I was depressed until I took a quiz a few weeks ago and by then I was over the hump.It was recommended by this podcast Therapy for black girls.(Its really good. You should check it out.) I wonder if I could have turned it around sooner if I had said something to someone?

e007ed55fc39732dbef879e549821f36--endometriosis-quotes-infertility-hurts

For all you women out there who are suffering from infertility issues know you don’t have to suffer in silence. Know that God has put a desire in you and he WILL fulfill it. Right now I am pregnant with possibilities, and I am ok with that. I have things that I was put here to do and I am no less a woman because I have not bared any children, YET. If I never birth my own child, I can live with that because I know God has a plan. A plan better than anything I can dream or imagine. I used to never want to say that because it felt like I was giving up hope. I know now that is not the case. It is relinquishing full control to him. I know that I can master any situation because I have winning member on my team, Jesus. I am so thankful, so grateful, that he takes care of me and will fulfill every desire he put in me.

Fret

href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fret/”>Fret</a&gt;

Fret-be constantly or visibly worried or anxious.

Evildoers is harsher than what I’m thinking however, I’m not excluding anyone. People who cut corners, people who step on other people to get to the top, people who don’t geniuninely deserve the good things they are getting. I am talking about them. Its hard to watch people who just skate by in life get things when you work super hard and don’t get anything. It just doesn’t seem fair.

Looking on social media, you see people get famous for doing nothing, while you have been working your tail off and nobody know’s your name. Don’t feel discouraged. It won’t last though. When you rise fast, sometimes you crash fast as well.

Roots have to be established and when things happen too quickly you can’t set down any roots. Overcoming adversity is what helps you when trouble comes. Trouble will come and those people who are winning won’t be prepared.

God is allowing to them prosper for a little while but it won’t last. Continue to work hard. Hard work will last, not scheming and getting over,so don’t get discouraged.

Inefficient

Inefficient-not achieving maximum productivity; wasting or failing to make the best use of time or resources.

Often times I think about the dreams and goals that I have and want to accomplish and I feel  inefficient. I certainly don’t feel like I am making the best use of my time or resources. I have two degrees that I do not really use and I’m starting to to get the itch that I want to do something else. Am I qualified?  Sometimes I think so, but other days not so much. I am debating on if I want to get an Ed.d, which is a doctorate in education because that is what I have been doing for the last 10+ years but I don’t know. I know to make any real money or move up, a terminal degree would be nice but I want a job that is bigger than money. Do I want to do something totally different? I didn’t get into my field to make a lot of money but I want to be comfortable. I don’t want to put all the financial heavy lifting to my husband. I have two degrees, I want to pull my own weight.

When I got my master’s there wasn’t a lot of asking God or contemplating. I did a little research, asked the higher ups around me and did it. I want to put a little more thought and time into my choice this time around. I don’t think having more formal education is what makes feel inefficient. I have to remind myself that his grace is sufficient. He is strong when I am weak.

his-grace-is-sufficient-erica-hanel

I probably feel this way because what I really want to do I have no formal training at all. I want to be a writer. I want to write books that will be read all over the world and be referenced for years to come. I can’t really imagine that happening in my wildest dreams. Why not? I haven’t even tried yet and I am already talking myself out of it. Nobody can make me feel inefficient but me. I know it won’t be easy but if I take one step, God will take two. I was not made to be inefficient or mediocre. I was created for his purpose. There is something inside of me that is waiting to be revealed and the only person that can stop me from reaching my full potential is me.

 

 

Condemnation vs. Conviction

Discerning the difference between conviction of the Holy Spirit and Condemnation from the Enemy

-conviction is from the Holy Spirit, prompting us to confess and be restored by fellowship with God. It is to draw us closer to God.

-condemenation is from Satan. Purpose is to keep us away from God by making us feel guilty.

-once you confess you are immediately forgiven, anything after that is guilt from Satan

-if you feel like hiding from God and doubting his love that is Satan, Closer that is God

-the enemy; speaks in half truths, pushes, agitates, emphasizes, do, do, do encourages willingness against Gods ways, encourages complaining, tells us we are inadequate

-Holy Spirit: about whole truth, wants us to be anxious for nothing, emphasizes be,be,be, unites people, emphasizes Gods will empowers us, encourages contentment

-Holy Spirit is specific-fix this me thing and you will be free. He commands you to take a specific action to make a choice of your will.

-The enemy wants us to focus on our feelings. Feelings are false! Speaks half truths. Set your mind on interests above God.

-Holy Spirit speaks facts and truth about you and God. Set your mind on God’s interests.

condemnation-conviction

http://www.tonycooke.org/articles-by-others/condemnation-conviction/

Disclaimer:

(This list is complied research from a bunch of different websites. At the time, I didn’t need to know the source because it was for my personal use. Now I’m sharing with you, I need to give credit because I didn’t know most of this stuff until I looked it up.)

https://marriagemissions.com/discerning-the-difference-between-the-conviction-of-the-holy-spirit-and-condemnation-of-the-enemy/

http://shieldoffaith62.blogspot.com/p/conviction-or-condemnationknowing.html

Often times I wonder if God is convicting me about something or is it the devil trying to make me feel bad. I discovered a few things. Conviction will make you feel bad, but not in a despair, can’ t face the day feel bad, just disappointed in yourself. That’s you grieving the Holy Spirit but it isn’t condemnation. Many times I have confessed things to God but still felt terrible about them, that isn’t God. He doesn’t want us to feel bad when He corrects us, he just wants us to do better.

offers hope

I wrote the words above a long time ago, 3 years ago in my journal when I was doing research on conviction vs condemnation. One thing I never paid attention to in my research is specific. As I was researching to write this post, I finally noticed specific. One blogger talked about God telling her she needed to apologize to someone and it just kept coming up in her mind over and over again. That makes sense. Specific is probably the most important thing that I could take away from my research. If you can’t put your finger on why you feel bad, that probably is not from God. God is not a God of confusion. If he wants you to something the direction is always clear. Even if the direction is to take one step at a time. He won’t just leave you hanging.

In my bible reading everyday I have discovered that Jesus didn’t come to judge us or condemn us but help us. He doesn’t want you to feel bad about something because you are not always going to change something if you are made to feel bad about it. You will just avoid it.

john317 coffee cup

I have only scratched the surface of this topic. It is definitely something I want to dive into more. You should too. There is a ton of research out there about this topic. Do you feel like you are being convicted about anything? What changes are you feeling prompted to make? Take some time to pray and make sure its from God and not anywhere else.