Conviction, Decision Making, Direction/Guidance, Stress, Trusting God

My Scene In The Quicksand

For so long, I’ve felt like the women I see in movies that get stuck in quicksand running from someone or something.  They are treading, splashing, and trying to keep their heads above the sand so they don’t sink; inevitably, one of two things happens: they get rescued or they sink.

My scene in the quicksand lasted much longer than it should have.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been jumping into situations that look good from a distance and after getting caught up, I would try to run but quickly start to sink.  I would find myself over and over again wearily treading the ‘quicksand’ and barely able to keep from sinking.  I have always felt His favor was upon me and in hindsight I recognize that for a long time I took for granted that He would rescue me from the quicksand that I kept finding myself in.

I prayed and prayed for God to change the man I was in love with or give me the strength to leave him, but at night I’d cling to him with all my strength as if to prevent God from removing him.

I prayed for better jobs and for more money to do what ‘made me happy’ and then I would swipe my credit card until it could be swiped no more.  I would get upset, run, and sink again.

Time and time again, I’d pray for God to help me control my impulsive emotional eating, for me to just be content with Him, and not look for satisfaction through food.  Then the moment I finished my prayer, I would go eat my ‘last’ bowl of ice cream or two, wake up too big for all of my clothes, and run yet again.  And yes, I sank again.

My desires and actions did not align with my prayers or what I claimed were my values.  I was holding onto everything that I was praying so hard to be able to let go of!

But God!

One day he dropped a scripture that I knew backwards and forward into my spirit and it took on a new meaning: “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 hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

And just like that I felt like I could stop running.

I recognized that while I thought I was running to God, crying, praying, and begging for His help, I was running from Him!  I realized that I needed to run to Him with my burdens, issues, concerns, and prayers and give them to Him.  I realized I had to give myself to Him, if I wanted to stop running and sinking.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)

I had to let go of everything.  I had to surrender.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for always being willing to carry burdens that You know I cannot bear on my own.  Thank You for Your constant reminder that You will never leave me or forsake me and that I can always bring everything to You.  I pray that I will continue to surrender more and more of myself to You each day.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to refuse to sink!  When you feel that you are drowning, allow God to be your life jacket and put all your weight on Him.  He will pull you through! 

What are you holding on to that is weighing you down, causing you to sink lower, and pushing you farther away from God?

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Ms. Tiffany Huff is the devoted mother of two boys, a blogger, lover of food and travel, and aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for helping others live out their purposes. She is looking forward to growing in her walk and honoring God through sharing her EmpowerMoments. One of her meditation scriptures is Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

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Decision Making, Direction/Guidance, Finances, Growth/Maturity, Marriage, Preparation

In Preparation

Lately I have been a bit overwhelmed with life and the issues that it brings. I feel like I am leisurely walking through a slow moving storm. The rain isn’t stopping and the thunder is rolling. An emotional rollercoaster doesn’t quite capture the essence of my state of mind but as I begin to sulk about these feelings, I hear a small voice tell me “This is what you asked for; it’s your preparation.” There was a time when I just prayed and as my requests were granted I would realize that I wasn’t truly prepared for that “thing” that I asked for. Looking back, have you ever been there? I pray for financial increase but can I really manage money in a way that honors God or am I still wasteful? For example, when I was in college, apparently I had “money to blow.” After I graduated I saw a financial statement that indicated the tens of thousands of dollars that I received over the years in “refund checks.” I can’t put my finger on one tangible item from that time period. All I can think of are the “could’ve, should’ve, would’ves.” I don’t want to make those same mistakes with the requests that I have laid before Him now so I always ask God to prepare me for my “asks.”

“…My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? Hebrews 12:5-7 NIV

Among my many desires I ask God to prepare me for are my husband, my children, financial increase and deliverance for family members. That’s not so bad, right? Well, herein lies the problem. I thought that preparation meant showing me where I may be lacking in some areas and helping me improve. No, it’s more than that. This preparation phase has taken some discipline and correction from Him. It has meant letting go of people in my life, making tough decisions about family and the resurgence of suppressed memories and issues that were buried in the deep crevices of my mind. This is NOT what I was expecting! It’s sometimes painful and lonely but that small still voice has deemed it necessary. (Remember the Olive Press) Remove all of that “stuff” and grant me knowledge and understanding…

The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. Proverbs 15:31-32 KJV 

How can I be a good wife and mother when I am not mentally prepared to fully show up in a relationship, much less a marriage? How can I create generational wealth and become a billionaire when I can’t manage being a “dollaraire?”  How can I make tough choices when I shy away from ones that should be easy? In this time of preparation, my thoughts are challenged and I am questioning the way I handle some things. Okay God, I get it! You can and will grant the “ask” but if I learn and take the time to be molded in YOUR preparation phase, I will have the maturity to manage my requests once fulfilled.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for showing me that Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts and Your ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV). Continue to prepare me so that I can bask in the future that You have for me. Although the preparation phase can be painful help me to grow from it and mature so that I can act with wisdom when the time comes. Prepare me so that I can be the best me with each request that I ask of You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you with the understanding that you do indeed get what you pray for but sometimes you can be unprepared for it. I EMPOWER you to endure the preparation phase and learn the lessons so that you can be fully present when God grants you the desires of your heart.

For more information about preparation, read the entire 3-day Olive Press Series and In Preparation…It’s More than Just Spiritual.

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures is Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Breast Cancer Awareness, Decision Making, Faith, God

Stuck in the Gray Area

Have you ever been in the valley of decision and instead of being decisive you linger in the “gray area?” You’re familiar with the gray area. It isn’t yes or no. It isn’t black or white. It’s a combination of both. It’s the maybe, kinda sorta, it’s complicated.  Being in the gray area is often confusing and leads to upset and hurt feelings. In my opinion, it often illustrates one’s inability to make a firm commitment.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8 KJV

As I peruse Facebook, I see many “it’s complicated” relationship statuses. What does that really mean? I will talk to friends who have been dating a person for a long time and ask, “Where do you stand with X?” I get the “I don’t knows” and the “We don’t have titles.” Sadly, some of us have come to accept this as the norm.

Maybe I am a rarity but I don’t like relationships that exist in the gray area. In those relationships, the rules are always unclear. Often times many of us will accept or perpetuate being in the gray area. We do this either because we don’t want to accept the reality of the situation or we perpetuate it because want the best of both worlds. Lingering in the gray area also happens when we don’t trust the person(s) we are dealing with.

What about your relationship with Jesus? Personally, I have been convicted for my “gray area” relationship with Him. It’s easy to talk about church and the things that you do at church but what about your behavior when the church doors close? How is your relationship with Him then? One day you are on fire for Him and the next day you are lukewarm. What about those times when you are around friends and it’s not “popular” to bring Jesus up? Do you act as if your relationship with God “isn’t that serious?” God doesn’t like being in an “it’s complicated” relationship. As a matter of fact He said, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelations 3:15-16 KJV

At the risk of sounding hypocritical, let me admit that I struggle with relationships in the gray area. While I proudly proclaim my love for Jesus I acknowledge that I have some behaviors that are not like Him. They are antithetical to His teachings and commandments for my life. Yet, there are times I am all too willing to satisfy my flesh. I am trying to have the “best” of both worlds and sometimes my faith in what I have asked for has become weak. I recognize my faults and am continuously striving for perfection and a “black and white” relationship with Him. I don’t want my relationship with Jesus to be considered in any way “lukewarm.” Again, we are admonished not to be double minded. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Fatheris not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” I John 2:15-17 NIV

The One who has done so much for us including the greatest act of all, being crucified for our sins, deserves to know where we stand with Him. Everyday we are to be obedient to His word. We are to look out for the “least of these.” We are to repent for our sins. We are to witness to others. We are to ultimately live a life that is pleasing in God’s eyesight. We are to remain faithful knowing that He will deliver on His promises.

Get out of the gray area with Jesus, your friendships and relationships. Don’t let fear of the unknown, your indecisiveness, or lack of faith keep you shackled. Ask yourself, “Who am I in the gray area with and why?” No excuse (especially comfort or convenience) that you can come up with will be good enough.

Dear Daddy,

Forgive me for my double minded ways. Help me to live better and do better knowing that being “lukewarm” is not my ticket into heaven. Help me to examine my relationships that exist in the gray area and to let go of those which only exist out of comfort, convenience and lack of faith in You. I know that my relationship with You is paramount so convict me when my actions aren’t reflective of whom I claim to be. Move me to a place of clarity in all that I do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies I EMPOWER you to look at your relationships with those of the opposite sex, your friendships, and even your goals and GET OUT OF THE GRAY AREA! God deserves commitment from you and you deserve clear commitments to your future. Release the double mindedness, the people and obstacles that are keeping you in the gray area.

In honor of BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH, we want to provide daily tips on early detection and possible methods of prevention. Please watch the video below to learn how to perform a self examination. Please note this video may not be work appropriate as actual breasts are shown.

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures is Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”