Forgiveness, Growth/Maturity, Honesty/Truth, Relationships, Spiritual Therapy, Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursday: The “Non-Factors” In Our Lives

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on August 20, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

…And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

Recently, I’ve heard more and more people use the expression, “He/She is a non-factor!” or “That/This is a non-factor!”  Being the curious person I am, I asked my godsister where the expression came from.  She told me it came out of the reality show, “Basketball Wives.”  Again being curious, I decided to watch an episode of the show on OnDemand.  Long story short, I said out loud, “CLEARLY, they are lying to themselves about these things being non-factors!”  The people and things said to be “non-factors” are very real factors given that they were constantly discussed or there was always some kind of emotional response every time it/they were brought up.  I continued to sit watching the show shaking my head at what I saw as foolishness when God checked me!  “How dare you judge someone when you do the same thing with the so-called “non-factors” in your life!”  Instantly I was convicted!

There were so many things and people I said I was done with, situations that were “non-factors” in my life; however, I was still talking about them!  Every time I saw them, every time they were brought up in conversation I had an emotional response whether it was:  sadness, anger, longing, self-pity or just plain ol’ attitude complete with rolled eyes and lips smacking!  I realized that I had some real issues in this area.  The Bible says, “…Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you, he will never let the righteous fall!” (Psalms 55:22 NIV)  I realized I “said” I was done with certain things and situations but had not truly given them to God because I had no peace concerning them.  I also realized that I had not moved on from certain people I “claimed” to be over and free from.  God charges us to “…bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive just as the Lord forgave you, and over all these virtues put on love…” (Colossians 3:13-14 NIV)

I was holding on to them through my unforgiveness and I DEFINITELY was NOT showing them Godly love (see 1 Corinthians 13).  I immediately asked God for forgiveness and asked God to help me really give ALL my cares to Him and also help me to genuinely forgive those I was holding on to.  While I am still in this process [and believe me it is definitely a PROCESS], I believe God will be true to His word, “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” (Philippians 1:6 NIV)  Now I can speak to co-workers that I had not spoken to since we fell out last school year, without it being a struggle.  I recently saw an ex-boyfriend that I thought I would never get over and there was nothing there. I even congratulated him on his marriage and truly meant it.  That was a real victory for me; I truly believed that I would never get over him. HALLELUJAH!!!  I can now admit that celibacy has been and continues to be a real struggle for me. I put on the façade that it was so easy for me and said something similar to a desire for sex being a non-factor in my life. This could not have been FARTHER from the truth!

God has shown and continues to show me that if I continue to surrender everything and everyone to Him, He can and will free me from things and people that do not go along with the destiny He has for me.  I will then be able to say, “That/This/He/She is a NON-FACTOR in my life,” and it be the honest to goodness truth!!!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your conviction and Your correction.  Thank You for never letting us be so comfortable that we stop striving to grow in You.  Thank You for always being a loving father that not only convicts and corrects but also leads us in the right direction and remains with us as we go on our journey.  We ask that You continue to show us the areas in which we need to grow.  We ask that You remove anything or anyone that would hinder the perfect plan that You have for our lives.  We also ask You for wisdom that we let go of the things that You want to remove and accept those things that You want us to have.  We pray that You replace the people that we have had to let go with DIVINE connections who You will use to help us get to the destiny You have called us to. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Sisters I EMPOWER you today to be Honest with yourself, expose the so called “non-factors” that are FACTORS in your life and begin to take the following steps to become free from it or them:

  1.  PRAY – Be completely honest with God about it/them 
  2. Don’t seek it/them out – stop bringing it/them up in conversation, stop going on their Facebook page, unfollow them on Twitter if you have to.  Remove any triggers (music, movies, pictures, etc.) that will take your thoughts to it/them.
  3. Check yourself – Two wrongs don’t make a right.  Speak even if they don’t.  If they are talking about you, don’t respond with gossip of your own.
  4.  In ALL THINGS acknowledge GOD, be consistent in your prayer life, continue to study God’s word, never stop thanking and praise God for all the things he has done/doing/will do, and never stop acknowledging who He is/has been/continues to be in your life.

Have you falsely convinced yourself that someone or something is a non-factor in your life? How has this post Empowered you to deal with it?  Share your story with us in the comments.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Pierced

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Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, IL.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 — 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.”

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Faithfulness, Submission/Surrendering

Lose Control!

My post for this week was a bit of a struggle. I have been wrestling through a lot of things and had ideas for a few different things I wanted to share, but every time I started to type, I would be compelled to stop and start again. I even considered recycling a post I wrote for another blog and just as I put the finishing touches on it, I realized it wasn’t what God wanted me to share either. So I sat still and had a little conversation with God.

Then the post began to flow without issue.

The experience that I had with writing this post is one that has been recurring in my life. You see for me, the first half of 2012 had been going well. I set some goals for weight loss and my finances and I was on point to reach them much sooner than I expected. I had been praying for a new opportunity and recently got a new job with a nice pay increase and shorter commute. While all this was going on, I was diligently and consciously working on building my relationship with God and putting Him first in all things, allowing Him to have TOTAL control. I had peace and I was happy, but in the back of my mind, I felt like I was missing something.

Then I decided to take some of the control back and things took a turn for the worst.

My diet and exercise regimen began to suffer and I could not make sense of my finances. I got weak when tragedy hit my family and started drinking when I should have been praying. My boys were away so my house was peaceful—but I had no peace of mind. And I was starting to run. I was starting to feel like I had gotten so far away from God in such a short period of time that I might as well continue to run from Him to save myself the embarrassment of walking back to Him with my head hung low. I had let the enemy creep back into my thoughts.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of Godthat is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 NIV)

In a little over a month, I almost allowed myself to forfeit all of the work that I have done and progress that I have made in every area of my life–physical, mental, financial, spiritual–simply because I thought I needed to be in control. I thought, “I’m doing all of this ‘work,’ and not really getting to ‘play’ because God is in control.” No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11 NIV)

I am reminded that allowing God to have control over my life is the only way that I will be at my best.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for reminding that Your way is best no matter what. Please continue to conform me and my need to constantly be in control. Help me lose control to You a little more each and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to LOSE CONTROL to God! Embrace Jeremiah 29:11, “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” and take your hands off the steering wheel.

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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.”

Abortion, Comfort, Death, Encouragement, God's Love, God's Mercy, God's Protection, I Am Free Series, Inspirational, Pain, Self Forgiveness, Spiritual Therapy, Throwback Thursdays, Trials

I Am Free: The Love Letter

It’s Throwback Thursday! Enjoy this blast from the past. To commemorate our nation’s independence this week, we are featuring a series entitled “I Am Free”.  Read this week as our writers share how God has delivered them and set them free!

I am FREE from my past!

Dear God,

I have been hearing how people are so “blessed and highly favored” or “too blessed to be stressed” but Lord, I need to be real for a moment. I have been holding onto something and it is eating away at me. I am still mad that You birthed me to a crack head mother and a dead beat dad. I was probably a mistake and not even supposed to be here; I definitely could tell that I wasn’t wanted. I am still upset that You allowed my uncle to rape and molest me without coming to my rescue. How could You do this to me? All of this hurt and anger I have built up has made me to live a life full of mistakes, pain, and hurt. I made a mistake when I aborted those babies and I regret it every day. Are you punishing me, still? God, I am so sorry, but I didn’t know what to do; I didn’t know who the father was. I am so upset with myself for disappointing You. On top of all of this, the one woman I did love and whom I considered my mother, you took her away from me too. So how can I walk around as if I am blessed and highly favored? I’m hurting; I’m sad, mad, and angry. I feel left out Lord…I thought You loved me. I cry myself to sleep at night because I’m lonely and sad. I’m depressed at the thought of not being loved by anyone. I stick out; I don’t fit in, why am I like this?

Love, Your Wounded Baby Girl

Dear Daughter,

I chose your mother as a vessel to be used by me. Before you were created in her womb I knew the plan for your life, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).  I took my time to knit you together (Psalms 139:13). I was there, although grieved, when you were sacrificed and your virtue stripped from you. But I am also a God of restoration. I heal the brokenhearted and I tend to your wounds. (Psalm 147:3) I made a promise to you that I am with you always even to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:20) You say that you aren’t attractive, I say I made you in my image.(Genesis 1:27) I made you fearful and wonderful. (Psalms 139:14) I made your hair like lamb’s skin, your eyes like the sun, you lips full like ripened fruit, and your stature like the rolling hills. I made you on purpose, I made you like me…you are beautiful. My spirit was grieved when you aborted those babies and of course I also know of  your other wrong doings.  But remember that son I sacrificed? He shielded you with His blood and mercy and presented you to me faultless (Colossians 1:22) Walk in freedom my dear! Your earthly mother was my angel, she taught you how to fly, take care of yourself, and she showed you me. It was time for her to return so that you could do what I have for you to do. There are younger daughters that walk around in guilt and shame every day. Who can touch them but you? Who can show them that I can heal the wounded heart but you? Who can show them that a daughter of a crack head can be a Queen of Success, but you? My Son can plead on your behalf because He took on all sin. You can plead on someone else’s behalf because you have walked where they have walked. Don’t hold your victory, share your story to edify me that someone else, some hopeless little girl like you once were, can be saved. You were restored a long time ago, now walk in it. I love you.

Love, God

This letter was written from parts of my life and the various lives of women that I have encountered on my journey. As Christians we sometimes seem insane to believe and love a God that has allowed misfortune to happen to us. But what the devil meant for your bad, God will turn around for your good. Sister, know that God loves you and the triumphs we overcame are stalks of wisdom that can be used to heal and comfort someone else. And know this, all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). It takes time to heal, but in time you shall be healed.

Dear Daddy,

I know sometimes I get angry or ashamed of my past. “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears. (Psalms 39:12)”. Teach me how to let go so that I can use what You have implanted in me for Your Glory and to help someone else. I know that you are a rewarder of those that diligently seek You. Heal my wounds, and if they are already healed, strengthen me to walk in your boldness with liberty. Help me to bless someone that needs me; keep my eyes and ears sensitive to her call. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today, EMPOWER yourself by sharing with God all of your angers, fears, and disappointments and TRUST that His word will not return void.  Psalms 6:9 reminds us “The Lord heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.” Start seeking to encourage and EMPOWER others that may be going through what you have OVERCOME. God has given you confirmation in His word that you are already restored and healed, for His word says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She and her husband serve as Co-Service leaders and Co-Group leaders of SustainedLove, which supports marriage get-a-ways from Family Life. Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic four-year old daughter. They attend Vaughn Forest Church.  Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Motivation, Organization, Procrastination

One Room at a Time Part 2

“Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17 NIV

So I’ve started my process of spring cleaning that I spoke of last week.  What seemed so easy in theory is soooo not! I keep coming across things that I can’t bring myself to throw away. I can truly understand how people become hoarders because EVERYTHING has sentimental value–that movie ticket stub, the Valentine’s Day card, my first driver’s license.  If it doesn’t have sentimental value, it’s something that I’m going to need at some point or it’s something I am going to use eventually.  Needless to say, thinking like this is slowing down my cleaning process.  I am frustrated with myself and really thinking about throwing EVERYTHING out and starting over.  As I take a break and sit in silence, God reveals to me the lesson in this experience: “This is why YOUR process is taking so long!!”

At first I did not understand but as I reflected on it more, I realized that the same things I was doing with my external “stuff,” I was doing with my internal “stuff”.  I am getting in my own way!  Just as my friend was trying to throw stuff away and I said, “NO!  Not that,” God has been trying to throw some stuff away and I keep saying, “NO! Not That!”  My reasons have been:

1)       It has sentimental value! — It’s a reminder of something in the past but while I’m trying to hold on to it, God is saying, “…Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See I am doing a new thing!  (Isaiah 43:18-19a NIV)

2)      I need this! – I can’t live without this! What kind of life will I have without this??  God is saying, “…Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge [me] and [I] will direct your paths…” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

3)      I’m going to use this at some point! – I have to keep this around just in case!  God is saying, “…lay aside EVERY weight, and sin which clings so closely…” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV) “…For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you…” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

The more I continue to keep the stuff that God is trying to remove from my life, the longer it will take for this “room” or area in my life to get clean.  This means that it will take longer for me to reach the destiny God has for me.  With renewed purpose and tears in my eyes, I’m about to get up and recommit to this process both externally and internally.  I don’t know what the outcome of all this will be and this is truly a struggle for me, but God has already said, “…my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness…” (II Corinthians 12:8 ESV)  Alright Lord, I have the garbage bags ready; let’s go!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your patience and persistence.  Thanks for not letting me go forward until I get rid of the junk that is holding me back.  Lord, please give me the strength and the wisdom to listen to You.  Help me to understand that no matter how hard it is to give things up or let things and people go, that it’s necessary in order for me to be everything that I am to be in You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to do some REAL spring cleaning! Are there things in your house that you need to get rid of?  Don’t delay, throw it out or give it to Goodwill TODAY!  God can’t give you the new until you get rid of the old!  That same principle applies internally as well.  We must let go of old soul ties, old grudges, old bitterness, old hurts, etc.   God can’t implant something new with all that other stuff in there because those old things will abort the newness God is trying to give you.  Ask God to purge and cleanse you TODAY, and whatever He tells you to let go, LET IT GO and DON’T go back and retrieve it again!  There is a blessing in the cleansing!!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Bag Lady…Let it Flow

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “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.”

Relationships, Self Love, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, She is Me Series, Soul Ties

She is Me: Queen Vashti

In honor of National Women’s History Month, EmpowerMoments is featuring a special series called ‘She is Me’.  Each writer will parallel her own life with that of a Biblical woman to enlighten and EMPOWER youCheers to being a WOMAN!

A Red Flag is a Red Flag!

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matthew 16:26 ESV

I wanted to better myself by going to college, but he laughed and thought it was crazy to venture from home to go to school. He would often say, “All you do is go to school; you can’t learn common sense in school.” He didn’t support me. RED FLAG!

I decided I wanted to live for Christ. I increased my activities at church, strengthened my prayer life and decided to go to church on more weekends than to travel home to be with him. He joked about me going to church and mocked God. He said I was wasting my time. He didn’t respect my virtue. RED FLAG!

All of our time together caused me to come home closer to the next day, opposed to the end of the previous one. I disrespected my mother, my morals, and all that I knew because of him. He did not care that I was torn because I was going against what I knew was right. I felt like a concubine. He disregarded my family’s wishes. RED FLAG!

We went to his friend’s house one weekend and he wanted to display that his girlfriend could roll blunts and smoke them. I was embarrassed, devastated, degraded, and annoyed. He did not see my value. RED FLAG!

I sit back now and see all of the red flags that I ignored. So this is what he thought of me? That I could roll a blunt for his friends and smoke it with the best of them? He didn’t even care enough to respect my mother, my morals and what I stood for. But he had fat pockets, a nice car, a job, awesome rims, and a place that he owned. Would I be willing to give all of that up just to save my dignity? Just to save face? What if I never find a man to love me? What will happen if I stand up to him and actually leave him? What about all that I was in line for– his money, a ride in his fancy car, and a secure life?

I wonder if this is what Queen Vashti was thinking when she denied King Xerxes. See, Queen Vashti had it all. She had beauty, she was sociable, and quite frankly she and King Xerxes were a power couple. But one night, she had enough. Here’s the story: At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.  For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes. On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Esther 1:2-5, 9-12 NIV

There is much speculation as to why Queen Vashti refused to come. But read the scripture; the King was drunk and he wanted to display her beauty in front of him and his friends. She must have felt degraded. She is not mentioned much more throughout this book, but her action showed great strength. She chose her dignity over the law and chose to preserve her self-worth over her husband’s ego. The King disposed her as Queen and chose to find a replacement.

What I find interesting is the King never realized that she was being degraded and instead of trying to preserve what he felt was beautiful, he swapped her for a replacement. And guess what, when I stood for what was right I was replaced too. I don’t know much about my replacement, but I do know that I left with grace, my pride, and my self worth.

Dear Daddy,

Sometimes we think we have it all and are scared to remove ourselves from what we think is abundance and choose to suffer our self-worth instead. Help us to always remember our worth, to see the red flags and to deal with them in the way we should. Help us to stand as Godly women, never giving up our dignity. Help us to walk as women of God instead of for a man that can’t see the jewel that we are. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to understand your self worth. A red flag is a red flag! The banquet was probably not Vashti’s first sign of a red flag. I encourage you not to wait until he’s your husband to start recognizing the red flags. My view is not to promote divorce, as I was actually not in a marriage. I was in a soul-tied relationship that did not promote the God in me, and because of that I had to go!

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment.  Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Growth/Maturity, Obedience, She is Me Series

She is Me: Lot’s Wife

In honor of National Women’s History Month, EmpowerMoments is featuring a special week-long series called ‘She is Me’.  Each writer will parallel her own life with that of a Biblical woman to enlighten and EMPOWER you. Cheers to being a WOMAN!

Don’t Look Back!

Wavering is a part of human nature, and I am no stranger to it. When facing the need to make decisions that will be life changing it is crucial to take the time to consider all options, weigh the pros and cons, and of course pray for guidance.  Once I pray and hear from God though, it is imperative that I take heed to His words and proceed accordingly.  I have been chronically guilty of not doing the latter in the past when making decisions.  Specifically, when it came to letting go of relationships that I knew were unhealthy.  I would pray and hear from God clearly that I didn’t have to cease to love them, yet it was time for me to let go, or walk away.  Then, I did the unthinkable.

I looked back.

I looked back at all of the good times we shared over the years. I looked back at all of the love, the pain, the tears, joy, laughter and comfort that was born of these relationships.  I would count the years invested and think of how many albums full of pictures of good memories I had. Then I would think to myself, “God can’t possibly want me to walk away from all of this time! What would life be like for me without this person or that person? For us? If we didn’t have each other?”

But, that was exactly what God wanted for me!

Lot’s wife looked back too, and she paid with her life.

In Genesis chapter 19, we learn that Lot was instructed by two angels to take his family and leave the city of Sodom, and that Lot was hesitant. He didn’t want to leave the home he and his family had come to know “…Hurry! Take your wife and two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished. When he hesistated, the men grasped the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city for the Lord was merciful to them.” (Genesis 19:15-16 NIV)  As important as it was for the angels to get Lot and his family out of the city, what they said to them once outside the city was most important of all! “Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain!” (Genesis 19:17 NIV)

Lot, his two daughters and wife reached Zoar safely, as God had promised they would. “But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:26 NIV

Don’t look back!

The word from God sent through the angels could not have been anymore clear.  Similarly, the word of God was quite blatant to me when I decided to stay in the relationships. I would look back over our relationship and in my weakness I would pray for God to make me stronger instead of leaving like I was instructed to do. I looked back and remembered times when they behaved selfishly over and over again, and instead of leaving I prayed that God would make them more compassionate. Though I was spared and not turned to a pillar of salt, when I stayed in those relationships I suffered with hurt feelings, neglect and years and years of wasted time!

“We live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV

Don’t look back!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your mercy, grace and protection during the times I went against Your will and leaned not on faith in Your word, but my own understanding.  I thank You that You are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and I have no need to fear as long as I am walking according to Your will in my life.  Please continue to order my footsteps in all that I do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to “set your hearts on things above where Christ is….” (Colossians 3:1 NIV).  Trust the word of God when you hear it, whether you believe it is what’s best or not, knowing that His will and plan for your life is ALWAYS best. Remember, sorry looks back, worry looks around and FAITH LOOKS FORWARD!

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.”

Forgiveness, Obedience

Because God Said So!

The Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father which art in Heaven

Hallowed be they name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And FORGIVE us our debts, as we FORGIVE our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.   (Matthew 6:9-13 KJV)

How many times have you spoken the words, “Do you forgive me?” or had someone ask you that question?  I battled this scenario just recently, and saying I forgive you was the last thing on my mind.  First, I was hurt and I wanted revenge.  Secondly, all I could think about was the hurt, therefore I wanted more revenge.  I was a mad Black woman!  I had come up with all types of schemes in my head to get back at the person who had lied and hurt me.  I didn’t care about letting it go because I was hurting too badly.  It’s funny how we can plan a step by step revenge attack, but God see’s the steps and intervenes without our knowledge.

One of my friends called me the particular morning that I was planning to launch my attack.  I answered and she started telling me about the Steve Harvey show that morning.  She told me how Steve was talking about “revenge.”  He was basically saying it’s not worth it because what goes around keeps coming back around and the best thing to do is forgive. She added, “It’s the God-like thing to do.”  At that point I was in total shock that she called me to talk about the very thing that I was plotting to get– revenge! How did she know I was thinking that?  I knew then God was intervening my foolish plans.  For, anger and revenge are of the devil.

And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.  For anger gives a foothold to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT)

You must not hold on to any bitter hurts, rage or anger. You must not fight each other or say bad things about each other.  You must not think or act because of spite. You should be friends and you should be kind to each other. You must forgive each other, just as God forgave you.  God forgave you because of Christ. (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT)

I knew that I had to forgive this person, but I just kept thinking, “They hurt me, why must I forgive them?”

Then I reflected on what Peter asked Jesus:

“Lord, if my brother keeps on hurting me, how many times should I forgive him? He asked. Should I forgive him seven times?”

“ No not just seven times, but forgive him seventy times seven times, Jesus said” (Matthew 18:21-22 NLT)

It seemed as though everywhere I turned forgiveness was tapping me on my shoulder.  It wasn’t anything but the God in me forcing me to do what was right.

Forgive people when they do wrong things to you.  If you forgive them, your Father in heaven will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive them, your Father will not forgive you.”  (Matthew 6:14-15 NLT)

With all sincerity in my heart, I did it.  I forgave them.

Dear Daddy,

I thank You for being in my life.   I sometimes get so emotionally out of control, but I’m glad You love me so much that You help me regain my self-control.  I thank You for placing forgiveness in my heart.  Although the flesh wants to make me battle my problems alone, I thank You for helping me to grow in the spirit.  Please continue to order my steps.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to forgive.   Forgive even when you don’t want to or feel that the pain is too deep.  Pray that God places forgiveness in your heart.  I know it isn’t easy, but when God says do it, we must do itWhy? Simply because He said so!

Ms. Hassanah White is a dedicated member of Faith Walkers Church in Birmingham, Alabama where their motto is to “Walk it out by Faith.”  She also serves as a member of the Praise Dance Ministry.  Hassanah is a true professional in the realm of marketing and customer service.  She’s a proud mother of a very energetic little boy named Jaden.  Hassanah believes laughter and prayer are the best medicines for any situation.  Her favorite scripture 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.”