Worthiness is not Earned

I think at times in our lives, we all struggle with feeling unworthy of good things. I want to pose a question for you to think about,”What is that thing that happened to cause you to feel as if you have to earn your worth?”. You have spent your life trying to earn something that you never had to earn. I know that things can happen to us or we can do things and because of that we believe the lie that were no longer worthy of the good plans God has for us. Let me whisper in your ear, “You were born worthy”. Guess what, not only were you born worthy, nothing you do makes you unworthy. When we struggle with believing that our worthiness is earned, we thrive in the praises from others. We desperately feel like their words validate us. You might not know this but only God created us and I truly believe the one that created us is the one who validates us.

I found myself living in the praises of others. I wanted to feel like I was worthy, and I believed the lie that their words and acceptance of me made me worthy. We don’t have to live up to the standards of others to be worthy. You don’t have to fit into a certain crowd to be worthy. Just maybe the crowd you’re trying to fit yourself in is honestly not worthy of you. Their rejection of you might be the greatest blessing of your life.

Oh, the tears I’ve cried feeling like I didn’t belong in a certain group. I am slowly but surely learning that I will not fit into every space, and that is ok. Every circle is not a circle I have to belong. I want you to know that any group, circle or community you have to change to fit in, YOU do not belong in it. Performing does not make you worthy. The uniqueness that you were created in is what makes you worthy. I believe the courage to walk into spaces and be you makes you worthy. Who you really are is worthy of love, respect, and connection. You deserve all the good things God has for you and you are worthy of each and every one of them.

When I lived with the lie that I had to earn my worthiness, I found myself pretending to be who I thought I needed to be in order to fit in different spaces. What I realized was that I was really miserable when I left those spaces. My anxiety was through the roof and I felt empty. I felt empty because who I really was I was spending unnecessary energy burying as I pretended to be someone I really wasn’t. I could never earned worthiness because what I didn’t know was that worthiness did not need to be earned. No matter how much I tried to be different, that was not making me feel worthy. I believe where I picked up that feeling that I wasn’t worthy was in my childhood. As a little girl, I walked through a lot of trauma and some of the things I endured made me feel unworthy. I didn’t feel worthy of love. I struggled with feeling like I could ever be enough. I had low self-esteem and very little courage. Those childhood experience felt as if they wrote the message of unworthiness on my heart. As an adult I continued to struggle with feeling worthy. I’ve gotten better, but every now and then those feelings of unworthiness try to creep in. I have to immediately remind myself that I was born worthy of every good thing God has for me. I notice that when I forget who I am in Christ, I start feeling unworthy. When we embrace who God made us to be, we embrace the truth that we were born worthy.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14 English Standard version (ESV)

Above is one of my favorite passage of scripture. It reminds me that God formed every part of me, even my inward parts. God knotted me and you together in our mothers womb. This helps me rest in the truth that I am worthy. God created and formed every part of me and I am priceless. God formed every part of you and YOU are priceless. Nobody can diminish your worth in Jesus, not any words spoken to you or over you can change the truth that you my friend are worthy. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) you were born according to scripture for good works. To be honest though, those good works did not make you worthy, Christ made you worthy.

This post was to remind you that your worthiness is not earned, but you were worthy from the beginning. You can stop striving for worthiness and start resting in the truth, that you are worthy. I pray that you will embrace this truth and live from the place of worthiness which is where you always belong. Thank you for taking time to read my words. I’m honored and grateful for each of you.

Come Out of The Shadows

I know it feels safe. I know you believe that it’s not costing you anything to hide out in the shadows. I know it feels like you can protect yourself from hurt if you just stay in the shadows. Let everybody else get the applause for your hard work. Nobody sees you, so the expectations for you to do or be anything are very small if any. Psssst….the sacrifice of the blessing God created you to be will never be worth it, never. Now, I am not saying that God can never use you in the shadows, for a period of time yes he might use you. It’s like a place of preparation. I truly believe there are some people out front that never walked in the shadows and it shows👀. It is definitely not a place to remain. I truly believe that while working in the background it can build great character in you that sustains you when God places you out front.

There is a humbling that happens within us when we have a shadows experience. I just think that we can become comfortable and complacent when we stay there too long. I think we then become afraid to step out of the shadows into the forefront even when we know Christ is calling us into the front lines of ministry. Nobody knows better than Jesus, you and honestly the devil of what your truly capable of doing with the gift of God in you. I think we forget that satan knows what’s inside of us too and he fights us to keep us surrendered to our own plans rather than walking in Jesus plans that he has for us even before the foundations of this earth. You were not created to stay in the shadows. You were not created to hide out behind the scenes. Come out of the shadows, you have stayed there long enough.

I have come to the place where I have made a life for myself in the shadows that honestly feels right. It feels safe. I have zero pressure to do anything or be anything. I’ve felt as if I’ve somehow buried the call of God in the shadows where I hide. To be honest stepping into the front lines of ministry again feels overwhelming even though I know it’s Jesus calling me, Jesus nudging me, Jesus pulling me away from the shadows and back into the place he intended for me to be. I know coming out of the shadows means that I have to walk away from some places that make me feel safe in the shadows. I know I will have to walk away from some relationships that allow me to feel comfortable hiding. Writing this post is me taking my first few baby steps out of the shadows. I can tell you this from experience,”Playing small only keeps you trapped in a lie”. A lie that is definitely keeping you stagnant. Don’t shrink back when you are among great people with titles and college degrees. Trust me, your in that room because you deserve to be. The things you have to say will really add value to the conversation. You were invited in that room because someone in that space needs what is in you. You would be amazed at the many times my experience with certain things helped a person with a degree and no experience. Please don’t show up pretending to be less than the amazing person you truly are. Trust me, I’m taking my own advice in too.

I felt in my heart that at the beginning of this new year would be the perfect time to encourage you to stop playing small. I want to encourage you to stop pretending to be less when deep inside you know you have more inside you. You bring so much to the table when you bring all of who you are with you. Your in that room because you need to be. You have operated in the background long enough. There are countless well known individuals in this world who started with nothing but realized who they really were and cultivated that gift to allow it to to take them forward. Let this year of 2023 be the year you come out of the shadows. Let this year be the year you be who you truly are. Let it be the year you stop playing small. I believe in you. Go be great💚.

To the one hurting during the Holidays

To the one hurting this holiday, I want you to know, I’m thinking of you. I want you to know, I can relate to you. You can have the good things, a beautiful tree, it can be filled with gifts but still feel empty and sad inside. Right now, you might be sitting around family that you love so deeply and still feel all alone. Maybe you are grieving the loss of a loved one and tonight you are longing for what never can be again. I understand the longing to hear their voice one more time, to receive a hug or even just to sit in their presence. I have no magical words but I want you to know, I’m thinking of you. I feel you tonight, the one hurting during the holidays. Your pain is just as real as the next person’s. Even though everything is completely amazing in your life right now but your still hurting, I get it. Honestly mental health struggles don’t take a back seat to the holidays. I want you to know that you are not alone in your pain. Physically it might feel like it, mentally it might seem like it but I’m praying that your soul knows that you are never alone.

This is what I’m believing for you and I. Joy is not based upon circumstances to me, joy just bubbles on the inside. Smiling faces are not necessary an indication of joy. I’ve looked in the faces of many people smiling but later found out they were broken and hurting inside. Notice I didn’t choose a picture of a smiling face as a representation of joy but I choose the word. Joy shows up in many different ways. It is an emotion that almost to me feels like peace and love all intertwined together bubbling from our souls. You can have joy even in sad situations. You can have joy even when happiness runs out. Happiness is based upon circumstances or good things happening to us, for us or around us.
So tonight my sweet friends imagine someone reaching out to you, pulling you into peace. Let that peace fill your soul. Let that peace wash over you. Not just peace but love, let love fill your heart and wash over you. Fill it flooding your soul and overwhelming your heart. Now dear heart let joy bubble up within you. Will it change your circumstances for the holidays, probably not but it will certainly give you new perspective. I see you and I’m thinking and praying over you tonight. Merry Christmas dear hearts. May the joy of this season flood you💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️

Lord I thank you for the person reading this right now. God I thank you for comforting their heart right in this moment. Let your unconditional love surround them right now. May they know that you are with them and they are never alone. Thank you God……Amen

A Gift

Gifts are so special. When carefully thought through and chosen for a specific person for a specific reason, gifts have a way of bringing joy and love to the person receiving the gift and the person giving it as well. Jesus was given as a gift to this world but not only is Jesus a gift, you my friend are a gift as well. I wanted to remind you that there is a gift inside of you, but I also wanted you to know that you are a gift. You bring such joy and love to the lives of those who embrace you as the gift you truly are. In preparation of the holiday season, I wanted to write to you about, “The Gift”. The gift that God created you to be to the world. Just like these beautifully wrapped gifts so are you. Your outside beauty is the wrapping paper but inside is the gift that was strategically placed inside of you to be used to bless the lives your life was created to bless. Jesus didn’t just throw your life together, but he carefully placed every detail of your life in its place. There was no mistake in him creating. You were not a afterthought, you were his first thought. Jesus’ planned and orchestrated your life so that the gift in you and the gift of you could serve this earth well. Jesus did not think twice about creating you, you were always on his mind to create, and give a gift that would impact the world.
I often wonder why we hide our gifts and live in fear of using them. Honestly, even if we don’t admit that the thing, we do so well is actually a gift does not mean that it isn’t. I know I’ve tried to hide what I’m gifted to do sometimes because I don’t want the pressure to do it. I felt like once people knew I was gifted to do a particular thing they would put unnecessary pressure on me to use it. Even though God placed the gift in me, I still struggle with him using that gift. Most of the time it’s the gift within us that makes us THE gift. I truly believe that God carefully chooses the gifts he gives to us and the way he uses them, and I would even say, he chooses even those he will use to bless by our gifts. So, as we are quickly facing the Holidays, I thought it would be good to remind you of the gift that you are. I wanted to remind you just how much you are needed in this world. We can so quickly get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Holidays especially the unspoken pressure we typically feel to buy those we love that perfect gift. I want to offer to you a suggestion; take a moment between now and Christmas day and make a list of your loved ones and write beside each of their names the gift they are to you. Maybe even take inventory over the things in your life that you do that you believe that God placed in you as a gift to bless others. Maybe consider ways that you have allowed God to use you and that gift to impact the world. I want to challenge you to seek God for more opportunities in the year to use that gift to be an even greater blessing to him and others.

We also can find ourselves struggling with the Holidays. We face our own mental health struggles with emotions that run high and at times find ourselves feeling out of control when those emotions feel really big and overwhelming. I want you to know that you are not alone in those feelings. There are so many people in this world that struggle with believing that anything about themselves could ever be considered a gift. It is difficult for them to see beyond the words that people have spoken to them or over them causing them to see themselves as nothing and nobody important. If you are feeling that way, I want you to know that you are an important gift and you have been given an important gift. You are needed and wanted. Embrace the truth tonight, that you are a gift.
I want you to take a moment, close your eyes and think about the best gift that you have ever received in your life. I want you to think about the way it made you feel. I want you to think about how you felt about the person who gave it to you. I’m wondering was it wrapped in beautiful wrapping paper or put in a beautiful gift bag with all the pretty tissue paper. Did you feel like the person took precious time to pick this beautiful, special gift just for you. Now, I want to offer you a gift more precious than any gift you have ever received. In this gift is everything you need for your life. In this gift, you will be lavished with unconditional love. This gift is full of peace. Guess what though? It’s not just any old peace, it is a peace that will surpass all of your human understanding. In this gift, is life everlasting. This gift will be right with you in every single season of your life. The gift I want to offer you this Christmas, is the gift of Jesus Christ. I know for a fact, that your life will never be the same.
So in closing this post, will you receive this free gift of unconditional love, peace , joy and beauty that is Jesus. He is the greatest gift you will ever received. We celebrate him this time of year being born on earth. I would love to celebrate him also being born in your heart. My prayer is that you will know the most precious gift that is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I know that he desires to rescue you from every sin that you might be struggling with. If you choose to do so, say this prayer out loud and believe in your heart and receive your greatest gift ever.

Lord Jesus, I so desperately need you in my life. I need your peace and unconditional love. Lord please forgive me of all my sins and come into my heart. Lord I invite you to walk with me, talk with me, lead and guide me. You are the greatest gift and thank you for coming into my heart. Im so excited to begin my life brand new with you. Amen

Rest

I know you might be wondering why I would choose this image with this title. Well, for one thing this picture invites all of me into a space of rest. It brings my heart to calm, it slows my thoughts, it quiets my spirit, it soothes my mind and I feel it inviting my weary body to sit and embrace all of the beauty that comes with rest. If we would be honest the recent pandemic called all of us into a place of rest, most of us were unwilling to do it but the invitation was certainly there. We were called into a place to slow down and see those who we love in a deeper way. We may never admit it, but before pandemic a lot of us lived on auto pilot. I myself would do things but not remember doing them because it was what I was use to doing. I didn’t even have to be mentally present to do it because it was embedded in my mind because of repetition. I didn’t even know how desperately I needed REST, till I got injured at work and had to be out. Sometimes we are forced into things that our necessary to save us from self destruction.

I will never forget how long it took me to give myself permission to actually rest after the accident. I was home and laying in bed but I wasn’t truly resting. My mind was constantly going with the why and how questions. I was sleeping at night but my body wasn’t resting. Did you know that mental well being works together with your physical well being. When I finally let myself REST mentally, I noticed my physical body begin to rest too. Rest is not an indication of laziness. Slowing down in your life is not an indication of laziness. It actually is self care at its best.

So the quote below pretty much sums up my thought about rest. It takes mental and physical rest together in order for our bodies to reap the benefits it brings. You feel better and you think with more clarity when your entire being embraces REST. Rest has a way of soothing tired muscles and relieving stress. Rest has a way of bringing new fresh perspective about situations that have been troubling our heart. Rest is like deep restoration to our souls. There is one other kind of rest I want to talk with you about. This rest is a rest that we can enjoy in Jesus. Did you know that he loves to give us rest. Those times when everything seems to be falling apart and you don’t know what to do, how to feel, where to turn or even how to take the next steps, you can rest in knowing that Jesus has you. Please stay with me here in this next paragraph as I share with you a more excellent way to rest.

Rest in Jesus is more like trusting in him. To trust in anything it has to be tried and proven to be worthy of our trust. When we trust Jesus we find that we can confidently rest in him. We have an assurance that he is going to work it out for us. Now be reminded working it out for us does not mean he will always give us what we want but be assured that he will always give us what we need. When we find rest in Jesus, we can rest from striving knowing that if Jesus is in it, everything is going to be alright. I notice that when I finally rest in Jesus there is this peace that floods me. Now the situation may not change but I change in the situation. Peace overwhelms me and I remember that Jesus delights in me resting in his strong arms of mercy. There is safety in the rest that Jesus offers to us.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

I want to invite you today to rest from all the things today. You know the things that have been weighing your heart down. Those things that you have absolutely no control over. Rest in knowing that Jesus created you and he knows the very numbers of hairs that are on your head. He knows you from the inside out and he loves you unconditionally. You are always on his mind, just because he loves you that much. Rest knowing that you are seen, known and loved.

Father thank you for the one reading this. I thank you that they will find rest in knowing that you are always at work. Let them rest in your everlasting love for them. Father help them to stop striving but find sweet rest in all that you are. We praise and thank you for being God. Amen

Hold your head up

So this beauty of mine(my daughter) sent me this photo of her. I was immediately captivated by the message I felt building in my heart surrounding it. I thought of this scripture and wanted to share it with you.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in.
Psalm 24:7 KJV

I know life itself can burden our hearts. It can make us forget about the beauty we find when we find the strength and courage to hold our heads up. There was a time that life felt so overwhelming for me that my head was down. Not in the literal sense but spiritually. I was so bound by my circumstances that I was missing beauty all around me. I will never forget the moment that I noticed the beauty of the sky and I immediately realize in that same moment that spiritually my head had been down. This scripture was such a blessing to me. It tells us to lift up our heads….hold your head up beautiful and see that though life is hard in this moment, there is still hidden beauty for us to see. The ugliness of my situation was robbing me of the beauty that was still there. My strength was beautiful, my perseverance was beautiful, my courage was beautiful and more than anything Jesus was still taking ashes and making something beautiful.

to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Isaiah 61:3 KJV

Did you know that looking up can give you a different perspective and new hope? Looking up refocuses your attention on how far you have come rather than on how far you have to go. Lately the sky has been absolutely beautiful. I’ve found myself drawn into all the beautiful colors and designs found when I look up to the beauty of the sky. I would not see the sky holding my head down nor would I see it if I was not looking for it’s beauty. So, once you hold your head, then look for the beauty, it’s there I promise. Life is beautiful. Is it hard? Yes, it’s hard but it’s also amazing. Every single breath you take is beautiful. So, I want to leave you with this thought,”Holding my head up invites me to see the beauty still around me”. The situation might be ugly, but your courage is beautiful. The circumstances might be difficult but your strength is beautiful. The desire to quit in it is real but the beauty of your perseverance is amazing. The struggle to keep your head up is painful and exhausting, but the beauty of the peace and rest that Jesus gives us life giving.

Please know that I’m writing these same words on my heart as I’m writing them in this space. I’m so grateful for your presence here. I’m honored that you would read my words. I don’t take it lightly. Be encouraged💚

Father I thank you for the person reading this right now. Please fill them with your peace. Let them know that they are not alone. Be with them. Help them to lift up their heads and see the beauty still surrounding them. Please don’t let the ugliness of their situation keep them bound to what they see. Help them to experience your beauty in all of it. In Jesus Name. Amen

Do the thing that fills your soul

What is that thing you love to do that fills your soul? You know the thing that feels like your soul is smiling inside you. Whatever that thing is, set aside time to do it. You know how you make a plan to do other things, put that thing on your calendar and don’t compromise it. As long as it’s about you and creates a space that your soul feels nourished and full go for it. It does not have to be the same thing every single time. It can be different and I honestly feel like it should. There are times our souls need something more to nourish it. I love to study my Bible, listen to podcast, read books(Karen Kingsbury fan), write poetry, sit at the lake, guided meditations and so many other things. Lately I’ve found myself taking quiet rides in the car, no music or nothing, just me, my Jesus and my thoughts. I also love to listen to worship music. These things are just a portion of the things that fill this soul of mine. I realize that when my soul is in a good place, my heart feels lighter and happier which helps me to be better and do better.

I guess your probably wondering why I’m I writing a whole blog about this topic. Well when we do the things that fill our soul, I firmly believe it helps us get or stay in a mentally healthy place. Our soul is deeply connected to our mental health. When we can think clearer and our emotions are not overwhelming us, we can do the things God created us for. I hope you know, your mental health does not negate the call of God on your life. You will read that often in this space. I think we all need to be reminded that a mental health struggle does not make us BAD or UNUSABLE. It might take some exploring to discover what really fills your soul. I’m not talking about what makes you happy necessary but that thing that makes you smile inside first. That thing that restores the weary places in your soul. Now this might surprise you but, I’m going to write it anyway😁👀. That thing might not have anything to do with something spiritual. Hear me with this, I’m not saying it cannot be spiritual but it does not have to. I think it can be connected to self care. A day of self care is a way to fill your soul. I can share lots of ideas but you have to explore things for yourself to know. You will know when your running on empty and hopefully you will step away and do that thing or things that will fill your soul to overflowing.

Catching beautiful sunrises is something that has a way of filling my soul. It’s nothing like watching the sun rise and take it’s rightful place. I like to chase beautiful skies and take pictures of God showing out in his masterful work. I love to think he is doing it just for me, because I’m his favorite 😜. I scroll through those pictures and just smile thinking how faithful God has been in my life. When Satan wanted to take me out by my own hand, God intervened and said NO. So, yes I find things that work for me to keep me mentally healthy. One of those things is doing the thing that fills my soul.

I want to challenge you in my closing of this post. What is it that you can begin to do that would fill up your soul? Now, I want to warn you that this might require you to actually think of yourself, which might be hard for you to do. I give you permission to do it anyway. Trust me, you will thank me later. Honestly when I show up here and write, it fills my soul in ways I can’t explain. I give you permission to go on a exploration of what fills your soul. I would love to hear what you discover or what you already have in place and might just need to add to it.

I’m so grateful and honored for your presence here. I do not take it lightly that you would read my words. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart💚.

Father I thank you for every person who would stop here and read these words. I thank you that they will dig deep inside and find that thing that fills their soul. That thing that helps them to smile from the inside out. May your presence surround them and may they feel your love all around them. Bless their coming and going. I thank you for the sweetest of encounters with you. I thank you for love notes written on their hearts from you. You are faithful and good. We praise you for it, in Jesus name. Amen

God Can Hear You

      I cannot began to tell you the many times I have thought I was at my lowest and cried out to God, but I honestly thought he could not hear me. I thought that from the place I was at, there is no way God hears my cries and lets me stay there. My thoughts were, if he could hear me then why won’t he change me, why doesn’t he heal the sadness or stop the intrusive thoughts that keep sending me in this downward spiral. I remember countless times crying out to him but all I could say was ,”Help me”, there were no words to express what my heart felt inside, I could not find words to articulate how desperate I felt in that moment for God to step into my circumstances and fix me. I wanted him to fix the racing thoughts, fix the sadness, fix the isolation, fix the sleepless night….I wanted God to fix me. Something had to be broke inside my heart, inside my mind, inside my life that nothing seemed to be able to fix. I wanted the creator to fix what he made because there had to be a defect. There had to be something he miscalculated when he created me. The truth is in those moments where these words tumbled out of my mouth…..Jesus heard me. I will go even further to say not only did he hear me, he saw me and he felt me. Jesus had not abandoned me in my moment of desperation he was right there. I must admit that every single moment I found myself crying out to Jesus, he truly did help me. I see now looking back how he helped me walk through those dark moments. I see now how he held my mind safe in his hands. I see now how he helped me fight the thoughts of suicide with his power and strength. Jesus is right there, he has got you. 

     

      Anxiety and depression can be scary. I know the feelings of sadness and it seem like people want you to explain why you feel that way. I notice that people need an explanation for the sadness. You can’t just be struggling, there has got to be a deeper reason. You just can’t be crying through the night, just because your depressed. You have everything and your still sad, what in the world could be wrong. You are a believer, you hold a title in your church, for God sake you are always serving at church, how can you be dealing with this? When others can’t understand depression and anxiety, it’s difficult for them to support you in a healthy way. It might take you using your voice to explain as much as you can about your struggle. You will need to shape their views as to how they can support you . Oftentimes people say very hurtful things simply because they just don’t understand. We through sharing our struggles can help others understand. Despite all of that, I want you to know that God hears you and me when we cry out to him. We don’t have to pretend or say certain words to get his attention. God desires to hear from us. He wants to hear what we have to say, he hears our cries even when we have no words left and we only have tears, he hears that unspoken language of our hearts. You know those moments when the pain is so real, so raw , so palpable but you don’t have the language to express it, it just hurts. God hears you. Our pain is important to him. Our struggle is important to him. Your not just screaming into empty space and not being heard….that seemingly empty space is filled with the sweet presence of Jesus. I have to remind myself that I’m not alone because he is with me.

      As I find courage to share different parts of my story, I hope it gives you courage to trust that your story is valuable and important as well. The more we can share our stories, the more we can educate others about mental health struggles and how they can support our community. I share my story along with my faith. It has been my faith in Jesus along with medication at times, therapy, my love ones support, support from friends that has been so much help to me finding a healthier place. Do I still struggle?…..YES , but I keep fighting, I keep believing and trusting that because Jesus hears me, he is helping me and if he is helping me…. together we win.

Lord Jesus help me to trust that when I cry out to you that you always hear me. Lord help me to rest in your love for me. I trust that you are always with me no matter what. Thank you Lord for your love.

Amen