Empty Storages and Surrendered Hearts

empty_poem_by_the_psycrothic

A car needs fuel in order for it to drive and without fuel not only will it not drive but it is considered “empty”. We  are the same without Christ—dormant, empty, and at a stand still. I have been searching so long to understand what my purpose is and how I can walk in that purpose effectively. For a long time I had my priorities in the wrong order. I would take care of the things that I felt was most important first and then God was more like an afterthought. I remember so many times hearing him telling me that if I trust him and obey, he would supersede my expectations. But I did not trust him fully….I felt that I was better equipped to put matters into my own hands. This year I decided that I was tired of feeling “empty”. I didn’t like the results I got when I tried to handle things on my own and my failures were an example that I was incapable of handling my own dreams. God’s plan for us is bigger than our plans for ourselves. First I decided that I would trust God with my heart. The only problem was that he did not have it completely. We always say we trust God but it’s funny how we fear being hurt. Trust and hurt can not live in the same place.  1 John 4:18 is one of my favorite scriptures…it’s the scripture that helped me to see that I didn’t “trust” God as much as I thought I did. It says “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭18‬ KJV)”. Needles to say the one I thought was the “one” wasn’t the “one” that God had for me. I realized that I had to loosened the reigns and know that my creator knows me more than I know myself, which means he also knows who he has tailored made just for me. So I decided to wait without questioning or trying to manipulate his plan to fit my agenda. Relationships were not the only area of my life that I hadn’t surrendered to God. I realized that I was a complete control freak. One day I heard God say that all he wants is a surrendered life. I didn’t understand what that meant because I always had my hand to the same plow he told me to leave in order to claim my greater. So this year I decided that I would do something differently…I would trust him. I decided that my first priority would be to honor God whenever I encountered success and even when I failed. It wasn’t easy but I believed that there was a plan that he had set for me. This year I started Graduate school and I was freaked out to say the least. I had way too much on my plate and I had no idea how I would pay for it. I got accepted to Liberty University and decided I would not stress about the finances,  God opened up financial aid that covered my entire tuition. This was only the beginning and I was thankful that trusting God had yielded good results. In the beginning of the semester I was completely stressed, I had a business to run that I committed 65+ hours to per week, I held multiple positions in ministry, I was getting booked to perform or be apart of different events, and I still had to be a daughter, aunt, sister, and friend. I was completely worn. So here I was with a load of work and a limited amount of time. This was the Sunday I had to preach, we had two services, and I had countless work due by 11:59pm. As I sat at my iMac flustered, God told me if you take care of my business, I’ll take care of yours. That day I closed my books and focused on the word that he gave me. I decided not to be anxious but instead I trusted him and obeyed his command. As the semester unfolded I had one professor who it seemed gave more work than I could handle, and challenged me with every turn of the course. I decided that I wouldn’t  complain but I was really frustrated because I was challenged and the coursework wasn’t a walk in the park. At one point I even had to restructure my thesis statement and rework ALL of my research. But I remembered the commitment I made to God…when I said that I would trust him and surrender my will for his. With every step forward God constantly reminded me, “be anxious for nothing but in all thing with prayer and thanksgiving make your request known unto me”. So this time that’s what I did. Everyday…I told God I really want to get A’s in both my courses. It seemed like after taking my finals, it took forever to get my grades back. Today, I went to review my final grades and guess what? I got an “A” in both of my classes!! I am so grateful because God is showing me step by step that if I trust him, seek him, obey him, and put HIM first…he will give me the desires of my heart. I just want to encourage you and let you know that we have to be completely empty so that God can fill us up with everything he desires for us. Now that I have surrendered every area of my life to him he has exceeded my expectations. Everyday I realize that today is great, tomorrow will be greater, I am walking into greatness not because I’m great but because I serve a great God.

Scripture to Ponder
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭33‬ KJV)

We’re All Flawed Beautiful People

tumblr_n7349i2arM1rk578co1_500

I remember when I was the girl that was afraid of embracing who she was. Especially during college. I had friendships with people who made me feel that what I had to offer externally was far more important then who God created me to be on the inside. Everyday I would dress up to show up but on the inside I was messed up. I had no concept of who I was because I had no concept of my value. When God created us, he placed value inside of us. What he thought we were worth was priceless, so priceless that he gave his only son to die on the cross for our sins. How many of us can honestly say that we would give our last and only because we had hope that someone could be greater than what they currently are?

When Christ found me, I was a complete mess. Such a mess in fact that pleasing people meant more to me then pleasing God, finding someone to love me the way that I loved them became my mission, I was a vain liar, I was completely depressed, and I had no identity. I knew God but I chose to neglect his voice. I knew God had given me purpose but I was afraid to accept the call because people wouldn’t like someone like me. I was tired of being called a “goodie two-shoes” or being told by guys how great of a women I was but they just couldn’t be with someone who is a virgin. I even had a guy tell me that he couldn’t be friends with me because I was a virgin. I never realized how selfish I was. Here was a loving savior who had given up everything for me and I wouldn’t even deny myself to acknowledge that he was calling me. I was in broken relationship after broken relationship, looking for someone to love me the way Christ was already loving me.

So I ended up in a verbally abusive relationship with a man who demeaned who God created me to be by saying things like “she’s weak” and “I can have any other girl out here” and “Any other woman would love to have sex with me”. But I continued to stay, and even though I remained a virgin, I took so many other losses that pulled me further and further away from God. I would be in churches where the presence of God was falling on everyone else around me and I couldn’t feel anything. I would try to pray and it felt like my prayers were hitting the ceiling only to shatter on the ground. After 2 years of my mind, body, and spirit being completely drained…I heard God say “Timea, it’s either going to be me or him”. It’s the first time I had heard him speak to me in almost 2 years…so without second thought, I left my relationship. After that moment, the devil would not let me forget the mistakes that I made. He would try to make me remember that I was a dirty mess. Questions would flood my mind like “how could God love someone like me”, “how could I have been so blind that I begin to make relationships my God”, “Why would God want to use me after I deliberately turned my back on him?” I was condemning myself for things God had already forgiven me for.

Being a virgin doesn’t mean that you will not get tried. I honored God and I wanted to keep my commitment to submit myself to him heart, body, and soul. If I was still a virgin, why did I still feel so bad? I still left out of the storm with some of my integrity intact right?–wrong. The devil still tried to destroy my mind because I had been tied to someone so long who was not connected to God and so I had to work double time to rid myself of all of the habits, thoughts, and ways that I received from that person, which polluted my relationship with God. When God tells you to leave a place you don’t belong, you shouldn’t walk…you should run! But even in your obedience don’t think that the enemy won’t try to keep the chains of your past attached to you. Condemnation are chains!! When God for gives us, he casts our sins as far as the east is from the west, never to remember them again.

Your past does not belong to you anymore. God has given us a hope and a future in him. That future can not live in what was when we have been called to what will be. I had been praying that God would help me get through the pain and guilt of my past. I will never forget…I was at a service and the evangelist prayed for me and said “God said when my foot almost slipped, you almost slipped but God kept you from falling, he said stop condemning yourself, I have let it go and you need to let it go, I have forgiven you”. You are not what you’ve been…you are a flawed beautiful being. A being that God knew would make mistakes, disobey, and be wreckless with the gifts he gave. But sometimes he allows us to become a complete mess so that our mess can bring us back to our maker.

Here is the scripture that encouraged me through this time: “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon”. (‭Hosea‬ ‭14‬:‭4-7‬ KJV)