Radical Love.

Radical Love.

Today is Valentine’s Day.

For me, it’s quite a big day.


It marks a year from being abandoned in my marriage.

Initially I wrestled with, “God, why, of all days Valentine’s Day”?
As I sat in silence, reflecting on this question, everything finally came to clarity.

It was Valentine’s Day because that day symbolizes love.
What I never realized is that this day was ordained for a mighty purpose…not just any purpose…a ministry purpose.

This day boldly symbolized no greater depiction that man's love may fail, but God's love ALWAYS prevails

I was questioned by an immense number of people in utter surprise

  • Why did you fight for your marriage?
  • How could you continue to stand for unconditional love when it was so much easier for you to run?

My answer?
Because I was SO overwhelmed by my Heavenly Father’s sacrificial unending love for me

I knew my mission was to radically mirror HIS vision.

When I chose to surrender ALL, stand + love radically, I powerfully granted Jesus full access to freely flow out of me.

The best part is he can do the exact SAME thing for YOU!
All you have to do is say, “Jesus, make me more like you”!

So stand with me, and choose radical unending love!
You’ll be amazed at the freedom and overwhelming blessing you’ll receive from above.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. “

1 John 4:16

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Pain is Debilitating. Forgiveness is Freedom.

Pain is Debilitating. Forgiveness is Freedom.

You hit your breaking point. You hit that wall.

The point to where you just feel you have exhausted all efforts to give anything and everything you have. The wall that has been cemented around your heart in attempt to protect what’s left.

Sometimes we set aside pain until it becomes utterly debilitating because we want to be “strong”.

It took falling on my knees, weeping, to realize I’ve allowed myself to drown into depths of pain I didn’t even know existed.

The ball and chain had won. I was being controlled by my hurts and hangups. 

But I didn’t have to be.

Forgiveness is HARD. It’s one of the toughest choices and acts of grace one can perform.

Holding on to hurt binds you chain by chain, creating distance, until the sight and even thought of forgiveness is of the impossible.

I’ve learned that the hard way.

While I longed for peace, I held on to resentment. While I longed for hope, I held on even tighter to my past and current pains. It was a never ending cycle.

I just completed a Bible study called “Forgiving Those Who Wound Us” in the “Bible” App. Through this study God spoke the healing I have been longing for.

(If you are currently going through the same struggle, please challenge yourself to it!)

We often quickly fixate on our own pain, the unfairness of it, and even the shock itself. What’s devastating is how quickly we forget how SMALL our trials are compared to what Christ suffered due to our OWN sin!

Jesus faced persecution to SAVE us because we are WORTHY in HIS eyes! If we rely on God’s grace to forgive us in our brokenness, we are expected to do the same.

“Then Peter came to him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’, ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!'”-Matthew 18:21-22.

We are imperfect people. We can thank sin for that.

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.” – Colossians 3:13-15

Humbling yourself in accepting you can be weak gives Jesus the power he longs for to provide you strength. 

Forgiveness is a daily conscious choice. Good news!

You may never get your answer, that apology, or the change you hope to see someday; don’t lose heart because Jesus is the ultimate healer. 

Only Jesus himself can fill the void, and place your heart back together piece by peace.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3

Break your chains one by one.

Let your heart be put back together.

Come find rest.

Forgive and become free!

Jesus guarantees it’s worth it.

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through EVERY circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:7.

The Pursuit of Servitude in the Season of Singleness

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Many of you may have become quite acquainted with the monotonous questions of “why aren’t you dating anyone?” or “why are you still single?” I know I sure have.

If anyone knows me they know how much I love, love. I thought to myself…but where does love go when you are single?

Ask me a little over a year ago where my life would be right now, and I would’ve told you: in nursing school, engaged, and planning a wedding. Sounds a bit different from my statement above, doesn’t it?

What if I told you right now I am in nursing school, and happily single. Yes, you read that correct, happily. Can you be happily single? Coming from someone who had known nothing but long-term relationships, I could’ve told you in a heartbeat – no way.

What I’m here to tell you is there is an answer called YES. This is an answer you don’t want to miss out on.

 Here’s my story.

I’ve grown up in a household where I have never witnessed being lead by faith; I was the only practicing believer. When people ask about my testimony they would question me as to how that is even “possible”. For the longest time, I too, didn’t really understand. Growing up I went “church hopping” with friends, but never had a place to call my own community and refuge. My faith was mine, to keep to myself, and it was left at that. I became used to being my own spiritual leader, and later carried it into relationships.

 The fixer. The encourager. The spiritual-stronghold.

I believed I could do and conquer anything I put my mind to; I had no other choice but to gain that sense of perseverance from responsibilities early on.

My greatest passions derived from serving. Making people happy is one of my absolute favorite things to do in life. How could you not enjoy seeing a smile light up the room because you did something to make their day even a tad bit brighter? It got to a point, though, relationship-wise, where I neglected my own happiness in order to fulfill another’s.

My crossroad came between getting engaged and pursuing The Lord. I couldn’t be the spiritual stronghold anymore because I couldn’t make an unbeliever believe nor did I have the right to try and do so. “Be ye not unequally yoked” 2 Corinthians 6:14

Was this the hardest decision I ever had to make in my life? YES. In no way was this easy for me. In all reality, what end is? So after years of various long-term relationships, my destination was now singleness. Great, I thought, relationships were all I had ever known…how am I supposed to learn how to be single?

The greatest answer was to hand my life completely over to Christ. Like I said, I had always grown up a believer, but for the first time in my life I actually handed over the control, and prayed for The Lord to lead me in this time of singleness.

IF HE CHOSE ME, HE CHOSE YOU TOO.

“You did not choose me. But I have chose you.” John 15:16

Moving back to Dallas, I finally became 100% invested into a place that served as my sanctuary – Irving Bible Church. Little did I know this church would be the seed allowing me to grow and blossom into the person The Lord has been calling me to be.

On October 5th, 2014 one of my pastor’s had preached a sermon about “Singleness”. This sermon blew me away and completely changed my perception on what it meant to be single. I can only hope this can serve as encouragement for those who may also struggle with singleness or need an extra spark to ignite your spirit…

Usage of the terms “single” or “in a relationship” serves primarily as a STATUS.

In my equation it would appear as so:

 RHIANNA = SINGLE

Point blank.

Because we are human, we tend to allow “status” to define the type of life we lead as well as our happiness. This ranges from relationships, finance, and success.

Here’s the spin.

What if we took “Service” and placed it into the numerator:

SERVICE


STATUS

Now you may ask, okay so what does SERVICE/STAUS = ?

According to this sermon and Biblical context, this is the outcome you don’t want to miss out on…

First of all, singles should never classify themselves as “alone” because you are COMPLETE in Christ. We all “are the body of Christ, and each one of [us] is a part of it” 1 Corinthians 12:7. Although you may feel alone physically, Jesus is always in your spirit and guards your heart.

My favorite statement from this sermon is, “The ultimate vocation of Christian singles is to be the Delta force for the Kingdom of God”. Delta force. How empowering is that? By embracing a season of singleness it reveals SUFFICIENCY of God’s love within ourselves.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Secondly, your season of singleness is set to transform your relationship with Christ. When you are single, you have extra time to devote your attention to The Lord because a significant other does not divide it. “An unmarried woman is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.” 1 Corinthians 7:34

Finally, service. What does it mean to serve others? Good news is, service has an extraordinary variety: teaching, volunteering, donating, time, listening, praying, rejoicing with one another…the list goes on. What I have found that has brought me to absolutely thrive in my singleness is the act of service. If you were to have met me or know me you know my greatest battle is sitting still. Here’s why:

I believe in pursuing each and everyday to the fullest.

I believe in not taking life for granted.

I believe in making the world a better place.

I believe loving well and loving often is the greatest gift The Lord has given.

I believe there is a man somewhere out there that The Lord is preparing for me.

“Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.” –Mother Teresa

Not only are you growing within yourself, but you are also sharing the same kind of love Jesus gives unto us. Serving in your extra time of singleness allows you to feel a sense of purpose, and know that even the smallest act is bettering the world.

I have witnessed so much love and joy through Christ, and in all areas I partake in that I do not have any room in my heart to feel sorrow or insufficiency due to lacking a significant other.

Use the gifts The Lord has blessed you with to touch the lives of others. Whether you want to believe it or not, He has bestowed something significant in each of us.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good steward’s of God’s varied grace” 1 Peter 4:10

From the beginning I asked, where does the love go in your singleness?

I challenge you to love yourself, love those who are broken, love the gift of life, love those who can never love you back, love the fact that you have a purpose, and love Jesus is working and pursuing your heart every single day.

Don’t lose faith. My time and your time will come. As for now

take on the mission to pursue the act of servitude in your season of singleness.

 So, are you singleYes, and I’m happily embracing every single bit of it.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and the one who knocks, the door WILL open” Luke 11:9-10