If the voices of insecurity, doubt and fear are not confronted, they will dictate your life. These can take many forms – drug abuse, alcohol abuse, gender based violence, letting a burning injustice fester inside you.
You cannot silence these voices anymore!
Time to take action. There’s an old expression “silence is golden, so shut up and get rich”. Well, that’s obviously not valid nor is remaining silent doing you any favours.
No More Excuses
Most people struggling to overcome their fears have had an encounter with disappointment so great that every dream they can conceive is contaminated with the toxic anxiety of failure. When your mind becomes cluttered with the possibilities of “what if,” there is no room for faith. Living life prepared for the worst possible outcome is like living in a cage—it’s not freedom. Over time, you will recognize the difference between guarding your heart and restricting it. You’ll learn to stop talking yourself out of the good things God has promised to all who live according to His purpose.
You, my survivor friend, will not settle for a life dictated by insecurities or previous experiences. You have access to power that is capable of working within you to free you from any mental and emotional bondage that has convinced you a better life is not within your grasp. We cannot tap into that power and hang on to excuses at the same time. Your heart, mind, and hands must be free to lay hold of all that is ahead of you.
Shedding excuses is a discipline that must be practiced with our thoughts, communication, and actions. There is only room for language that declares: I will! Growth occurs when we confront our personal experiences and how they’ve changed us. You can create a new pattern and move forward with determination like never before, but you must learn what’s stopped you in the past. If the challenge to heal and become whole has been issued by people other than yourself, then your journey will always require permission before progression.
Don’t allow your destiny to be determined by a democracy. Your immediate circle may not know how to coach you through your heartbreak or, even worse, they may need the company of your misery to distract them from their own need for healing. Avoid the temptation to make your healing contingent on approval and validation from other people.
The bridge from who you once were to who God has ordained you to be is created from bricks of vulnerability, humility as strong as mortar, and a master plan so perfect, even the things that once hurt you will serve in making you better. Your willingness to let go of the excuses and vow to move forward just laid the first brick, but there’s still work to be done.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:1-3
You must feverishly pursue a relationship with God and keep the Holy Spirit Helper by your side always.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:10-11
What Are Your Patterns?
Have you ever taken time to consider your own emotional patterns? Consider the repeated thoughts and actioms that create recurring emotions and therefore yield habitual actions. Understanding those patterns will require opening the dark closets of our heart and dissecting the memories we thought were buried. We must begin to ask ourselves: Why did this happen to me? What did it teach me? How do I keep it from ever happening again?
Of course not all patterns are bad. Some patterns are so virtuous that they should be refined and held for a lifetime. The greatest gift you can give yourself is the ability to identify patterns that have created themes in your life. Those patterns may not go away completely, but it’s possible that you can begin to recognise them and rob them of the power they have to control your life.
I’ve had to work extra hard at pinpointing my emotions and expressing them when necessary. When you notice a shift in your mood, take a moment to truly take inventory of what led to the shift. Don’t just chock it up to being off center. Find the root of what’s blocking you from having complete joy. You would be surprised how much simply expressing those emotions can relieve you.
Can you remember areas in your life where you felt shame, pain, or embarrassment? Are there specific memories attached to that? How did your perspective on yourself and others change as a result of that? Recognising the root of your pattern is the only way you can eradicate it from your life. Once you begin to realise some of the unhealthy patterns associated with your life, you have to wage a defense against them. That defense will have to come in the form of combatting those thoughts or emotions with a prevailing healthier thought.
There are some issues in our life too great for us to handle on our own. We need divine interventions to remind us that there is a resource available to us that supersedes the obstacles around us. You’re not fighting this battle on your own. God has a perfect plan and will for your life. Trust His plan, which includes joy, peace, and love. That’s the transformational thinking that provides a light in even the darkest tunnels.
5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. 7 Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth 2 Corinthians 13:5-8
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Live Your True Identity
Everything you need to be beautiful, successful, incredible, blessed, trusted, respected, honored, and happy are already in your life. It may not seem like it, but only because you’re focusing on the wrong things. Anything birthed prematurely risks complications. The complications you’ve faced that made you stop believing are simply things that you gave birth to too soon. Still, God was kind enough to teach you a lesson from that journey that made you better for His use.
Don’t take life into your own hands. Control the part of you that believes you know better than Him. Trust that if you don’t have something it’s because you aren’t ready for it. Believe that if it’s on your plate, you can handle it. Stop doubting your strength and testing grace. Don’t do what feels right; do what makes you a better person. That may require you to have a new level of discipline or deeper level of vulnerability. There will be countless things that allow you an escape from your insecurities. Don’t use them. Instead, see your insecurities for what they are: places where love can fill in the gap. Love yourself enough that the insecurities have to become beautiful.
Be patient. Once you reach the destination you have in your mind, you will see that there is still work to be done. Then you will wish that time would slow down long enough for you to enjoy the view. Find something beautiful about life every day. Look beyond the bills, the heartbreak, the dying mother, the absent father, the wild child, and the failed dreams. See the beauty in having another day, another chance. Choose to no longer worship the way things should have been. Praise God for knowing you weren’t ready.
When you start to find your true identity, people will still be looking for glimpses of the old you. Some will be unsuccessful; others will be content with learning the new and improved you. Have a memorial service for those who want to hold you to your mistakes and poor decisions. If that’s all they choose to see, then they shouldn’t be granted access to the blessing that is your journey. They aren’t evil. They’re broken. You don’t have to let them break you too, though. You don’t have to lose yourself trying to save them. Be strong enough to choose you.
A Living Sacrifice
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12: 1-8
and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.
1 Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack.2 My adversaries pursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me. 3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.4 In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to… Continue reading Facing Fear
The Powerful Gospel
Learning from the Persecuted Church Christian persecution is one of the biggest human rights conflicts of our time. Not only our time, but the first century church as well. Millions of Christians living all over the world are experiencing high levels of persecution. There is a lot to learn from those who boldly witness and… Continue reading A Radical Persecuted Church