I realized recently that I’ve been in a real battle with loneliness. Some parts of social media was feeding that feeling. I would look at smiling people with their friends, love ones and my heart felt an ache in it. I saw people in photos doing real life in church community and my heart longed for it. Sometimes I found myself scrolling images of people I know and worship with each Sunday doing life in community and I allowed the lie I was believing to be driven deeper into my heart. Those images were proof that I did not belong, which was the other lie I was believing. I had allowed those lies to some how become attached to my interactions on Instagram. If I sent a Instagram message that people didn’t respond to, I felt rejected. I had no idea because I had experienced so much rejection as a little girl that I had the belief that things that were not even rejection was. Instagram became a unsafe place for me. Honestly Instagram really wasn’t unsafe but because of my struggles and the additional emotional struggle I allowed it to become, it was unsafe for me. I didn’t need anything to add to those feelings. So, I’m on this journey of letting Instagram be what it was created to be. Instagram is a place to keep up with friends and love ones, it’s a place to meet new people, it’s a place you can use as a tool to encourage others. The thing I forgot was that my life is not on Instagram. My life is right in front of me. Even if nobody likes one image, or comment on any post the one who created me loves me unconditional. Those likes don’t add any value to the beauty of who I am, nor can they take any away. The only reason it was causing me not to feel valued was that I was attaching my value to the likes on a post. Now my value is attached to Jesus, the one that created me. I’m so grateful that on or off social media God is always with me. God is faithful and true. I belong to him and he belongs to me. I recently started something that helps me so much with Instagram, keep reading to find out what it is💚.
If you are struggling with an addiction to social media on any platform, I want to encourage you to surrender that addiction to Jesus and let him break you free. You don’t have to have an unhealthy addiction to social media, you can be free of it. The first step is admitting to the addiction. As you are honest with yourself, it gives you the courage to let Jesus in to those places that need to be free. Social media will never be able to fill the void in your life, only Jesus can. I am praying for you and walking this journey with you. You are not alone, God sees you and he wants to help, please let him.
Lord Jesus I thank you for therapist who help us to live mentally well. I thank you for the wisdom that they have inside us. I thank you for the journey to healing that you walk with us through. I thank you for those beginning therapy that they will find strength, courage, healing and the will to keep going. I pray for those ending Therapy that they will know you are always with them. In Jesus name. Amen
I’m going to warn you ahead of time that this will be a tough post to read. It will probably be one of the hardest post I will ever write. I want to challenge you to stay here with me. I have found so much healing here in this space through writing. I write from my heart in hopes that it will shine a light into your heart. I’m hoping in my post that you will find the courage to step into the light. Stepping into the light simply means, stepping into the truth. There is light in the truth. There is power in the light of the truth. I am going to share a longing that I’ve had the greater part of my life with you. Writing this post already feels uncomfortable, it feels like I’m being gutted the way we do fish in the cleaning process. I’m going to share my deep ache for a dad. Some of this may be triggering, so please be gentle with yourself. Please know that it’s okay if you need to skip this post until you are ready.
From the earliest time that I can remember my dad was always a man that worked. He went to work no matter the circumstances or weather, he did not miss work. My dad made sure the bills were paid. He loved to cook big dinners and have others brag about how good the food tasted. He was in the home, he provided but I spent my life wondering if he hated me. My dad never used the words he loved me but as I’ve gotten older and matured, I don’t think he knew how. It’s one thing to have a dad who is physically absent, but to have a dad in the home but feel as if he is physically and emotionally absent is a different kind of beast. I think I could deal differently if he wasn’t there. I know my expectations of him would probably be different. I spent my entire childhood dreaming of a father that my dad could never be. I finally realized that it wasn’t because of me, but he just did not have the capacity to give to me what he never received. Honestly my father was a angry child that grew into a angry adult and raised children with all of that anger. I oftentimes wonder what was that thing that made him such a angry person. I wonder what happened in his childhood that he buried and let bitter and anger grow in that space where healing should have taken place. Honestly all I ever wanted to be was daddy’s little girl. I wanted him to see me, I mean like really see me, the little girl that desperately needed him.
This little girl in the picture above is me. When I look at her, my heart aches for her and the mental abuse she lived through. I can remember still to this day, incidents that happened at my father’s hands that should have destroyed me inside. There were times it felt as if it did. My dad was a yeller and a cusser. I remember him calling me and fear would course through my veins. The fear I lived in at my childhood home became anxiety in my adult life. From my earliest memory, I was called all kinds of degrading and derogatory names. The names were names I didn’t even understand the meaning of but yet I felt shame. I didn’t understand that what I was feeling was shame but it was. I was ashame because even as a little girl, I felt that those words were bad. Even as a child, I felt like I was a bad girl. Why would my own father call me names like that unless I was really bad inside. So, I set out on a mission to make myself good inside so that I could finally be worthy of his love.
I look at her and I remember how much I wanted to get the attention of my father. I wanted him to cheer me on when I reached a milestone in my development. I needed him to give me words of affirmation that validated me inside. I spent a lot of years trying to get out of him what I thought I deserved as his daughter. Honestly I thought all little girls deserved to feel safe with their fathers. I thought all little girls deserved affirmations from their fathers. After he died about 3 years ago I realized that a father is not made just because he got a woman pregnant and she gave birth to his child. A father is made by the care he gives to his children. The gift of having a dad in your life is so precious. The way a dad treats his daughter will in some cases help decide the type man she will marry. As a child growing up, I remember reminding myself often, to never marry a man like my father. I did not want my kids growing up in the fear, hatred and anger I grew up in. I’ve wasted a lot of head space trying to figure out why he was the way he was. I have wasted a lot of mental headspace trying to figure out why I couldn’t be the child he loved. The truth is, he loved me the best he could. I truly believe that the way we are loved as a child can sometimes hinder us from loving well as adults if we allow it. I love deeply but with reservations. I love but still struggle with loving completely. Thank God for how he continues to heal my heart.
The picture above is me today. I married an amazing man and he is a wonderful father to our children. I feel like as I’ve watched him father our children, it has healed places in my heart that I thought would never heal. Do I still struggle with not having a good father? Yes their are moments still that I long for that relationship with my father who is no longer here with me. As a matter of fact a few years ago when he died, I remember thinking…all hopes of having a relationship with him died. I think I grieved more for what could never be than for my father. I had to make peace with those dreams of the father I still hoped he could be. I remember sitting at his service and I did not shed one tear. I felt so guilty but I felt nothing on that day. It was just recently that I actually really let myself cry and be sad. I’m still sorting through all of my feelings and strong emotions surrounding his death. The one thing I know is that Jesus will be our father if we let him. I know that we never have to prove our value to him. I’m his daughter who he loves even before he placed me in my mother’s womb. If you are reading this and you are struggling with daddy issues, please know you are still so loved. You are desperately wanted by our heavenly father Jesus. He sees you and he knows the deep ache in your heart to be in relationship with your father. Jesus deepest desire is to be in relationship with you. Jesus desires to hear about your day. Jesus desires to comfort you when your hurting. You do not have to earn his love, it just is. Today may you know the deep, deep love of your heavenly father. May you feel it in those places you are hurting. You my friend can stop striving for his love and begin to thrive in his love.
Heavenly father I pray for the one reading this that might be hurting from daddy issues. God I ask that you would heal their heart. I pray that your love would flood their very being. In Jesus name. Amen
I’ve almost made it to the end. I did not think I could stay focused and keep it going till the very end. As soon as I discovered we would be celebrating women’s History all month long, I decided to honor the women that have been a strategic part of my history and made such an impact on my future. I wanted you to see that age, race, cultural differences nor beliefs should stop us as women from supporting one another. I don’t necessarily have to look like you for you to encourage me. I want to encourage you, when you see women posting accomplishments or struggles be the first one to like or write an encouraging message under the post. It doesn’t matter if you know them there is nothing wrong with supporting them. Honestly, you might just find a sister from another mother😉😁. So let’s keep going, I’m almost done.
I will be closing this post with this sweet friend Jane DeLong . This is my sister in Christ that I connected with….guess where…..😯🙃🤔……Instagram. God gives the best gifts to us. This is the sweetest friend who will earnestly pray with you and for you. I love her blog Pleasing Aroma Ministries. You will find strength, encouragement in the word and inspiration. I share scriptures with her that I’m studying and she brings clarity and understanding to passages that I don’t see. I love her love for God’s word and her passion to teach it in a way that others learn to love it and understand it. I love that she will offer tools that will help you study God’s word for understanding. She is a true woman of God, who loves like Jesus does. The impact she has made in my life is the encouragement through her love for Jesus word to love it more myself. I have been impacted by her kindness towards me. I’ve been impacted by her sweet check-ins to see how me and my family are. I will be grateful for her friendship💚.
This month and writing these has truly been life changing for me. Every single lady I’ve written about, I truly believe God put them in my life for different reasons but all the same. I know he used them to be his hands and feet in the earth in my life. As I’m walking through some tough days, I needed these reminders of just how bless I truly am. I feel so undeserving of them but I’m so glad God still found me worthy. I have one last group to share over the coming days. I’m so honored for your presence here. This last group I’m excited to share with you is the reason I’m here outside of Jesus. Hang in there we are bringing this series to a end.
1). In the beginning decide how you want to finish. I truly believe from the start of anything we need to have a vision of how we desire to finish. Once you have that vision, then you know what your end goal is. Nobody can determine how you finish like you can. You are more than likely going to make decisions that help you finish strong. You will keep the end result before you. It will be a reminder of what you are working towards. Your end vision whether you believe this or not will help direct your decisions. If you have a vision of finishing strong in anything you do, you will make decisions that support that vision.
2). Surround yourself with the right people to support you. This can be a biggy. You cannot finish strong if the people in your inner circle are full of negativity. It can be difficult to move forward if the people that surround you are not for you. Sometimes we have people in our lives in places they don’t need to be. The people you seek wisdom from should be people who have earned a place of trust in your heart. The wisdom that people give, should line up with the life they live. To finish strong, surround yourself with people who are living well. People that finish strong are people who live well.
3). The in-between can be hard but beneficial. Before you disagree, let me explain. Most of the time we can get tired in the middle of our journey. The in-between is not where you started and it’s not your finish but your caught in the middle. In this place, people would say focus on your finish. I’m going to say be all there in the middle. Don’t be afraid to look back at where you started and celebrate how far you have come. The middle helps us appreciate how far we have come, and look ahead for how far we need to go. The middle can help us rest a little from our journey, it’s a place to strategize ways to ensure that we finish strong. Don’t despise the middle but celebrate it. Your not where you started, your not where you want to be, but baby you are on your way.
4). Finish I know this one word may sound crazy as a key to finishing strong😁, but this is one powerful word. You need to finish. Don’t give up a long the way. It is fine to pause and rest but just don’t quit. It’s okay to pause and reevaluate but, after you evaluate then keep going. To finish strong, learn from the lessons, look at your failures for what they are but please do not camp out there. Failures are only opportunities to find true success. Out of all the good things you can do in life, the best thing you will do is FINISH.
My whole intentions in writing this post was to encourage you to finish strong. Do not quit in the middle, rest, evaluate and keep going. If you quit in the middle, you will not experience the joy of finishing strong. You were born to win, you were created to finish strong. God’s plans for you are good and not evil, his good plans for you include a strong finish. I know it is difficult and sometimes giving up seems better than continuing to fight forward. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. You can make it through. God is with you and you can finish strong
God I am so grateful for the one reading this tonight. I ask that you continue to give them the strength they need to finish strong. Surround them with people who will speak wisdom into their heart. Help them to stay focused and to not give up in the middle. We’re so grateful for you Jesus. Amen
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 earn 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 knitted 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.
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 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💚.
6. You don’t always need to start over, just start again.
7. Be intentional with your time.
8. Be in the moment your in.
9. Everybody has an opinion but every opinion concerning you does not always matter💚.
Choose Jesus more this year. Oftentimes we can find ourselves choosing everything but Jesus. Choosing Jesus every morning as a way to start your day. Make sure to find a scripture to read and meditate on throughout your day. Invite him in to your day. Spend time in his word and talking to him. We can sometimes make talking to Jesus so complicated and it makes others believe they can’t do it. Prayer is simply just talking to God about anything and everything. He is waiting on you. I know there were times I’ve chosen unimportant things over Jesus but this year my desire is to choose Jesus more.
You are always important. I want you to remember that when making decisions this year. Sometimes we make decisions and we never consider how those decisions will affect us. I know I’ve sacrificed myself a lot in decision making to make sure that others were happy even if I was miserable. So, this year I decided to make sure to consider myself more this year. Some people may see it as selfish but it’s not selfish to think of yourself. I think what is selfish is to think of everyone else and never consider yourself. So this year, please remember that, “you are important too”.
Boundaries are healthy and needed. Boundaries are an excellent way to care for you and your mental health. Boundaries even with the people you love and call family are healthy. Setting a healthy boundary is another way of choosing yourself and making yourself important. A boundary says to others that they will not treat you any kind of way and still have access to you. Boundaries tell others that you love yourself enough to protect yourself from those who don’t know how to treat you well. Trust me practice setting boundaries and enforcing them, you will end a lot of toxic relationships and be bless with healthy ones.
Me time is necessary for your mental health. I did not know how vital me time was to taking care of my mental health. I plan to make more time for it this year. I feel so much better when I take time for myself. The same way we prioritize everything else is the same way we should prioritize time for ourselves. I love going to Barnes and Nobles alone and looking at books, slowly walking the isle just taking my time. I’m on nobody’s schedule but my own. I often will go to the lake and just sit on the peer and dream. It does not matter how you spend it as long as it’s time for you. Do what makes you happy during that time. Learn to be with yourself. Try it and see how much it helps you this year. My desire is at least 3 times a month to do something for me. I hope you will join me.
Stop talking yourself out of good things. This is simple, YOU deserve good things. Sometimes we talk ourselves out of good things because it seems like a risk. Believe it or not something’s that require a risk can still be a good thing for us. So be willing to take a little risk to get to the good things that you so deserve.
You don’t always need to start over, just startagain. It can be difficult to start over, and unnecessary too. I truly believe that there are more times than not that we just need to start again. When we start over and go back to the beginning we waste precious time that we could use. When we just start again we honor the work we have already done and we can move further along. Now there might be times that we do need to just start over, but keep in mind that starting over is not so bad, it’s a chance to get it right for you. I just want you to remember this year that starting over is not always the answer, maybe starting again is the better option.
Be intentional with your time. This one speaks for itself. Be mindful how you spend your time. Time is precious so in this new year let’s be more intentional in how we spend our time.
Be in the moment your in. One of my favorite quotes is,”Be where your feet are”. Basically meaning to be in the moment your in. We can find ourselves being physically present but mentally checked out. We can find ourselves being physically present but thinking about all the other things we need to be doing. Let me remind you that we miss precious times with those we love and sometimes we miss important information that we need to hear. To be in the moment means that every bit of your attention is in that moment. It means that mentally you are in that moment that your living right then. Don’t miss precious moments this year, be in the moment your in💚.
Everybody has an opinion, but not everyopinion concerning you matters. So this one is my favorite one. It’s true that everyone is entitled to their opinion but it’s not true that you have to navigate your life through their opinions. I know personally what it feels like to live in the opinions of others trying to fit in. I lost who I was and began to feel bitter towards myself. It was exhausting chasing everybody’s opinion concerning my life and decisions. I not only chased their opinions, I then let them dictate my life. I quickly learned that I needed to take back my life. I decided to only invite a little bit of wisdom in from those who had truly invested in my life. The greatest voice in my life today is Jesus and my family including very few friends who are like family to me. You will not believe the peace and confidence I live my life in now💚.
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.
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
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