Learning to trust God

 

A few months ago, God confirmed that it was time for me to focus on myself. I thought I accepted His confirmation when I convinced myself I was looking forward to this journey. But not even a few weeks in, I found myself being forced to face things I wasn’t ready to face. I had to accept losing people who were close to me, I had to accept spending more time alone, I had to come to terms with some insecurities of mine, and I’ve had to learn how to become more emotionally independent. Although I knew that being in this space could benefit me, to be honest it’s been really hard to deal with. So instead of embracing change, I chose to distract myself instead. I’ve distracted myself with other people, social media, going out and turning up, laziness, sleep, and basically anything that kept me from actually dealing with being in a hard space. For the most part, I enjoyed being distracted; it was fun. However, I say “for the most part” because it would be the other times when people weren’t available, I was no longer drunk, or I couldn’t fall asleep, that my feelings would consume me and I would feel stuck and defeated.

Earlier this month, one of my devotional readings really spoke to me. It said that “sometimes God will back you into a corner and remove all your alternatives to show you His miracle-working power. If God’s Word is all you have to go on, you’re about to receive a miracle. If you have faith in His Word, God will take what seems impossible and accomplish it. I think this opened my mind and heart because it explained how I feel: backed into a corner and striped of my alternatives. I like knowing that because of where I am God is preparing me to receive a miracle. But what really kept me thinking is “if you have faith..“. Reading this part, triggered thoughts in my head like: What does it mean to have faith? Do I have faith? But what about this and what about that? 

It’s funny how God works because even in the midst of me ignoring Him, doubting Him, and choosing others over Him, He still hasn’t failed to show Himself to me. Since I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree three years ago, I have been praying, crying, worrying and working my butt off to move forward within my field. I wanted so badly to get into grad school, even applied once before and was denied. But, long story short, God encouraged me to re-apply and this time I was accepted and granted scholarship money that initially I was told I was not eligible for! When I shared this with one of my friends, she reminded me that God has a plan for me and that I need to start trusting Him more. This is exactly what I needed to hear! God came through right on time. Not only was this the answer to my prayers, but this filled me with the hope I need to make it through my current storm.

God’s faithfulness during this time gave me an understanding about what it means to have faith. I’m learning that I have to look past what I see now and look forward to what God has coming. I have to let go of how I believe my life should go and follow the plan that God has set for me. I have to believe that when I pray God hears me even if He doesn’t respond right away. I have to trust that God’s timing is better than my own. I have to surrender my worry, doubt, and fear unto Him and allow Him to work on my behalf. I have to communicate with God on a regular and consistent basis. Most importantly, I am learning to allow myself to be vulnerable with God so that He may use this space to draw me closer to Him. This is definitely going to be a process for me but I am happy to be learning how to trust in God.

-WhataBeauty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putting ME First

[I will] continually ask God to fill [me] with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. -Colossians 1:9 

I don’t remember exactly when I began to pray this Scripture, but I believe that praying this along with continually asking God to use all of my experiences to teach me has led me to my current and newest revelation. In the past two months, God has used my sister, a new friend, my introduction to Redefine Woman, and the struggles of my former relationship to tell me to pay attention to how I feel. For days I ignored this push to focus on me.

Once again while planning for my mentoring group (lol), the videos I found to share with my girls truly spoke to me. In addition to being pushed to focus on myself, these videos (below) put in perspective why that is so important.

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Why YOU?

 

Why put YOU first?

 

How can putting YOU first create balance?

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Initially, I ignored the push to focus on myself because I was afraid. Afraid of making a change, afraid of how this could affect all those close to me, and afraid of what this would really mean. However, I found the conversations in the videos above to be really inspirational; they helped to instill in me the desire to take more time for me. I feel that God wants me to spend time learning what my purpose is, taking care of my inner and physical being, and focusing on what makes me happy. Although coming to this realization has caused me to make several decisions that I am not necessarily happy with, I am confident in the ultimate results that this will bring.

What struck me the MOST:

  • Your NUMBER 1 JOB is to figure out what your purpose is and to align your skills, personality and being with your purpose
  • Only through learning your purpose, do you have the ability to offer your full self to the rest of the world
  • You are the representation of God in your life so you have to be as good to you as you want to be to God
  • Be Self-FULL. You don’t have anything to give that you don’t have. You have to keep your cup full. What is in your cup is for you, what comes out of the cup is for everyone else
  • You have to take care of yourself, in order to have the alignment, power, and energy to take care of others
  • Taking care of yourself feeds into your happiness and helps you to be full enough to give into other areas of your life which ultimately creates balance

 

I am looking forward to taking care of me!

-WhataBeauty

 

What is a friend anyway?

I currently implement a female mentoring program after school on Thursdays. As I was planning for last week’s meeting, the activity I found really struck my mind. I found a worksheet called “Building a Buddy” that asks several questions to examine the rules of friendship. Some of the questions I posed to my girls included: “How does a friend differ from an acquaintance?”, “How does an ordinary friend differ from a best friend?”, and “Does a friend have to consider you to also be a friend?”. Out of all the questions we talked about, the one that stood out to me the most was: “What has experience taught you about friendship?”.

I used to think that friendship was defined by titles or by how long you knew someone. But I learned that that isn’t it at all. Friendship is actually mutual affection, dynamic, bond, effort, sacrifice, commitment, loyalty, honesty, and respect. Yes, friendship has levels and building takes time. But, I think the one thing I didn’t realize is that in time you constantly learn how a person is and as you learn this, you should also grow in befriending and caring for them.

I would say that although coming to this realization caused me shed tears and pain, it is one of the greatest lessons I learned in 2016. I knew that I always had trouble in friendships [and relationships for that matter] but it wasn’t until I lost a close family member last year that I realized why. Even to this day, one thing someone said at his funeral keeps repeating in my head: “This has to be a time, if no other time, that you learn something.” At the time, the only thing I could process was how much pain my family was in and how his death would drastically change a lot. But, as I spent time meditating over this repeating thought in my head, a few things became more clear to me.

Since his death was not anticipated, his wife and family were not financially prepared to cover the cost of burial services. On top of having to deal with the fact that he was no longer here, his wife was burdened with how she would deal with suddenly becoming a single mother of three and finding out how she was going to pay for his burial services. Oh, but little did she know she wouldn’t have to carry this weight on her own. In the matter of a week or so with the help of friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family she had more than enough money to pay for the funeral. Almost every day someone was dropping by. People was bringing cooked dinner, coming to spend time with the kids, bringing monetary donations, etc. Isn’t He good?  On the day of the funeral, I was so surprised to see how many people showed up to support. So many of his friends and co-workers had amazing things to say about him and was more than willing to offer up their time and support to his wife and children. It didn’t dawn on me until later that this was what friendship was all about. Support, love, and care.

I contemplated whether or not this was something I should share; mainly because I still find it kind of crazy that at 24 years old, God had to teach me what friendship means. However, because of this lesson, I was able to put many of my past and current friendships [and relationships] into perspective. I learned that I am no longer okay with using history as a justification for why my dynamic in some of my friendships is not as strong, I am no longer okay with having a title without a bond, I am no longer okay with stagnancy, and most importantly I am no longer willing to lose who I am for someone else.

For these reasons, I felt that I should share. I am SO GRATEFUL to God for helping me to gain this insight. I know that having this insight won’t just up and change everything, but I am excited about this internal growth. I am happy about how moving forward will go for me.