Life is meant to be lived from a place of freedom! Oftentimes we allow the cares and pressure of life to weigh us down and confine us to a place of bondage, but there is hope! John 8:36 tells us “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” It is my prayer that each person who finds their way to this blog, will be encouraged and strengthened to break free of “any type” of bondage and live life free. Please remember on this journey to freedom, you are Free To Be Victorious!
“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me.” Psalm 23:5
Life oftentimes, throws us some curve balls, we are just not prepared for. They will come when we are least expecting. They will come when everything seems to be going well on all fronts of our lives. We don’t have to go looking for these curve balls, all we have to do is keep on living, they will definitely find us.
Let’s be honest; some of these curve balls, hit so hard that it leaves us experiencing an emotion that feels like we are literally slipping away; just like we are dying. For a person who is a planner and needs to know the next step, before the next step takes place, this kind of curve ball, causes you to have to pull over, gather yourself and get your mind together.
From the curve balls in my life, I have learned a few things that I would like to share with you.
- They are necessary! No, we don’t like them and they don’t feel good, but they play a significant part of life’s process for us. They help us become the person we were created to be.
- No one is exempted! Each and everyone of us will have to go through a valley experience. Our pedigree means NOTHING! Our title or position means NOTHING! What church we attend means NOTHING! What family we come from means NOTHING! Where we live and what we drive means NOTHING! Since we know no one is exempted, we must not think it strange “WHEN” curve balls happen. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve done something wrong; it could mean we’re in the right place, at the right time, in order to encounter the right experience.
- You can’t give power to the shadow. Although we may feel like we’re dying, we must keep in mind, that it’s just a “shadow of death” and not death, itself!! We cannot allow ourselves to be overtaken by the shadow! Yes, it seems like we won’t make it out, but the psalmist reassures us that we won’t die in the valley. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..” is what he said. This should encourage us to keep on walking! We may be in the valley right now, but if we just keep on walking, we will eventually come out and we will be better coming out, than we were going in!
Please know today, that you are in good company! The Lord is with you, whether it feels like it or not! Too much has been invested in you, for you not to come out of the valley! I declare and decree, that you are coming out of the valley with your hands up, giving God the praise for the valley process!!!
When I think of all that God has invested in me, sometimes it is overwhelming and unbelievable. I only say this because I know my resume. I know that in and of myself, I am flawed individual who is still striving to be transformed into the image of Christ. “How can God use ME? Why would He want to use someone like ME?” These were some of the questions I have asked myself to camouflage what was “really” going on with me. Truth be told, I trusted the plan of God for my life; I just didn’t believe in myself to carry it out! FEAR was (and sometimes still is) an issue for me.
FEAR is an emotion that can serve us in a good way and also in a bad way. FEAR will either catapult us into our purpose or paralyze us, right where we are at this moment. For many people, FEAR has caused them to consider and ponder all the “what ifs” and they’ve become stagnant and irrelevant in life! FEAR has brought so many to the point of emotional, mental, social and even financial paralysis.
The good news is FEAR that causes us to become paralyzed is NOT from the One who made us and instilled in us, the reason and purpose for our lives!!! We MUST take a risk to become fearLESS!!!
We must remember that we were created on purpose, with purpose, and for purpose!! We were created to rule, reign, soar, acquire, expand, multiply, produce, build, dominate, lead out and to be the image of the ONE (God Himself) who made us!
Don’t let another day go by being paralyzed by FEAR!! Let’s TAKE UP OUR BED AND WALK; it’s the only way to get to where we’re supposed to be at!!
“Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts.” I Thessalonians 4:11 (Message Bible)
Many times we allow ourselves to be drawn into someone else’s affairs and then wonder why we are so stressed out, worried, can’t sleep, losing our hair and just living an unhealthy life all around. If we would be honest with ourselves, many times we just need to mind our own business and let the other person handle theirs!
I am guilty! I have found myself right in the middle of another person’s issue, taking it on as my own. Sometimes I was more concerned than they were. I was somewhere praying for a solution and they were out eating, drinking and being merry!
We must be cautious and walk carefully when dealing with the problems of others. If we are not careful, we will find ourselves being ‘enablers’ for them. We will teach them to be dependent on us, instead of encouraging them to pray and get a solution for themselves.
Trust me when I say, we have ENOUGH to deal with in our own lives. We have spouses, children, finances, bills and our own dreams and goals to be concerned about. Intentionally, taking on someone else’s affairs is NOT a healthy choice!
When we start minding someone else’s business, we will allow ourselves to be robbed of ‘Living Life Free” because we jumped in situations, that were never intended for us to be a part of. Although very hard a lot of times , it really is okay to listen, and not have any input!:-))
We can do this!!!! Mind Your Own Business and become less stressed!
Living Life Free, Minding MY Business
Chaka Kahn had a song out years ago titled “I’m Every Woman.” The beginning lyrics were, “I’m every woman, It’s all in me, Anything you want done, baby, I’ll do it naturally.” This may sound affirming and appealing to some, but it has actually influenced a lot of women in a negative way, because it sends a message that it’s not enough just to be ‘a’ woman, but we have to be “every” woman; that’s just too much pressure!
When we allow ourselves to become “every” woman, we open ourselves up to never becoming the woman God created us to be. We find ourselves using other women and what they are doing or what they have, to define who we are, what we should be doing or what we should have. This keeps us on the quest of trying to get more, be more and do more! We have to learn to stop so much doing and just BE! Our true value and worth should NOT be determined by how much we do, what we can do, or what we have, but rather, who we are.
I had to learn (the hard way), the more I kept showing up as “every” woman, the more others expected me to produce like I was “every” woman. It didn’t matter, if I had issues in my life going on; just perform and produce! It didn’t matter if I was sick or not; just perform and produce! It didn’t matter if I was experiencing financial difficulties or not; just perform and produce! I didn’t matter if I was feeling alone or abandoned; just perform and produce, and guess what? I did just that…I performed and produced and did it well (that’s a whole another blog….the “why” behind the “what”). I couldn’t really blame others for how they responded or treated me, because I was the problem! I was my own predator! I just wanted everybody to be okay and think well of me, even if it was killing me, physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I am FINALLY learning to value myself and who God created me to be. This is my responsibility not someone else’s!
We were not created to be “every” woman, but to be “the” woman! You are an original – embrace that! You look like you do for a reason – embrace that! You love like you do for a reason – embrace that! You like or don’t like certain things for a reason – embrace that! Embrace the woman ‘YOU’ are because there is not another like YOU and further more, that’s all God is requiring of you!
So happy being me!! What about you?
“Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.” Psalm 139:14 (NLT)
Who we are today, is fashioned by the events and experiences, we have went through in our lifetime. Some experiences have been good and others, not so good; but let’s face it, we were affected by it and we learned coping mechanisms just to keep moving through life.
Coping mechanisms turned out to be layers and labels, for me. Because I didn’t understand why certain things happened in my life, I would allow myself to ‘take on a responsibility’ that was never mine to take on. I accepted and embraced labels that others gave me, not realizing I was giving myself away to the opinions of others, and completely disregarding who God had created me to be and what He created me to do.
So here I am now, 53 years old, making a conscious decision to remove all layers and labels, and live life according to the original plan God had for me. Yes, He has caused all things to “work for my good,” however, I can only imagine where I would be today, if I never allowed myself to be identified by anyone other than the One who created me.
I have decided that I no longer want to be a ‘blooming onion’ that looks inviting in appearance, with all its layers spread wide open. No, I want to experience the uniqueness of who I am and who I was created to be, so I “joyful” submit myself to the process of removing the layers and labels. What about you?
“If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
What would be your response, if you were confined to a jail cell for a long period of time and then one day, the guard comes, unlocks the door, and say, “You’re free to go?” Would you quickly gather your personal items and leave, or would you sit there and refuse to walk out of the door? I believe most people would take the liberty of leaving this place that has kept them confined and walk in freedom. My question then becomes, “Why are so many people still living a confined or imprisoned life, even though they have been released to leave this dark and depressing place?
Many times, we forget the price Christ paid for our freedom, entitles us to walk in freedom on so many levels! It’s as if we have become so institutionalized, that although the door to our freedom is wide open, we choose to stay in jail. Beloved, this is not the will of God for us. Jesus came so we can experience life in an amazing way, right here on earth! This includes freedom in our marriages, our finances, our ministries, on our jobs, in our relationships with others, in our physical, emotional and mental health, and in life in general.
Understand that freedom is for the taking on today! It is not for some and not for others! It’s for those who make a decision to grab a hold of it and intentionally, learn to live life from a place of being free. It will take some practice and we may even slip back in that old place sometimes, but don’t be discouraged or feel like a failure when this happens. The great thing about experiencing freedom is we come to know what it feels like and when we do ‘slip back’ into the old place, freedom still rings out loud for us to return back to our rightful place, as sons and daughters, of the Most High King!
Today, you are Free to GO, so pack your belongings and move out! Don’t allow yourself to remain in a place of bondage because your amazing life depends on you accepting and embracing the TRUTH, that you are free! There are others who are waiting for you to walk in your freedom, for them to have the courage to walk in theirs! Be the one who will lead out today; one day, you will look back and wonder what took you so long to walk out of the bondage.
I See You Free!!!