Nothing ever could separate us

chained

Romans 8: 38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“Don’t get distracted by what other people say or even when you’re isolated with your own thoughts…the enemy will always try to trip you up or question your identity in Him. Just start free writing you will be surprise what comes out.” – My friend Tierra

I am my own worst critic. Is what I say to myself but that is FALSE! Satan is my worst critic but here I go again over-dramatizing my own opinion of myself. Somewhere down the line after many trials, I gained the innate ability to constantly doubt myself. I was one of those kids that thought the world was a stage. I had a sense of boldness and determination early on. So much so, that my mom took me to an audition when I was 7 years old to try out for the Cleveland School of the Arts. I vividly remember my audition like it was just yesterday. The prospective drama majors were told to read a small part from the Wizard of Oz. They gave us a script in advance with several different characters and we had to select only one character to recite. Well of course I memorized the entire script. During my audition, I recall seeing the judges face light up with joy as I ran over my lines. I immediately told them I could read more parts since I memorized it all so next thing I knew, people were coming into the audition room to see my act. I felt such a sense of purpose at the tender age of 7. I got accepted into the school and it was a wonderful experience. I learned so much. Fast forward a few years and now I am a theatre major competing with my peers for parts in plays. I am now getting critiqued on how I could have done things differently – smile more, smile less, work the room, stand still, become the character, be more modest. It was too much. It was no longer fun for me. I no longer enjoyed the process. However, those voices from my drama teacher and peers never left me. Instead, their voices became my own voice. I was able to critique any and everything I put energy into. Nothing I ever really did was good enough. People compliment my parenting skills, I brush it off. If I make a delectable dish and I get rave reviews, I brush it off. Even when writing this blog, I don’t really attempt to make it more public. I know all of this is because I can still hear the voices that now sound like my own. The voices that tell me that I shouldn’t even try to do more and I should just play the background where it’s easiest. However, God’s voice is becoming louder. He is showing me that I can find my identity in Him. I don’t have to stand in the background; I just have to stand in Him. He is my comfort, my strength, my help, my savior, my everything! When I get afraid, when I feel weak, He is there. For nothing can ever separate us! I am found in Him. The enemy doesn’t want me to rest in God’s promises so He will use anything to get to me, even my own voice. I am not that little girl on stage trying to entertain folks. I am now a woman, after God’s own heart, who is living to be obedient to her loving Father. The same Father that has provided gifts and talents that He doesn’t want to be hidden. I can take no pride in these gifts but I can use them to glorify my Father! How excellent is the name of God! If you are struggling today with this or a similar issue, know that you are not alone. You weren’t created to fade into the abyss but to glorify the Father in ALL your ways. God bless and stay encouraged. xoxo

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The hope in heartbreak

Broken_heart

Romans 8:37-39

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Love can be such a fantastic, exhilarating and liberating experience! You have all these different views of how your love story will develop into a beautiful tale that your one day grandchildren will tell their children. Or maybe how you and your mate will serve Jesus, hand in hand, conquering the world together? Possibly, it’s the undoubting knowledge that you can trust this person with your innermost thoughts and fears without the air of judgment. Your mate will provide the satisfaction, contentment and love your heart has desired since you were a little girl. Love…such a beautiful thing UNLESS it doesn’t go according to YOUR plans. Unsustainable love has the opposite effect. You suddenly question every minute you spent with this person. You wonder if you ignored the signs, if the devil was using them to get to you or if you had a momentarily brain lapse with a brief stint of insanity! I say all of this sarcastically but we all have been there at one point or another. You know the place…it’s always open, has many visitors, yet it’s a very lonely place, no double occupancy allowed but you can stay as long as you like….can you guess it? Yep, it’s Heartbreak Hotel! What a place! Not only can you stay there but many musicians have provided a soundtrack of misery induced songs you can listen to or authors who have novels designed to keep you in a place of glum. It’s insane how this world makes it so easy to be sad and miserable. However, there is a solution. His name is Jesus. I know… I know. I knowwww what you are thinking. Oh doesn’t that sound just so easy Aisha? I have laid it down at the altar and I don’t feel any better. Or, it’s easy for you to say that, you don’t understand. I get it. People keep telling you the same thing. Well let me add something to my “Jesus is the remedy” saying. Heartbreaks are sometimes necessary to bring you closer to God. Gasp! I know, it shocked me too! It wasn’t until my heart was broken that I finally understood everything God was trying to tell me. I’m not the only one either. I have seen this play out with a few people. Now I am not suggesting this is everyone’s plight in life but for a hard headed few of us, God uses whatever He sees fit to draw us closer to Him. It wasn’t until I had a man pursue me and love me, just for me being me that I allowed my heart to get vulnerable to the point I was able to throw caution to the wind. I was able to be free like that innocent little girl that never had a guarded heart or a barricade of walls blocking anyone from trying to get in. I was truly free! But what I didn’t realize was that he was only able to love me with imperfect, human love. He wasn’t able to cover all of my needs…it’s actually not a realistic request either. His love seemed to satisfy me but it wasn’t eternal. As safe and as happy as I felt, it didn’t last. However, when things ended, I heard a whisper from my savior that said, “My love is not like that, it’s forever”. Right before I could pack my bags for a stay at heartbreak hotel, my loving savior reminded me how perfect His love is for me (and you too). There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting human love but there is something drastically wrong if we want it in place of a loving relationship from our Heavenly Father. I didn’t realize how much adoring affection was waiting for me in the arms of Jesus. There is so much hope in heartbreak. When we are broken, we recognize our need for our Father. He is pursuing us with His perfect, unchanging love. You don’t have to be sad, hurt or confused. We are in a fallen world and some of these types of things will happen. No matter how hard it seems, seek the Father for love and comfort. He really does answer prayers. Try it for yourself!