Through The Thickest Of Thorns Redemption Is Born

Through The Thickest Of Thorns Redemption Is Born

The pieces once left before me made me believe life as I knew it was nothing but empty. One by one the petals were ripped away — I knew from this moment forth my life would never be the same. All that remained was the stem of thorns, which convinced me my life couldn’t possibly have purpose anymore.

I had grasped on to those thorns because it was the last of all I’d known. Broken and worn I couldn’t do this anymore. These damaged wounded palms weeped for a release because truth be told my life was the furthest thing from living in peace.

With the faintest glimpse of hope, I slowly started to release, and instead chose to cling to the promise He could and He would restore my broken heart and soul. Deep within my heart I was convicted this facade of love was something I had to completely let go.

Then came the day I humbly laid my broken worn stem of thorns before the throne. It was in His mercy and grace, He began to prune the dead pieces away. My heart began to beat life again in an entirely new and beautiful way.

I finally encountered a newfound love — a love here to stay. A love that pursued me to my darkest trenches, and committed to never let me go. A love in the deepest capacity I had yet to fathom or even come to know.

“Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I got up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” Psalm 139:7-8

The tears never went to waste as they served quite an important job; though in the moment it felt like they were drowning me, God’s intent was to grow me. God had a specific plan for the tiniest seed of faith I humbly planted, and with the watering of my tears began to grow something far more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

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

Though the thorns created scars, the scars painted the picture of a redemptive story. Because Jesus was working it all for good, as promised, in exchange to magnify His glory.

When I learned to love me, and recognized the magnitude of what Jesus had done in His sacrifice of life to make me free, I began to live my life completely differently.

Wholeness and incomparable joy were genuinely felt for the very first time. I praised God with unending gratitude for every broken moment; those moments lead me to where I now stand firm in faithfulness today because healing had finally taken place. The Lord ignited a fire in my heart and spirit to give anything and everything to empower others to also seek Jesus’s face — to faithfully remind them that their pain would become anything but a waste.

“The spirit of The Lord God is upon me, because The Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners” Isaiah 61:1

When you come to this place where your contentment is in Jesus alone, you my friend have become whole. He longs to bless you and revive the old into something beautiful and new. Or, even completely surprise you with something that might just be right behind you.

Even through the thickest of thorns, redemption can be born in many impeccable different forms. The real question is will you simply, yet boldly, proclaim, “I trust you Lord”?

“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 43:19


I would like to extend a huge thanks and unending gratitude for Ashia Mosley with Ashia Mosley Photography

Follow on Facebook + Instagram @ashiamosleyphotography

Ashia has been a faithful friend and one incredible woman of God. You will without a doubt be blessed by her presence, passion, and God given gift of photography.

When I Sat in Seat 29D

When I Sat in Seat 29D

Ever have those moments where you’re faced with two choices, but have to make a decision within a split second without much thought at all?

Seat 29D was one of those for me.

I was traveling home from Chicago on September 21, 2019. One of my coworkers happened to be on the same flight, and I almost offered her my seat to trade because the circumstances may have been more convenient for her. Within the moment I was about to offer, something in my spirit nudged me like I wasn’t supposed to. I had no idea why, but I just had this discernment not to — it was just a seat anyway, right?

As we took off, nothing appeared out of the ordinary, and I just rubbed off the feeling of needing to be in this seat for some distinct reason.

Midway through the flight I took out my book, Faithfully Fervent, and began to take notes on certain quotes I could make teaching or inspirational points out of. I could feel the gaze of the man sitting directly to my right, and he inquisitively asked me what I was reading. In my response of telling him it was my story I wrote, he appeared to be taken aback. He shared with me that the back of the cover was what initially caught his eye because of the words, “It’s Time to Stand”. Once he peered over my shoulder and caught a glimpse of my chapter on radical love, he stated he felt inclined to inquire.

He shared, “We need more of this bold faith in the world.”

As he asked me to share my story, we mutually were stunned because he proclaimed to also walk an incredibly similar journey to mine. The man unraveled the details of his testimony, and I came to learn he became a pastor that traveled all over the world to share the gospel. His opportunities he had been blessed with all derived from his bold decision to ask God to use him and his story – for HIS glory – and He DID.

I will never forget the most powerful thing he spoke over me. He said,

“You just watch. Your faithfulness and obedience is about to open doors you couldn’t imagine. God’s going to use your story. You can quote me now.”

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 14:12

There is no other explanation for this encounter on my flight other than God. All I can say is I’m glad I chose to keep my seat after all.

Sometimes it’s a scary thought to want to share our story. It’s vulnerable, it’s messy, and it’s real. With our story we will face opposition and more than likely condemnation from some.

But let us not forget that our most difficult opposition will never equate to the power behind an even greater opportunity.

The opportunity to share the gospel. The opportunity to bring hope and healing by pointing people to the ultimate healer. The healer who resurrects even our darkest deepest pains and shames. The opportunity to show people what true freedom is — Jesus.

Gladly take the seat God ordained for you. You never know just who may be sitting next to you as you share your story, and how His glory will be brought out of you.

“But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” 2 Timothy 4:5

Piece By Piece I Found My Peace

Piece By Piece I Found My Peace

We all have a vision. A hope. A dream. A picture perfect idea of everything we hope our person we will someday get to love to be.

Piece by piece we pray and ask The Lord, “will you bring this for me?”


I began journaling prayers for the man I’d someday marry in aspiration to gift it to him on our wedding day. They were dated, timed, intricately thought out, and faithfully prayed over.

I’ve grown to witness that the power prayer holds is something so incomparable and intimate. I undoubtedly believed if God already has and would continue to move massive mountains in my life, then he could and would explicitly create this man I dreamed of — just for me.

10.5.19 I came home from work only to find my husky got a hold of my journal and devoured it to shreds — completely disseminated my heart felt prayers all over the floor beneath me.

Initially, my heart sank because of the weight I placed in this journal, this dream, I had promised to gift one day. Now it was gone.

But piece by piece The Lord began to convict me.

What appeared to be a destroyed dream before me, ended up cultivating a new beautiful perspective.

No matter how specific I pray or how intricately I ask The Lord for my list of desired characteristics and qualities, no man will be perfect — just as I am far from perfect and in need of just as much grace.

These tattered torn pieces in front of me began to speak life as The Lord graciously reminded me of truth.As I started picking up the pieces, I realized the parts of the pages that were not destroyed were character traits and scriptures — everything else in the middle was gone.

It was in this moment I was convicted that The Lord spared the most important pieces after all, and God, as my foundation, would fill in the rest.

He will possess Godly traits, but still remain an imperfect human who will need unconditional love and grace. He may not be everything I’m wanting or longing to see, but this man will be exactly who God created him to be.

Piece by piece The Lord restored me with a newfound peace. A peace in knowing His perfect time and perfect way will pave the path to the man I will get to sacrificially love, extend grace, and serve The Kingdom with someday.

“But he said to me, ‘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

Faithfully Fervent: On Sale Now

Faithfully Fervent: On Sale Now

Summary:

Faithfully Fervent takes you along the journey of how Christ resurrected a once-dead life inside and invigorated a radical fight for love and redemption. This journey is rooted in what it means to truly stand for Christ and His promises when faced with the most debilitating adversity. Faithfully Fervent takes you through a transformative process to equip you to stand firm as a child of God despite the world’s invitation to run.

This book empowers you:

To say yes to becoming a fierce warrior.

To run your race with endurance and chase the prize that is Christ.

To faithfully choose to become victorious when, against all odds, the world pressures you to do otherwise.

Strip off all your pride. Deny self, Pick up your cross. Get ready to live free and do a mighty work to bring glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Your story serves a mighty purpose because God isn’t finished with you yet.

Come along on the journey to being Faithfully Fervent.

Continue reading “Faithfully Fervent: On Sale Now”

When The Darkness Dissipates

When The Darkness Dissipates

Imagine the darkest, desolate, deserted night.

It surrounds you. It blinds you. It disseminates fear within you.

In the moment you may feel there’s no sense or path of direction to lead you back home. You keep walking, yet you find there’s no escape. All you know is exhaustion is setting in, and you have no idea where to begin. The darkness creeps its way in to tempt you to believe this is complete and utter defeat. What then, could ever make this darkness cease?

Light.

But where? But how?


In the name of Jesus darkness dissipates.

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46

When you invite Jesus into your heart, immediately, you are granted victory from the very start. The fear that once disseminated inside you…the darkness that creeped its way in you or around you…begins a mass exodus by the one and only power of the Holy Spirit within you.

While initially you still may not physically see the light around you, you faithfully trust and believe that if your God is for you, a glimmer of hope, a glimpse of light, is surely yet to come.

You may be waiting. Waiting for a really long time. But Jesus will faithfully fill you with perseverance and endurance to keep you pressing on to not give up on your fight.

being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” Colossians 1:11

Now — enter the light.

Even from the greatest distance, the small faint glimmer catches your eye. The darkness surrounding you is now forced into your peripheral view because there’s a light that’s drawing you. As you continue to reach for the light, you suddenly begin to regain all of your sight. When you finally embrace the light, there’s absoultely no denying the power, the warmth, and the fullness of Christ that ignites your entire being — your entire life.

It may have been a painful journey — searing, and burning the lifeless wick away; but oh, the light that illuminates once it’s finally lit by the power of Jesus’s name.

It’s a light you now carry onto your brand new journey. You can boldly walk before and into someone else’s darkness by carrying and shining this hope in Christ; to be a light reminding them there will be freedom at the end of this fight…despite the darkest of nights.

Your story has a purpose to be used for God’s glory. Whatever darkness you have carried or walked through, I can promise it will never compare to the beautiful story and brightest light God is establishing for you.

Be the light and don’t fear the dark. God has His lighter ready longing to ignite the fire in your heart. You have the power to become this light, when you run towards The Lord with a longing for Him to be the center of your life.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome” John 1:5

Watch Me Work While You Wait

Watch Me Work While You Wait

Have you ever found out something really good was going to happen to you, or you knew an incredible blessing was headed your way?

You know it’s coming. You see it’s coming.

It just hasn’t happened, yet.

Waiting is hard. Really hard. Especially when you can anxiously anticipate the good things coming your way. You just want it now, why wait?

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” Ecclesiastes 3:1

The Lord intricately places us, and allows us to stay, in particular seasons for a purpose. If we’re not in a season of abundant blessing, it may be a season of tumultous trial. If we don’t find ourselves in either of those, we’re probably in a season of rest or waiting.

In our season of tumultous trial, we desperately seek the day we can finally rest. Yet, when we finally rest, we’re usually pretty quick to long to move on to what’s next.

We don’t want to rest or wait because that means we’re being called to forsake.

Forsake our will. Forsake our plans.

Forsake our timing.

You have two choices to make. Either you wait on God, or make God wait on you. Here’s the thing about making God wait on you – in the end, you still have to wait on God. Now, just twice as long.

You can only go so long fighting to do things in your will power, and in your way, until you finally recognize God’s way is the only promised way.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

I love Galatains 6:9, and here’s why:

It’s a promise.

You don’t find any maybe’s. You find a WILL, and a DUE TIME.

This means, no matter what, whatever you sow in the name of The Lord will reap reward and blessing. Knowing that it will happen, still means you have to trust God’s time of when.

No amount of trial, length of time we wait, or mighty storm can ever compensate or take away from all that God divinely has in store.

I felt The Lord speak into my heart, “Watch me work while you wait“, which is why I felt lead to use it as I wrote this blog.

The beauty in the waiting is we are able to sit back, trust, and watch God unfold all that we’ve been awaiting before our very eyes.

In this season, The Lord has graciously given me the work “steadfast”.

Steadfast means IMMOVABLE.

I don’t know about you, but I want a faith that’s fierce and will never bow down to move.

I want a faith that stands firm so that GOD CAN AND WILL MOVE!

 “These trials will show that your faith is genuine.” 1 Peter 1:7

While this scripture specifically says trial, I feel this also applies in the waiting. From personal experience, in trial, I was more prone to doing WHATEVER God called me to because I was clinging to Him by a thread of desperation.

In the waiting however, we may be more prone to sway our own way because we’re tired of God not “making a move” yet. The genuineness of our faith in the waiting magnifies our actual trust in The Lord. Even though we may not be desperately hanging on God, we confidently and boldly have the opportunity to fiercely trust our God.

We can either worry while we wait or worship while we wait.

When we choose to woship in the waiting, we boldly declare we believe God will fulfill His promises made unto us. It is an act of faith, and proclaims if God is all we have at the moment, than it is exceedingly more than enough.

So, Lord, thank you for working amidst my waiting.

Let us wait. Let us watch.

Let Him faithfully work and move right in front of you.

Believing in the Breakthrough

Believing in the Breakthrough

You know that feeling. Thick heavy clouds weighing oh so heavily down on your heart. Anxiously anticipating the weight of the downpour to break you at any moment. Feeling like the flood of tears could sweep away the faintest ounce of strength you had left.

The weariness.

The darkness.

The hopelessness.

The questioning.

Are you sure, God actually keeps His promises?


12/11/2018 I was walking my dogs and weather outside was on the brink of a storm. It was early afternoon, but you could’ve been convinced to believe it was near dusk by the bleak darkness that filled the entire sky.

Then, I just had this peaceful moment with God. I realized despite the heavy thick gray clouds, I’m still able to see all that’s around me. It couldn’t ever be complete darkness during the day, no matter the clouds, because the sun is more powerful. The sun is so incredibly far above that the storm can never overtake it.

Although it may not be as bright out, we’re reminded the storm will pass and the sun will shine again.

When the clouds begin to part and the sun starts to breakthrough, it slowly begins as single rays.The rays stretch far out across the sky to remind you hope is rising.

When the sun finally, completely, breaks through, it becomes so blinding and powerful that you forget the clouds even exist around you.

Isn’t it beautiful that this is exactly what Jesus does for us??

In our storms, JESUS IS THERE!

He is HIGHER than the storm because He is GREATER than our storms.

I will continue to praise His name and give thanks even when my breakthrough hasn’t happened yet. I believe in this because I know in full truth He will not forsake his promises.

Right now I know your weariness and exhaustion may be holding you down. I challenge you to fight and persevere because your prayers never fall on deaf ears!

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13

Your sun will shine again. Friends, your storms don’t have you. Your mighty God does, and He’s GOING TO BREAKTRHOUGH for you.

Choose to believe in the breakthrough.

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” Psalm 107:28-31

 

 

Materialism Manipulated Me

Materialism Manipulated Me

Investing confidence in financial or materialistic things robs you from the freedom Christ died to bring.

Don’t get me wrong, having or desiring really nice things are not always a bad thing. While I say that, it’s imperative you sustain an awareness of it not taking root and becoming a heart issue.

 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24

Keep in check where your driving factors come from:

Does it drive you closer to Jesus, or dig the hole deeper into sin?

Does it drive you to work hard to convince people you’re happy, when reality is you’re nothing but empty?

Does it drive you to be selfish in places you should be selfless?

Does it drive dependence in the world or on the One who created the world?

It’s important to keep tabs on the places you find your deepest drive in selfishness. It’s in those places that God is trying to show you that there is something in you that needs to be humbled and renewed.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

The scary thing about glorifying our lives with worldly things is you end up preaching the wrong gospel.

You proudly preach, “look at me – then you’ll be happy”. By this people start to believe success, money, travel, and materialism really will satisfy.

Reality is, it’s nothing but a massive lie because we know the truth is this world can never satisfy.

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10

Don’t let materialism manipulate you

Instead, we should be more proud to say, “look at what Jesus has done for me, within me, and what He can also do for you – so you can find freedom too”.

I had my own fair share of battles with financial status and security. It became an ugly idol. This idol conformed my identity to the likeliness of the world, and made me my own enemy.

  • I was driven to have my dream car (Explorer) because it looked like a Range Rover.

  • I was driven to go back to school to become a Nurse Practitioner for better hours and higher salary.

  • I was driven to believe going on fun trips would give me the opportunity to escape problems or things I was avoiding.

  • I was driven not to tithe because I was so worried about building a significant financial security blanket, yet I made sure to have money for things I deemed “worthy” – superficially.

What a stab, worthy. Isn’t is sad how easily we find ourselves just so entitled and worthy. Truth is, we deserve absolutely nothing, but our Savior gave us everything.

How is it that I could be so consumed in doing what was “best for me” while I completely neglected praising my savior for how HE blessed me.

He blessed me so I could bless others, not to live for self.

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10

While sometimes having and doing nice things can be fun or de-stressing, I allowed myself to get carried away to fill the void of needing Jesus.

*Enter conviction*

I started tithing. I sold my dream car. I withdrew from NP school. I moved to the suburbs, and gave up city life.

When my paycheck comes, my first 10% is now immediately tithed before any other financial obligation – no matter how scary it may seem. I can affirm without a doubt God will provide and bless me. Scripture says so.

He knew I didn’t need the fancy car. He knew I wasn’t meant to be a NP, but instead, He wanted me to pursue ministry. He knew I didn’t need a high-rise because He wanted me to have an extra room to better serve HIS people who may have a need.

I gave up several material things that were significantly driving me, and today I feel freer then free.

My prayer is that you too will search your heart, and ask Him to reveal if there’s anything that could use a little “less of me”.

Trust me, God has no problem giving us a dose of humility. God convicts us each differently, but longs to do it lovingly – to give you freedom.

Let’s spend less time making our lives look pretty, and instead make our hearts and how we steward others pretty.

Be financially free and trust God will make you rich by the grace of His promises.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5

Raw + Real

Raw + Real

Being a Christian isn’t about pretty, put-together, prayers.

It’s raw. It’s real.

Sometimes, if not most times, filled with the honest gut-wrenching tears.

We live in this false pretense that it gets easier when you decide to become a believer.

It’s easy to pull scripture + pour out truth when you’re not the one desperately grasping for an ounce of a breakthrough.

It’s easy to say, “trust God” when you’re not the one hanging by the thread of only having “just God”.

It’s easy to say, “I’m doing okay” to fight off the pride in humbly saying, “I honestly don’t know how to make it through another day”.

But amidst the brutal, honest, tears, you end up being met by the God who knows exactly how to calm your fears.

“Cast your cares on The Lord and he will sustain you; he will not let the righteous fall” Psalm 55:22

    The God who hears you.
    The God who sees you.
    The God who believes in you.

Maybe right now you’re not okay.

Maybe right now you need to hear it’s okay if you’re really not okay.

But I will FIGHT to tell you, God with his goodness, mercy, and faithful heart never intends for you to stay that way.

There will be a day your tears of mourning radically become transformed into tears of rejoicing and those that are adorning.

Some days + nights you may find yourself clenching your Bible, and earnestly seeking a place to rest your head.

My beautiful friend, it’s completely okay because it’s in the midst of the raw, real, dependence, you become a witness to experiencing His fulfillment of promises.

“I have heard your prayers and seen your tears. I WILL heal you.” 2 Kings 20:5

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Many days + nights this was me.

In full transparency, it still can be me.

Your growth in The Lord shouldn’t make you more confident in self, but drive deeper the roots in dependence on God himself.

I’m okay with this every once in a while being me, but Lord how I PRAISE YOU and THANK YOU for knowing you’ve set this captive 100% free.

My prayer for you too, my friend, is to rejoice in the gift of freedom – freely gifted upon you, to heal you.