Finding Purpose?

“We Humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.” [Proverbs 19:21]

As I was writing a friend a letter and I struggled to figure out what to say, I remember her telling me to share what I was dealing with and that would help her. As I began to think about what I was dealing with it was finding my purpose. The funny thing was that my thought immediately went to, “well geez I’ve stayed struggling with that”. I think I have tried so many times to find my purpose in people, things, jobs, ministry, etc. that when I think I’ve found it that thing, whatever it was, gets stripped away, and there I am standing with what I feel like is a lack of purpose. The Lord has been talking to me a lot lately about cycles. Finding purpose or the lack thereof has been a cycle that I have run into many times, year after year. So I wanted to share a few of the examples from my life of what this has looked like.

I tried to find purpose in my family, I thought that if they were happy with me, all that I did, accepted me, that then I’d be ok, I would somehow find “purpose” in that. The thing is, God was calling me to do the very opposite, to lean into Him, to shake somethings up in my family, to break some generational curses, but sometimes the very thing we are purposed to do isn’t the easiest thing to do. Sometimes we think that purpose is this glorious, shiny, always happy, very successful thing we attain. I am certain that purpose feels like quite the opposite at times.

At another point in my life I tried to find purpose in a relationship. I thought maybe my life would be good, certain things I’m worrying about now will be taken care of, I’d be living in a house with my husband, I’d have kids, etc. As we started talking about marriage, the purpose I thought would be fulfilled in this person only magnified the flaws that I had. Eventually I wanted out, we were no longer together, and years later I thought I missed out on my purpose. Just keep listening, you’ll find a couple of trends in these examples.

I then began working at JCPenney, started as a supervisor, about the fourth year into working there I was a Sales Manager, and I thought I was fulfilling the purpose that was set before me. That maybe JCPenney was the place I’d make a mark, that my purpose would be there. Don’t get me wrong, I had purpose while I was there until I began to think this was it, and then God began to make me uncomfortable. He told me to leave and a year later I was still there, questioning God, questioning myself, not understanding it all. I didn’t know where to go, and once again He said leave.

In the midst of working at JCPenney, I got my Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. BAM! PURPOSE! I’m sure God had purpose for me graduating, I don’t know it all, I do know that I finally completed something and didn’t give up, but you see I thought when I graduated that things would completely change, maybe this was the point that my whole life would turn around, right?

I left JCPenney in May of this year, within two weeks I was working somewhere else. I was making more money than I did at JCPenney, working a more normal schedule and working from home, which is what I had asked God for, and purpose really felt like it had set in.

ETC… ETC…

You see, I can tell those stories in another way, and talk about how God did ALL of that, and He did. Believe me, God has kept me in such miraculous ways. I could talk about His goodness for hours. I will say that you have to be careful to rightfully distinguish if you are finding purpose or walking in purpose. Something big happens in my life and I go through those high moments and think PURPOSE, but when I begin to settle into the thing, I get tired of it, I look for the next thing, I question God, I wonder what’s next, why do I not feel fulfilled. However, the cycle I’ve constantly walked in is because I am not focusing on first seeking God. I seek after applause, approval, finances.. I run myself to the ground trying to attain it all, when God is just saying “walk with me, darling”. I feel failure of purpose only because I take my eyes off of God.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” [Matthew 6:33]

Everyday consists of walking in your purpose, walking in step with the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to lead you. There’s purpose in every person you come across, there’s purpose in every conversation you have, if you seek God, and allow Him to be at work in your life, you will walk in your true purpose.

After all, how many of us know this verse…

“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 a hope and a future” [Jeremiah 29:11]

Time to trust His word, knowing He has it all in His hands, and just walk this journey hand in hand with Him. I’m certain if we do just that we will find we are walking in our true purpose.

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So I want to share something with you all that I found in my journal, it’s one of the only things I’ve ever written in my journal that I didn’t put a date on. So all I know is that it came somewhere between December 11 2016 and January 5, 2017.

“Sometimes when God wants to restore or rebuild something, He will use someone. Use them to tear down first and demolish. It appears as if everything is crumbling down. It doesn’t look appealing to anyone unless you have the plans and understand them, you still don’t fully know what the end will look like. In my life everything appeared to be crumbling all around me. Every relationship and friendship had ended. My family was no longer there, my boyfriend and I broke up, no job, no car. Everything looked like there was no hope for me. But God completely turned it all around. But it was not without taking out and removing all the debris that had been left behind. When you begin to remove the pieces you once held dear, it’s difficult to let go of your grasp. Although it was ugly, there’s some attachment to that thing. Meanwhile God is saying I have so much more in store. If only you’d let go of the familiar so we can continue with the process of rebuilding.”

The reason this passage stood out to me so much when I reread it from my journal was because one of my mentors had talked to me about letting certain things in my past go, like past relationships and even things I kept running back to.. things, people, hurts that were familiar. Reading this reminded me that the Lord had been talking to me about this for a while. He had been showing me that not only what I went through years ago but what I was dealing with much of last year, that He still had a need for rebuilding me, that the process was not over. I felt for most of last year the same way I had felt back in 2009, like everything around me was crumbling, but you see I didn’t move forward in the midst and allow God to get rid of the debris that was obviously still there. Instead I held onto that junk for dear life. Almost like those hoarders that you see on TV, I was holding onto past hurts, and although it was junk I made an excuse of why I need to keep holding onto it, so I said, “nope not that God, you can’t have that”. In the process of holding onto the mess, I pushed people out of my life, I kept to myself, I was embarrassed of the mess I was still holding onto. I knew it was time to let go, but what would I be without all of those things? Yet God kept whispering to me until it became a full on reality gut-check, Tiffany it is time to get rid of all of that, it is time to stop looking back, it is time to let go of old relationships, it’s time to stop going in circles in your life, it is time to let me REBUILD and RESTORE and MAKE NEW.

Now I know ya’ll have seen all of those shows on HD TV when the professionals are almost disgusted by the work someone tried to do in their own homes to fix what was wrong, or the work someone started but left in the middle of, right? Well once the professionals get in there, there is finally some hope that things will be restored or made new. Maybe there are trust issues because of past contractors that have come in and not gotten the work done. God was showing it to me this way, Tiffany let me do the work, you can’t do this on your own… reminds me of the Message version of Jeremiah 29:11-13

“I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”

God knows exactly what He’s doing, it may be super scary to let go, believe me I know.. but His plans are complete and are perfect when it comes to our lives, if we will choose to trust Him to do the work. It will cost us less in the end if we let the “professional” come in rather than trying to do it on our own. It’s ok to be “under construction”.

28

​I am writing this as November 19th is quickly approaching, a date that always seems to come with so many thoughts, memories, and stories that I’ve heard over the years. Thoughts that seem to deepen every year, as I learn more. This year, however has felt very different from previous years. In my 28th year of life, so many reflections have come of my dad who passed away when he was only 28 years old. In the beginning of the year the Lord said to me that He was going to prepare my heart. I truly had no idea what that meant and all that it would entail. As I spent time off of social media for a couple of months out of this year, I began to see a lot of what the Lord was talking to me about. I began to have dreams, dreams that were so real and raw, that I would wake up with a heavy heart for many hurting and stuck in the world of injustice. So, I of course that was it, when I stopped having the dreams, I thought, ok God was preparing my heart for a deeper compassion for those that are still enslaved in the world of injustice. But, that wasn’t all He was preparing my heart for.​I remember this one Wednesday I had off, and I was watching this show, and in the show there was a young girl who had phoned into the police, and said she was getting ready to kill the guy who shot her father. Tears immediately began to flow, and my heart felt like it had just dropped to the ground. I cried and cried and don’t think I ever finished watching the show, but I felt like I knew the pain she was in, although it was just a show. God at that moment told me to pray for the guy that shot my father. I did. He didn’t tell me to forgive the guy, because I had already done that. But I began to pray for him, and as I prayed for him, I saw this man balled up in a corner of this dark room crying. As I prayed God said this to me, “I love those that the injustice has been done to, but I still love those that have done the injustice”. I cried even more, because I know God’s love for people and wanting to see them saved far exceeds the love I could ever have for others. At the moment I was praying for this man not because I accepted what he did, but because God loves him and cares about him in a way that I probably never could fully comprehend.

​I’ve had many moments like that throughout this year in particular. I would imagine what this man thoughts must’ve been knowing that he killed someone who had three kids and a wife. Around the same time, I would pass this particular hospital, and couldn’t understand why I kept getting angry when I passed it. I asked my mom if it was true that my dad passed away in the ambulance, and that the hospital that we were closest to when he got shot, if it was true that at the time they didn’t take gunshot victims? I never asked my mom this before, because we often times didn’t talk about the details of his death. I was only 4 when he got shot, so I only remember pieces of what I grew up hearing, but didn’t know if it was something I made up in my head or not. My mom confirmed that the hospital we were closest to didn’t take gunshot victims and my dad had to be taken further to MCV, but he died in the ambulance on the way. I had to realize that I didn’t think that was fair, that maybe that was the reason my dad died, if only they had taken gunshot victims, he may still be alive? These are not things that I can’t now change, but I had to deal with the fact that these were thoughts that were truly in my heart and that I had been holding onto.

​Another thing that had been in my heart that the Lord began to walk me through was the amount of time the guy got that shot my father. During the time of year my friend’s dad had finally gotten out of prison after being in there for 20 something years, for doing something that wasn’t nearly as bad as the guy that had shot my father who had only gotten 10 years. I never really thought that was justice. I was angry at the system for allowing him to get out in 10 years but keeping my friend’s dad for way longer than that. It just didn’t make sense. But again I never talked about it, and God began to work in my heart and allow me to get through the anger I had against what I felt was injustice.

​I kept asking God, why is all of this coming up now, I just couldn’t understand that after 24 years, this year is when all of this came to surface. God began to share with me that, I was very young when my dad passed, and just because I didn’t have much time with him, didn’t mean that I did not feel the loss of my dad, and that it did not impact my heart. You see, many people often think because I was only 4 when he died, that I don’t have much memory of him, and while that may be true to a certain extent, there is still hurt, anger, and grieving that happens. You don’t just get over a loss like that in an instant no matter how old you are or were when it happened. For me, my memory of my dad has always been put together by other peoples’ memories of him and what I’ve heard. Have you ever been doing a puzzle, and you are just missing certain pieces, and you can’t fully see the picture? That’s how my memory of my dad has been, I see portions of it. I remember not getting picked up from school that day he died, I remember walking in the house and seeing my mom crying, I remember the funeral and seeing him lay there with his Redskins jacket on, I remember when he hit me for peeing on myself, I remember him holding me upside down, I remember him stuffing me under the pillows playing with me like I was one of the boys, but those were just a few of the memories I had. The other pieces to the puzzle are from stories I had heard over the years, but even then those began to seem like they were so distant and maybe they weren’t true.

​Well over the past couple of months, the Lord gave me more insight into my dad, his life, and even our relationship. I had spent time with a lady that was there the day my dad passed. We began to talk more about that day, and she told me her point of view. She had seen on the news that day that my dad had been shot, she recognized him because of his Redskins jacket. Her parents were our pastors, and she called them. Her and her sister were responsible for getting me and my brothers and keeping us out until we were allowed to come back home to my mom. She told me that it was so difficult to see us laughing and playing, when she knew that my dad had just been shot. She shared her memory of my dad and how he was the coolest guy, that as a youth she always enjoyed being around him, everyone did. I had never heard her side of the story and what that day was like for her and the struggles she had been through before that, or even her memory of my dad. I have known her my whole life and it wasn’t until this year that the Lord allowed me to hear that day from her point of view. Just a day or two after we hung out I was at my mom’s and we began looking at old pictures. It was just me, my mom, and my aunt, and I was seeing some of these photos for the very first time. Then I came across this photo of my dad and I on a horse. I always thought that it was a dream that him and I rode a horse together until I saw this photo, and that it had actually happened. I saw for the first time, pictures of my dad and my mom laughing, and running in this field on their wedding day, and even this photo of me, my dad, and my brothers at Putt-Putt. We went through these old pictures for hours, and then we came to old papers. We came across this court document that had the man’s name on it that shot my father. I was frozen. To put a name to the title, “guy who shot my father”, made him a person. I wasn’t sure how to feel at the moment, days later all I could do was pray for him by name. The same night I read an article that my cousin Danny had written. In there he mentioned how my mom would say that at night all we did was cry for months. I then began to imagine as a young mother of three children, how do you move forward in such a devastating time? All of that was so beautiful to me because it felt like God was allowing me to put this life together or pieces to the puzzle together by allowing me to see and hear from others.

​So, just this past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to New York with my two older brothers, my youngest brother, and my mom. It was a very last minute trip, but it felt like everything was coming full circle. The days leading up to it, my heart had been really heavy. I had the anticipation of seeing my grandma during this time, but her seeing her grandkids during this time of year and all together as well. She lost her son that day on November 19, 1992 unexpectedly. I don’t know if as a mom you would really ever get over something like that. So as we made our way to NY to surprise my grandma, my brother Eddie and I had talked about all the things the Lord had been walking me through this year concerning my dad’s death and even my memory of him. My brother stated that in 24 years, this was the first time he heard how I felt, and first time we ever talked about it. I don’t think I ever really wanted to ask about my dad or bring anything up because I think we all got very good at trying not to cry about his passing, so for so long it was held in. It was held in so much that on Tuesday before we left, I kept unexpectedly crying, and I didn’t know what was going on. Someone said, “Tiffany’s in her feelings”, that’s how they described it, and I don’t think that describes it fully. But I’ll get to that later. So when we get to NY we have the great opportunity of just sitting around my grandma, hanging out with her, and even watching her cry as she stared at us, and we got to take pictures with her. We also had the opportunity to spend time with my mom’s two best friends from New York. I was really excited about this because they are amazing, and I used to always hear about them, and I feel like I’m connected to them because my middle name was named after them. I wanted to just soak in all the time we had with them. The laughter, the stories, seeing my mom around her friends, it was great. One thing I loved though was just quietly listening in on their conversation. They would share about their relationship with my brothers, and I would get especially quiet when they talked about my mom and dad together. They talked about how protective my dad was, and it kind of made me realize I would’ve never been able to date if he were alive, haha!

​We then got to hang out with my dad’s best friend growing up in NY, and his family. It was like we were all just this big family, we talked and laughed together as if we had been around each other all the time. At one point on Saturday Anibal saw a photo of my dad and I, and he said, “man I miss my boy”. I turned around and acted like I was looking at the street, but I just smiled and cried. You see, I hadn’t heard much about my dad and how much people loved him from the people in NY, because I never got to spend time with them like I did on this trip. Walking the streets my dad walked, hearing stories about him, and being with my brothers and mom, and spending this time with my grandmother, uncles, cousins, and my mom’s best friends who are practically my aunts, just made this trip unforgettable. This scripture kind of summed it up for me.

“So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.” (Psalm 126:6)

But what made it more special was the year that the Lord allowed all this to happen. In my 28th year of life, the same age my father passed away, I’ve learned more about his life than I ever have. You see, many people say you just have to get over it, or you can’t still be grieving, or how can you talk about your dad when you hardly knew him, etc.. but I believe when you are walking with the Lord, if you allow Him, He will walk you through this journey of your heart in such a strategic and amazing way. I realized there was hurt and anger in my heart, and God helped me walk through that. But He gave me something back, He flooded me with memories of my dad from the people who walked and talked with my dad. He gave me the ability to spend time with those people, and his mom around the time of year that I think about my dad the most. God is such a loving Father, and I know loss can be the most painful thing in life. Whether it was recent or 24 years ago. One thing I want to pray is that if you have experienced loss, that you understand it is a journey, and there is no reason to feel bad about hurting or being angry, and allowing God to help heal your heart, and walk you through that process. There will probably always be that missing my dad during big celebrations or around this time of year, but I’m thankful that now I have even more memories to smile and laugh about, or cry about, and for the special people who will share their memories with me. I always heard, that my dad was crazy about his little girl, and I asked someone to share what their memory of my dad was today with me, and they said the same thing, they shared how he was a big brother to her, and that he was short but had a big personality. I laughed and cried. I never really thought I had much of my dad in me, but truth is, as she shared about my dad, I said yeah that sounds a little like me, haha. I’ll end with this, allow yourself to feel, allow God to walk you through what you feel, there will be times of laughter, there will be tears, there will be joy, and in it all never feel bad about it.

Just wanted to share a little bit of my heart journey, and I pray you do not feel bad for me. God has kept me, and ordered my steps, He has given me so much, he has been my Heavenly Father who has kept watch over me, and been with me, and I look forward to the day when my dad will embrace me again.

Testimony Continued ..

The Lord had me write my testimony out in the beginning of 2015, and I was obedient to do so, but was too afraid to post it on my blog, so I wrote the one you may have read already that I posted on December 25, 2015. However I found the original, and God told me to post it the way it was originally written. The picture above are the papers when I wrote it on January 2, 2015. Reading the original version, was so raw and pure, I know I cried multiple times writing it, so I am being obedient and posting it the way God has told me to. I didn’t change any of the wording, so I pray it blesses you to know what God has done, and what He can do for you.

Testimony written on January 2, 2015 (about a year ago):

About 7 years ago I had gotten to a point in my life where I knew something had to change. I had been in church my whole life, I worked for the church, lead ministries, but never had a real relationship with Jesus Christ. As I have previously shared when I was about 18, I was in a relationship with someone that I had made my god, also at that time my stepdad and I could not agree on my college decisions, so I was told it would be better if I moved out. God brought two people in my life a couple months before and during this time they shared with me it was time to choose God of the guy I was with, there was no room for both. I chose to finally have a real, living, relationship with God and relinquish everything that was not like Him. I broke up with my then boyfriend, when I did that I lost my car (his car), my job, and had to find somewhere to live. God provided me with a place to stay with someone from church, when I moved in they needed a “nanny”, so they paid me to do that, and also allowed me to use their van for transportation. My life began to change, I began to see glimpses of God’s favor and faithfulness like I had never experienced before. The two women God place in my life Ms. Sylvia and Ms. SeLinda showed me through their lives that it was possible to live a holy, pure, life for the Lord without compromise.

As I began to grow in the Lord, people close to me could not handle it. The changes I had to make were causing family members to talk about me, and I had never experienced such hurt like that before. I again had to try and find somewhere to live, as after about a year, I was told there was no longer room in the house because a baby was on the way, and I would have to move out. I began to pray, knowing God would handle the situation as He did before. A couple days later, Ms. Sylvia came up to me in church and said, “The Lord wanted me to tell you that when you’re ready, you can move in with me.” I was blown away by God’s goodness, and what would be the beginning of some of my toughest challenges and best years of growing in God. I moved in and the Lord began to deal with me so strong, I chose that I would no longer listen to what I had been listening to, I would no longer allow myself to compromise in my walk with God, and because I chose not to compromise, my family began to talk about me, saying I thought I was better than them, they told me that the two ladies I called my mentors would leave me just like everyone else had left me, and because they were my family that I needed to realize they were all I had.

I allowed that stuff to sit there, I would never respond, I still remember sitting in the car crying, because I knew people did that to me in the past, but I also knew in my heart that was not true. My family began to talk about me and my mentors for no reason, lying, and making me look bad. I had family members from out of town asking me why I was treating my mom like this, not wanting to be around her, etc. And truth be told that was not true, I longed to spend time with my mom, but because of what God was doing and who He was using to do it, jealousy arose and I had to learn to stand against it. The most difficult time in my life was having to stand strong in the midst of people purposefully trying to tear me and the people helping me down. Many times I just wanted it all to end. I remember going through intense time of depression, when I felt like I had absolutely no one. I pushed friends away, my mentors because I was blaming it on them, the leaders I had trusted in the church that my family had tore my name down with them as well, and my family was nonexistent. I can remember sitting in the middle of my bed in a ball, trying to figure out how I could kill myself, and thinking it would end and the pain would finally stop.

Meanwhile my family continued to talk about me, gang up on me, I would go to family events only for people to talk about me and my mentors, the two people who were just trying to push me into all that God had for me. I remember the Lord telling me to ask Him about everything, I no longer could just go to every family gathering, I had to ask the Lord. It didn’t make sense to me because it was my family, why couldn’t I be there? God had to get me away from the familiar because He wanted to do a new thing in me. When I started saying no to going certain places, things got a lot worse. They blamed my mentors, started talking to other people about them trying to tear down their names, when they failed to realize I was only being obedient to the Holy Spirit. I could only go where I was allowed. I had to go through a season of oneness with God. I tried running from dealing with all the Lord was trying to deliver me from for fear that matters would get worse. But God was showing me how to be bold in Him, I had to learn to speak back to the lies that my family was telling.

I can remember my cousins and aunts getting involved and coming at me with why are you doing this to your mom, but no one would ask me what happened, what was going on, they just took my mom’s word and kept going. I remember one Thanksgiving, I didn’t get an invite to come, and my brothers, no one told me where and when they were getting together, and one of my cousins messaged me and said “cuz, whats’s up, I wish you were here”, I messaged him back and said where, I wasn’t invited. He was in shock and said he had no idea, he just thought I didn’t want to come, and he asked me my side of the story. He was the only person to ask me that.

People use to tell me it’s your mom, you just have to overlook it, that’s just how moms are, but God told me no, I’m going to give you and your mom a new relationship. It won’t be like what we had before, and that He would use me to be a light to my family. So, because I knew that I had to continue to press through the most challenging thing in my life, because this was not just about me. The suicidal thoughts were only selfish, I only thought about giving up because I was only thinking about how I felt at that moment. Because those before me didn’t stand against certain things, I had to, or someone coming behind me would have to. I spent nights crying out to God, at times I hated who I was, I hated how I pushed those trying to help me away, but they never left my side. They encouraged me to continue to walk in all God had for me. Through it all, it amazes me the favor of God that was in my life. I was being blessed in such a way. I had been given the ok to leave, at the time, my lifelong church. I was transitioned into a place of healing and my safe place. God allowed me to be encouraged here.

I remember one Christmas being scared to go to my mom’s knowing I would have to confront somethings. In the past whenever my mom would yell or cry or tell me she was hurt, I wouldn’t say anything, I would just cry and shut down or give in. This time, with the boldness, I had confronted everything she said, called what was untrue a lie and allowed the Lord to speak through me. I was so hurt but yet so amazed at God, something that day broke in the spirit realm. I don’t think my mom and I talked for a whole year and all of this was going on for about 4 years. It lasted that long because I was operating in fear for a while and wasn’t bold enough to confront certain things. I did however stand on the promise of God, that He would give my mom and I a new relationship.

One day she called me and apologized for things she did and said, and not too long after my mom and I sat down and ate alone for the first time in almost two years. It felt weird but I remember my birthday that year, we went to breakfast and just talked about the Lord, we cried, smiled, laughed and I could feel the new thing God was doing. I never stopped loving my mom, she’s my mom, but I knew God had a purpose in it all. Prejudices, traditions, lies, generational curses had to be broken through me taking a stand for God.

I thank God and give Him all the glory. He placed my two mentors in my life to help me stand, they never left my side even when I didn’t take theirs. They knew there was a plan, they encouraged me that my latter days would be greater, and they loved me even when I hurt them, and pushed them away. They loved me when I knew what people said about them was a lite, yet I wasn’t bold enough to stand against it. Although this was a great challenge, I thank God for it because I came out stronger, better, bolder, lighter, and with more confidence in Christ than ever before. Whatever your great challenge is, has been, know that as you walk with and obey God, better days ARE ahead.

“I Just Want You.. God”

“Take everything, I don’t want it, I don’t need it God, won’t you take everything, I don’t want it, I don’t need it God, I just want You”

 

As I sit in my room listening to this song, I can’t help but cry and pray for this generation. I began to write in my journal and think about what it is that I have really wanted instead of seeking after God.

Relationships…

I have longed to have certain relationships back, I have wanted to hold onto people for longer than I’ve needed to, in the process I have often felt very alone. The words “I just want You” is easier to sing or say rather than to really speak it out of my heart and mean it. Let me pause a minute and tell you why this made me pray for this generation. As I sat here and cried, I was reminded of the many many times I’ve spent crying on my face, wanting to give up because of relationships. I missed people, I was angry with people, I pushed people away, I yet again felt alone. As I began to remember these moments I saw girls in their rooms, ready to give up, crying, in that same place that I once was in, and it caused me to cry out and pray. There is so much more in life.

In those times I only hoped that I could get a hug from someone but I pray right now that Holy Spirit would hug each and every person feeling alone, feeling unwanted, ready to give up on life, ready to walk away, in their room crying out for love, that they may truly feel the love of God overwhelm them. I pray that any person, young or old reading this truly finds their worth in God alone. Believe me when I say it’s in that seeking after God, with your whole heart, that you find true joy and happiness. There will never be a person that can give you all that you are looking for except for Jesus Christ.

So we say right now God, that we just want You. That we give You everything, all of the hurt, all of the pain, all of the fame we may be seeking from people, the desire to be noticed, the relationships we miss… we don’t want it God, we just want You. Because we know that when we have You, we have all that we need, and You will lead us into everything that You desire for us to have.

 

2015…2016…

Well, here it is as I sit here in my living room, in a quiet house with no one around, God’s spirit came upon me so strong that I couldn’t fight back the tears that began to flow. Last night I came home early, it was a very different New Year’s Eve for me, I was by myself later that evening watching peoples videos and pictures scroll through my phone. I found it very interesting to me that God would have it to be this way, it was no mistake, it was the way that He knew it would be. Make no mistake about it, God orders our steps. 

I shared in my Facebook post earlier this week that the words my friend spoke to me last year that was a theme for my year, I believe very prophetic, was this “Tiffany, just be YOU”. Throughout the year I learned what that meant, I was required to let go of a lot of mindsets, and even people in 2015, but God was faithful. He required me in the beginning of the year to give up seeking after positions, titles, and striving. You see that was the culture I was used to, even within the church. I was used to seeking after positions, feeling the need to have a title in order to be wanted by people, and striving even on a day to day to make sure I have enough so that others would see me a certain way. But I will tell you this, in the beginning of the year God gave me relationships with people who were doing the total opposite. People who were willing to give up the titles, positions, and striving in order to be obedient to doing the will of God for their lives. It may have looked totally crazy to many people, but to me it made sense for some reason, because God had told me this in the beginning of the year, “I will honor you for giving up that position”. I didn’t know all of what that meant, I kept waiting and waiting for Him to honor me in the way that I thought He would. As time went on however; I saw that He was honoring me by allowing me to see how seeking only after His will, and not trying to put myself in the forefront, gave me a closer relationship with Him. 2015 was probably the richest year for my relationship with Christ. I made a lot of mistakes I will say that. God told me to share my testimony in the beginning of last year, actually He told me on the January 1, 2015 to share it. I didn’t share it until December 25, 2015. I didn’t share it because I was still putting people over God. I was concerned more about my reputation, my family’s thoughts of me, the people that would potentially leave my side for it, and it made me very afraid.

I am telling you all of this because being “me” really meant not being myself at all. I am in the process of learning what it means to be the Tiffany that God created me to be. I wept this morning, and I had no idea why, and God gently whispered this to me, “let them go”. I thought who in the world am I letting go of, and He said all those people that you have relied on for your happiness. I have struggled many times with feeling that I will only be happy when people want me around, because I feel like I am needed or accepted rather. However throughout 2015 I learned that there are some relationships you must fight for, even when they push you away, and then there are also those that you just have to let go of, because no matter how much you fight, it’s not in God’s will.

What I pray for myself and for you is that as you step into 2016, yes there are many opportunities ahead of you, but I pray that you take only those opportunities that God leads you into. That you do not take positions or titles or seek after those things so that you will feel accepted by people, but that you do only what God is telling you to do. I am thankful for the people God has around me, and the few that He has added to my life in 2015 that I know are here to stay. I am thankful that I was hidden in Him in 2015, and was able to meet some young girls that changed my life, that remind me daily of why I share with you on here, and why God saved me. I am thankful for those that went against what everyone else thought they should do and who they should be and ran after what God wanted for their lives, because of the impact it would make on others. That is what is important. So as I sit here, thinking about what 2016 brings, I know it will bring freedom in my mind and peace, because where God has me is exactly where He wants me, even if it feels very different, outside of what I am used to. May your 2016 be full of the RIGHT opportunities and may you seek after God more than ever before, and His will for your life. God bless you.

 

 

Be Still

Be still: not moving or making a sound, motionless, deep silence
The season of being still can sometimes feel very quiet, and rightfully so as it was a surprise to me that “deep silence” was part of the definition to “be still”. Being still in the presence of God is to move only when He says to move. For me, I find myself many times being so distracted by things going on around me or assignments, or just finding something to do, that I don’t take the time to be still in God’s presence long enough to find out what He wants me to do. This season is causing me to be completely quiet, so that I can hear what it is that He wants to say. The word says, as many of us know and quote so very often, “be still and know that I am God”. 

As I reflect on why I have struggled to be still, it’s mostly because I am running from something or trying to make something happen on my own, but the only reason I would do that is because I must not be trusting God to do it or to lead me in a particular area. If I KNOW God, and His ways, I can trust Him and be still enough to listen to His instructions and allow Him to do what needs to be done. #BeStill

These were very tough instructions for me as it would either require me to be still or I would be stilled. Yield to the process, there’s a reason God may be telling you to be still, understand that He knows what is up ahead and this may be your season of preparation for what is coming and where He desires to take you. Know it’s not just for you, but for a greater calling and purpose. Do not take it as a punishment, He calls us to be still and draw closer to Him because He loves us.