As a young adult on this journey of self-discovery and adulting, I've had a misunderstanding of peace for quite some time. I used to think that peace was not being bothered whatsoever, relaxing, or having a great day without any distractions or frustrations. I thought peace was the feeling you get after you wake up from an amazing nap and your body feels refreshed or even when your parents don't ask for your help all day and you can finally be….at peace (that one was personal LOL). If you thought that was peace…ok I understand why but, that's not true peace. The kind of peace I just described was peace that WE ourselves created. We create the atmosphere of peace, we plan our peace, we make it clear how we want our peace to look, feel and smell like. The interesting thing about our idea of peace is it never lasts. It only lasts for a moment, day, a week if you're lucky. The spa day will be over and you'll feel great for a while; the vacation will be over and you'll be back to work; the weekend ends and it's back to the same routine; you light your favorite scented candle and relax only to get up and finish what you started in a few hours. Our kind of peace never lasts, and this is why. We are not experiencing true peace. We are robbing ourselves from an everlasting experience that can change our lives and our state of mind forever. So you want to know how to experience true peace, even through your worst and best days? I got you!
Before and during my 21 day Daniel fast, this scripture moved me and I've been applying it ever since. Everyday I would repeat it to myself and try to memorize it so I can say it throughout the day. It help when I would repeat it like it was steps and in a way it is. So let's get to it!
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Ask God for what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
1. Don't worry about anything
- 1 Peter 5:7- Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
- The first step to experiencing peace is giving God ALL of your worries and anxieties. You can miss out on not only true peace but blessings when you are worried about everything. There's no room for trust nor faith if you have already occupied your mind with worries and anxieties that you know you can't handle on your own. God got you and He’s in control.
2. Pray about everything
- Mark 11:24- I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Never stop praying
- This is something that's not new to me, I LITERALLY pray about everything. No matter how minor, silly, or serious it might be, I always lift it up in prayer. It could be something that just popped into my head randomly and I just pray to God about it. That's something that I encourage you to do because you're allowing God in when your prayers are not only about the serious stuff that needs fixing in your life but the minor, and silly things too. That's called relationship. In every relationship there's constant communication between you and that friend, sibling, parent, boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. You share everything and anything with them without limitations (I know that's debatable depending on your comfort level in the relationship). All in all, keep praying, keep talking to God and never stop. He is listening to every single prayer you lift up and He already has an answer.
3. Ask God for what you need
- Need - lack of something wanted or deemed necessary, urgent want.
- Let’s not overthink this and conclude this line by saying “God, all I need is you”. We know we need God and we have Him. Let's be real and honest here and tell him what you really need. If you need a car, full time job, scholarship, a house, an apartment, money, a friend, wisdom, clarity, peace, or anything at all, ask God. God doesn't want you to lack in anything, He doesn't want you to feel that He is a God that can't be reached by His people. He torn the veil years ago that was separating us from communicating with Him one on one. All we have to do is just ask and three of the greatest answers He can give is a yes, no, or wait; and each answer is evidence that He loves us so much to even answer us.
4. Thank Him for all He has done
- The most effortless thing that we can do is be thankful for all that God has done for us. When thanking God, it's not a matter of thanking Him when the blessings are overflowing but thanking Him when you feel empty; thanking Him when you've had to sacrifice something or someone; thanking Him when you have to be obedient; thanking Him for your safety and thanking Him for provision. The key word here is “all”, not “little” or “big”. We can't measure or put a limit to how much we should thank God. Thank Him for everything, thank Him for ALL he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
- Wow, now tell me this doesn't sound like true peace y'all! You know it's true peace when our hearts and minds are not flustered all over the place. You know it's true peace when it's guarded. You know it's true peace when you don't understand why you're not worried about the daily life struggles. Only as you live in Christ, you can experience such a peace. It's a peace that no one can take away as long you apply this scripture to your life.
You deserve peace, you deserve joy, you deserve to experience and live in it daily. God wants to see you walking in alignment in His will and that requires obedience and application of His word. Yes, we are busy, focused and passionate young adults and it's hard to think about or memorize scripture. We make time for the things that we value and if we value Christ, we can make time to read His word and apply. I pray this post gives you an extra push to seek His face more and experience His peace. Love you and God bless.
Listen, I would call this year my lemonade year.....not because of Beyonce although that's my girl..but because it started off Bitter and it's ending off like a refreshing tall glass of lemonade. I honestly could not have gotten through the rest of this year without these sermons speaking to my life. Listening to each sermon was like shedding old skin every time. I hope and pray that before this year ends and when we enter into 2017 that you listen to one of these sermons. Get your journal and get ready to take notes or find a seat and take it all in. Comment below and let me know which one WOKE you up. God bless and enjoy.
Side note: This is not in any specific order. Thanks.
Pastor Toure' Roberts:
The can't lose zone
Getting back to center
You are not your gift
Pastor Paula White:
Power of Fasting
Sarah Jakes Roberts:
Pastor Steven Furtick:
Put your passion in its place
Where breakthrough begins
Bishop T.D. Jakes:
Trusting the process
Don't make excuses make adjustments
Pastor Joel Osteen:
The God who closes door
Pastor Dharius Daniels: Code Orange Revival
Bishop Marvin Sapp: Jubilee Convention 2016
Dr. Jasmine "Jazz" Schulark: Jubilee Convention 2016
Pastor Manny Daphnis: Spiritual Warfare: Walking victoriously in Jesus
Seed time and harvest
Since the worst thing imaginable is not possible, you can relax and live, more abundantly.
-Sarah Young - Jesus Today Devotional
On Saturday, October 24th, my dance ministry and I were in the middle of having praise dance and worship. Praise dance and worship is our own one-on-one time with God praising him through dance. I select 2 or 3 songs and we just worship the Lord through dance. After the last song was over, I decided to read a devotional after to stay in the flow of worship. I don't know if it's just me but, when I read aloud to a group, I sometimes don't always receive the message the same way because I'm the one reading it….does that make sense?....maybe it's just me lol
However, later that night when I got home, I prepared myself to get ready for bed and I read the devotional again so I can really understand it and meditate on it. As I read it, this line brought me so much comfort and peace, “Since the worst thing imaginable is not possible, you can relax and live more abundantly”…..can we just take a moment and read this line about 3 times and let it penetrate our minds and hearts?...
So, whenever I'm entering into a new page or chapter in my life, I have a habit of finding the worst thing possible that can happen so I can be prepared for it. I feel better knowing that it was probably bound to happen compared to being embarrassed when it does. A perfect example is when I have to read the announcements on a Sunday morning in front of the entire congregation. I think of the worst things that can happen and trust me I have a list…wardrobe malfunction, trip while walking down the isle, stutter while reading, reading a word wrong, saying “um” in between every announcement, and I can go on and on. But as I read this line in my devotional, I was sort of mind blown because I never thought about it in that light before. I'm so use to preparing my mind for humiliation not realizing that's not what God wants me to do…more so, I don't need to do it because it's impossible for it to happen anyway. I no longer have to worry about the things that will cause me to lose my confidence in God such as preparing my self for the worst because it's impossible. Let's break down a few words so we can dig a little deeper into this quote. We can all agree that when we hear the word “imagine”, we instantly think of the mind. To imagine means to form a mental image of something that's not actually present. The definition alone speaks volume! I constantly form mental images in my head of the worst things possible that are not real and then I force my self to believe that it must happen because that's the WORST thing I could imagine. But, God never fails to amaze me. Each time I see the results after the situation, encounter or presentation, it NEVER turns out to be what I thought it would be or imagined it to be. Why? Because it's not possible! Its not worth our time to think and conjure up all the terrible things that are bound to happen in our life due to the circumstance or situation that we’re in. We have to live the life that our savior Jesus Christ died for. He died for all the negative thoughts, he died for all the negative imaginations that we believed would come to pass, He came so that we may have life and life more abundantly. Starting today……..no, starting now, let's not give our minds too much power and let it wander. Ask God for control over the things that come to your mind, ask Him to filter all the things that will bring confusion and fear. Ask him to block all the imaginations that cross your mind that can hinder your trust for Him. The battle is in our minds and we can help fight by trusting in the Lord with all of our hearts and leaning not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
“Since the worst thing imaginable is not possible, you can relax and live more abundantly”
I pray that you were blessed by this devotional and that you seek God more to help you cleanse your mind of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is NOT of Him. Here are a few scriptures for you to either meditate on, pray about, study or memorize.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Colossians 3:2 NIV
“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 4:8 NIV
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
John 10:10 NKJV
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
(Galatians 6:8, 9 NLT)
We have a little girl at the age of 7 that’s been staying with us for the last 3 weeks or so. She is very sweet and down to earth. She's respectful and does what she is told to do. She gives no attitude or disrespect. She's always happy and has a smile on her face. Her foster mom went away for an emergency in her family so the little girl is staying with us until she returns from her trip. For the first two weeks she was great. She gave us no problems. It wasn't until she gave my older sister a hard time one night because she refused to go to bed. I tried talking to her and it took a long while until she was able to lift up her head from her knees. I asked her what's the matter and she said she wasn't ready to go to bed yet. So I decided to read her a bed time story until she fell asleep and it worked. Mission accomplished! But it did not end there. Night after night she continued in her rebellious ways and refused to go to bed. She started raising her voice, saying how much she hates us, she called us ugly, she gave us attitude and refused to listen to my sisters and I; she even started hitting us. I asked God what is wrong with this little girl? She's a brand new child. In the morning or during the day she would apologize, say how much she missed us and loved us and tell us that she will not give us a hard time anymore and she will be a good girl. But every night was the same problem. So I gave up on her. I was cold and heartless at times. I did everything that I was suppose to do but there was no love nor compassion in it. I said hi and bye and goodnight. That was my interaction with her for the past week. My sisters and I were fed up with her and her episodes. My mom had a talk with us and told us how we need to change the way we interact with her and stop being so cold. She reminded us that she's been through a lot and has been from home to home. The least we can do is show her some love. At first I was like “whatever”, but then I really thought about it and let her words sink in. Me being the night owl that I am, I stayed up and decided to read Galatians 6. Wow, God she sure did put me in check.
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:8-9 NIV)
After reading this scripture, I felt convicted and knew that I needed to start applying this scripture right away. The way that I was treating her was not of God. I fed her because I know that had to, I put her to sleep because I know that I had to, I dressed her because I know that I had to, I played with her because I know that I had to. I was doing all this just to get it done and over with so I can do my own thing; and the way I treated her while doing these things just made her temper worst. One thing I learned about children is that they can tell when something is not right. They can look at your face and see something is wrong although you try to hide it. They know the difference between tears of joy and tears of sadness. Children are in touch with their feelings and are aware of their emotions. This little girl can tell that my actions were not genuine.
I should’ve continued to sow love in her despite her ways. I shouldn't have given up on her, I was just tired and fed up of doing good and showing her love. I should have been a little bit more patient with her in order to see progress and change. All in all, after the Holy Spirit convicted me, I was given a second chance to show her love and share with her the gospel; and yes, by His grace I did see progress.
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19 NIV)
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images
I myself taught Israel how to walk, leading him along by the hand. But he doesn’t know or even care that it was I who took care of him".
If there's one thing you should know about Israel is their lack of contentment. They were never satisfied and always wanted to try new things that they knew was not good for them. They were easily influenced and made God very upset numerous amount of times.
There is a shift that happens when we feel that we no longer need God, our Father. There is a point in our lives where we feel that He did enough and we can handle the rest of our lives our selves. The things we see around us tend to shape our lifestyle and most of the things around us are not of God. All in all, let's just say that we are missing out on some amazing opportunities, lessons, and blessings if we think we can handle our own lives and stray away from the call.
I remember when I was 19 or 20, I was on a high for Jesus Christ. Nobody could shake me or tear me down. I was on fire! I was digging in my word as much as I can, taking notes on everything I read, writing in my journal daily, and making sure that I was living the lifestyle God had called me to live. As I was getting deeper and stronger in my faith, I started to feel like I was over doing it and that I should do something that's not of God to feel like I'm still in the world or part of society. Once I opened myself up to the world, I slowly lost myself. It's not that I forgot about God, I just chose not to stay in the relationship. I chose not to answer the call. You see, the devil has a way of fixing your eyes on certain things and telling you that it's not that bad and that it won't affect your walk with God. He will plant images and clips in your mind of what it would be like to do as you please, and still be in this genuine relationship with God, as if what you're doing is ok…but it's not. We need to fix our eyes and set our minds on Him (Hebrews 12:2) (Colossians 3:2) and not on things of this earth. We need to stay committed and stick around as God brings us deeper in our walk. As the call to a higher level gets louder, let us not walk in the opposite direction. All He wants for us is the best, and all He gives and provides is the best. You know your personal relationship with your God, think about all He has done in your life. Think about where He took you from that you were a slave to. Think about how on time He was when He saved you and how He called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
The scripture said, “But the more they were called, the more they went away from me”. We are ruining the great things God has in store for us. We'd rather walk away when He calls us instead of running towards Him when He calls us. Answering the call, despite what it may be, is not easy and that's when we need him the most. We can't do it on our own. The Israelites saw with their own eyes the works of God as He lead them out of Egypt; from turning the water into blood, to the many plagues, to the parting of the Red Sea and washing away their enemies. I don't know the plans that God has for you, and you may not know either. But, if you feel Him tugging on your heart and calling you, answer the call. Don't get scared of what it may entail and walk away. Former NFL running back, Baron Batch put it beautifully during his interview-testimony on Iamsecond.com: "I like to just equate it like this: if you're 1000 steps away from God, God will take 999 steps...just so you'll take that one." So I encourage you to take that step. He will be with you every step of the way, He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6) and He loves you unconditionally. Answer the call, don't walk away.
...For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 was the day that I was suppose to be giving God all the glory and praise. Instead, I questioned his love for me and basked in the enemy's camp.
It was a regular day for me. I was leaving work and heading home from Lexington. I started my car, played my Christian contemporary playlist, and thank God for my survival at work. I finally hit the highway and there was no traffic, which was great. I switched lanes and stayed in the second lane. In the first lane, there was a tow truck driving next to me. I hate driving alongside trucks, it makes me really nervous. So I drove up in my lane to stay ahead of the tow truck and as I was driving up, the individual in the third lane (on my left side) started driving into me with no hesitation and that’s when I jumped and pressed on my brakes. Next thing I knew, I’m losing control of the car and it starts swerving and spinning out of control and crashes into the tow truck that I was trying to pass. At this point, my heart is heavy and racing at the same time. Luckily, the cars made way for me to park on the side of the highway. I tried calling my pastor but my hands could not stop shaking. When I finally got to him, I cried and tried to explain to him what happened. He instructed me on what to do and what to say when the cops come. After the cops came, the tow truck towed my car and took me to the closest rest area. Everything happened so fast and I had no idea where I was and what was going to happen next. As I sat in the McDonalds rest area, I sat there and asked God, why me? I complained and cried until I couldn’t cry any more. When my pastor came to get me, he prayed with me right then and there, but sadly, it was difficult for me to be in agreement with his prayer. I was so upset…and then I grew mad. I did thank God for sparing my life, but I was still upset at Him. I got my paycheck that day and now most of it will be going towards my car, I have no way of getting to work for the rest of the week and the liberty of going out was thrown out of the window now. I finally got in touch with my mom and like every mom she panicked and told me to go the hospital right away, but I didn't need to, I just wanted to go home, sleep, and cry. That's exactly what I did. While I was in bed, I turned my lights off and closed my door. Those who know me well, know that I never sleep without some kind of light in my room. While I was in bed, I ignored all phone calls and text messages. I tried to pray but I couldn't. When the words “thank you Lord” came out of my mouth, I wasn't sure if it was sincere or not. I just felt like I should say it. I was so confused and I couldn't stop thinking on how miserable I was going to be for the rest of the week. I was already having my emotions take over me, I gave my emotions a home to dwell in.
On Wednesday and Thursday, I got a ride to work and on Wednesday I got a ride home; But on Thursday, I had to take the bus and train home from Lexington. I was so mad and annoyed. But at this point, I knew this is not the kind of person that I am and I knew that I was giving the devil a little bit too much room in my soul. So while I was on the train, I listened to my Jesus Culture radio and just meditated on God. I didn't say anything, I didn't think about anything, just God. The bitterness and frustration slowly found it's way out of my soul.
As I was silently letting go and giving everything to God, I looked around and watched a few people on the train and read a few ads lined up across the top of the train walls. I came across this poster on the wall from Fisher College of a graduate cheering after receiving his degree. It said, “Today you are at the finish line of one race, but life is full of starting lines and heartbreak hills. You just have to keep running forward.” I believe that God placed my eyes in that direction to see just that. My eyes opened and I reflected on everything that happened that week and realized how selfish and bitter I was. The car crash, the money spent from my last pay check that went towards the car alone, that place of darkness and depression that I experienced was only a race that was coming to an end. I was now in the process of waiting to hear the gun go off to start my next race. That day was the finish line of one race. I did not realize what God was doing, I did not realize the blessings that was right in front of my face that was eclipsed by my emotions and the devils tactics to keep me down.
As I reflected, I found the blessings within the situation. The lady from the insurance company said it was a good thing that the tow truck did not pull over and take down my license plate number because that could've made things more complicated. The car went to the body shop and the owner told me that he has the exact same model and can use the parts to replace the damaged ones on mine. The timing couldn't have been anything but a blessing as well because my last day at the job in Lexington was the end of that week. My mom, my pastor, my boyfriend dropped me off and picked me up when they could. I was transitioning to my new teacher training job in Boston the next week and they gave me an apartment to stay in for two years in the building that I'll be working in.
In what I saw as a storm, the sunlight was slowly breaking through it. No one can't tell me there is not a God. He is so faithful, so real, so awesome and so merciful. We may miss what God is trying to do with us because we just expect the blessings, but we need a test and a mess to see the true blessings that God provides. In every storm, just know that God will not give you more than you can bear (1st Corinthians 10:13). Just know that he is shaping you to be stronger than ever before. He is preparing you for greatness, which is already in you. Be encouraged everyone, in every storm, the sunshine, the glory, the grace, the mercy, faith is pressing it’s way through.
“Don’t confuse your path with your destination. Just because it's stormy now doesn't mean that you aren't headed for sunshine.” -unknown
The light is in me,
No doubt about it.
I try to be the best me that I can be every minute of the day.
Don't want to fail myself,
Don't want to speak things into my day that I know I will not be able to fulfill.
I try to reach as close to perfection as much as possible,
Just wanting to touch the hem of his garment or even walk in his footsteps imprinted in the sand.
The closer I get to perfection, the easier my life will be.
But imperfection, messing up, mistakes, and falling is what wakes me up to realize that perfection will always be out of my reach.
I can accept that,
That's fine with me,
I can learn from my mistakes and get back on my feet.
Not being clothed in perfection opens a door for comparison.
Something I have struggled with for a very long time.
You will never know externally but I shut down internally.
It hurts people that I love and that are close to me to know that I see them as an enemy, my competition, my standard of measurement.
It hurts me even more because I can't wrap my head around it.
"Tiffany, snap out it, it was her moment not yours. Your time will come; you will get your reward. Be happy for her, show her that you care."
I'm measuring God given gifts with God given gifts,
Blessings with blessings,
Worship with worship and it all goes up to the same God.
It doesn't make sense and I cannot explain to you how to stop it.
I'm still in the process of being chiseled, melted and molded
Chiseled, melted and molded
Chiseled, melted and molded
In to a woman that can watch others succeed without wanting to see them plead.
Into a woman that can genuinely support their sister without keeping record of their sins.
Into a woman that can love unconditionally.
Into a woman that can forgive because God first forgave me.
Having a comparative spirit can leave you blind like Paul,
Leave you in exile like Moses,
Leave you broken like Job.
We need to learn how to stand firm in who we are,
Embrace the gifts and characteristics that we have without seeing it as a flaw.
We bear the image of someone greater than our selves.
We are God's reflection.
He should be able to see himself in us,
Pure, holiness, righteousness, love, joy and peace should be staring back from our hearts to him.
If we all bear the image of God, the creator himself,
Who exactly are we comparing ourselves to?
We should compare ourselves to Christ.
He is the ultimate standard of measurement,
To be him is impossible,
But to be more like him is a mission that is possible.
We are giving back to God what is already his.
So let's think about this…
If he created us in his image, and we are his image bearers
And our heart is his dwelling place and reflection…
What's the worth of comparing if we are striving to be more like him?
All things were created by him for him.
If we took the time to remove the scales from our eyes,
We can see the reflection of Christ in each other
And walk on the path of righteousness together.
My interest should never over power the interest of my brothers and sisters
According to his word, I should be thinking of other's better than my self
But sometimes the spirit of envy turns out to be my ladder to success
Each leg I lift to climb, the devil is rooting for me on the side lines
"Use that anger, yes use that jealousy, use that gossip, yes use me"
The higher I go, the emptier I feel,
The higher I go, the more distant his love starts to feel.
I make it to the top,
I receive my award,
Everyone is cheering for me,
The Fuel of envy that drove me to the top of my ladder
Only helped me to see that every bar I climbed was
and without value.
This life was built on an empire of resentment and rivalry.
I was chasing the wind using the person I envy to fuel me,
To only find myself still chasing this wind that leads to no satisfaction,
But I am the foundation of your creation,
The bearer of your image,
The salt on your earth,
And your detailed crafted work.
The light that shines within the darkness,
like everlasting fireworks.
The price tag that displays my value and worth,
after seeing water and blood from your pierced side disperse
I am the captive that’s been set free
The women thrown into the crowd soon to be stoned,
Who opened her eyes to see that it was Jesus and her alone.
So this is me,
A sinner just exposing her inner battles.
no longer classified with those who commend themselves,
Because when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves,
....they are not wise.
Heavy stuff right? I wrote this poem around February or March of this year. I was having a hard time finding motivation and confidence in myself. At that time I felt like my value and worth was diminishing as the days rolled by. I continued to compare my self to others that was doing anything better than me. I questioned God about it and put myself down. I figured, if they're doing it better, why should I even try? What's the point? That will never be me. I did not know what was going on with me. All of sudden I cared about what people were thinking of me, I was not motivated to do any of the things that I was passionate about and I felt so down in the dumps. And scrolling through my Facebook news feed did not make things any better. If anything, it added on to my emotional roller coaster. So I picked up my phone and started reading my Joyce Meyer Devotional from my bible app. In the words of hip hop artist, Ludacris, “ SHE felt like slapping somebody today” and that sure was a slap in my face. Thank you Joyce Meyer.
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12 NIV)
I cried, prayed and asked God for forgiveness after reading this scripture. I continued to read it over and over again and the Holy Spirit convicted me over and over again as I got flashbacks of the times I didn't trust God and compared my life to others. I read the scripture in a few different versions and this version put me in check as well.
But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement.
(2 Corinthians 10:12) NLT
So let me break this down real quick. When individuals compare themselves with each other, they're not gaining anything from it. They're gaining false standards. When they see someone with better dance skills, a lot of money, or being prideful in what they do, you have NO idea where they received their fuel to get there. That individual was probably comparing themselves to someone too and that someone was probably comparing themselves to someone else and the list just goes on and on. What I'm trying to say is no one got to where they are on their own. All of us are guilty of comparing ourselves to other people but we don't know if there's wisdom behind their actions. We could be comparing ourselves to someone who only sees THEMSELVES as the “standard” or in other words the “definite”. You can't reach your next level because you think they're the only level you can reach, you think they are the standard of measurement. Like I said in my poem,
We should compare ourselves to Christ.
He is the ultimate standard of measurement.
When we compare ourselves to Christ, we know where his greatness and glory is derived from. Who wouldn't want to live up to his standards and be more like Him?
If you ever find yourself comparing your life to someone else's or if the thought of it just pops into your mind, observe this individual and use wisdom to seek the intentions behind their actions.
We don't allow the things that we see to shape our belief because we walk by faith, not by sight
In my dorm room staring at my cap and gown, and all I can say is “thank you God!” I’ve been here for 4 years, 8 semesters, and now it’s 9 days until I walk across the stage and receive my diploma. I remember coming to Burlington, VT alone; scared and a nervous wreck. I was the only one from my graduating class that went to Vermont for college. I tried out a few clubs on campus to be part of a community, but I felt like I was turning into someone that I was not, just to feel accepted. I finally found a great group of friends and a great campus ministry, and so the lonely void was filled. But I had some other struggles outside of just seeking friends. I struggled with being single, rejection, receiving constructive criticism, jealousy, balancing my faith/relationship with Christ, and laziness. I had a strong foundation back home and no one could break me or make me do something I didn’t want to do. I knew my word, I read my devotions, went to church every Sunday, bible study every Wednesday, and praise dance practice every Saturday. I had friends and family that would keep me accountable and on the right path and youth that looked up to me. I was aware and alert of every move I made and my intentions behind it. If anything that I was doing was not beneficial for the kingdom of God and did not give Him glory, I did not care for it. But all of that changed once I stepped foot into my first college party. After that, I was not myself, I lost myself. I always wanted to party and my intentions behind it was not to glorify God. The songs that I sang hindered my pure thoughts. When I tried to get back on track with my faith, it was the hardest task that i had ever encountered. I gave up and continued with my ways. I knew I was going downhill when I skipped too many classes, when I failed my exams, when I did not do the readings for class and I would sleep all day. I knew I was going downhill when I was being pressured to have sex with a guy that did not want to be in a committed relationship with me. He did not like me for me, but only for my body. Although it never got that far and I stood my ground, he left me still feeling belittled and without worth. But GOD! It was not easy to get back up. I had to be really honest with myself. I had to call unto God every single second of the day. I had to say no to partying, I had to get back in my word, I had to organize myself better, I had to let go of some friends and I had to start this relationship I had with God from scratch and keep it. Wow, as I reflect back, I realize God never left me, I left Him. I can ask Him for forgiveness every day, but it will never add up to the price He paid for me on the cross. He turned my life upside down. My junior and senior year was the best years of my college experience. I had a few tests, trials, and errors that He put me through to prepare me for the greater things He has in store for me. If I could go through those again I would do so, just to experience His profound love, mercy, and grace all over again. I’m so grateful for these 4 years. I am the woman, the daughter that God has called me to be. I am free, happy, joyful, and at peace. God did it y’all! If He can do it for me, He can do it for you. Have faith, believe, and trust Him. He will never fail you.
I made it! CONGRATZ CLASS OF 2014!
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." (Proverbs 3:5-6)