HELLO everyone! Happy Sunday! It truly is a happy day. Today has been the best. I think Sunday is my favorite day out of the entire week.
If you read my last “Reflecting on the Little Things” post, you know that I just finished my week of prayer and fasting. My church spent last week in prayer and fasting for the new year. Starting off 2018 putting God first. I shared in that post that this was the first time I’ve ever fasted. I shared reasons why I never did in the past, why I decided to do it this time, and what I was believing God for. I also shared what I fasted.
I will first say that I should have started practicing fasting way before this past week.
This past week changed my life. I think the enemy knows how powerful fasting is and all these years up until now has whispered excuses into my head so that I wouldn’t get a breakthrough like I did this week. Because I said “no” to the world’s comforting agents and said “yes” to the Comforter, I have never felt more refreshed and made new in my life.
I am SO happy to have started a new year. 2018 will be the best yet. I am so stoked to leave 2017 behind and to call it my past.
Before this week, I never thought that I would have a “past” within the timeframe of my Christian walk.
I always viewed the word “past” as “B.C.” (before Christ – before I was a Christian). My mind was so closed to the fact that I could put things behind me that happened while I served Jesus. I thought I might be stuck with a circumstance to forever bother me.
But that’s just not true. Just because I am following Jesus doesn’t exempt me from heartache and pain. And it doesn’t exempt me from making mistakes. I am still human. But I have a divine purpose.
Throughout the week, I prayed for different things. My church met up as a group every morning this week at 6am. (yes, before the sun came up) I would have normally said LOL no to that but I decided, okay, this is just one week, let’s go all out. Let’s do it! And I had incredible godly friends decide the same thing. So we went together. Life’s better together isn’t it? It would have been so much more difficult for me to get up if I didn’t have someone up with me.
I shared that I was fasting social media (other than an hour for business purposes) and I have got to say I am shocked by the number of times I would open my phone up to click my Instagram app. And for no reason?! It had become second nature to me…
I cannot express to you how freeing I found it to not be looking at everyone’s life on a screen but instead be looking at the people’s life around me who love me and are with me and choose me.
If I didn’t choose social media as a major component to my job now, I would totally delete it for longer than a week 😂 I honestly think I developed a love/hate relationship with it. I love that I can get inspired and encouraged by the people I follow and I love that I blog and support other bloggers. I hate that there’s always a chance of seeing a photo I don’t want to see, or seeing a person’s Instagram that reminds me of bad times or puts negative thoughts in my head, or seeing an incredible person’s post then start comparing myself to them and being unsatisfied with my walk, or being so consumed by it that it passes 30 minutes of my life that could have been spent sharpening my spirit.
I’ve certainly decided that I am going to open my bible app more than I open my Instagram app. I want my life to be influenced by life giving sources. Not life taking sources. I want to be fed by the Word of God that is my food and that gives life. Not be fed by something that leaves me more and more hungry.
This week I made sacrifices. This week I decided to give God all. I decided I would be all in.
Day 1 God gave me a vision of him taking me to the places I desire. I actually smelled the transit area of an airport. How freaking specific is that? And I heard Him so simply say, “If you want to go to those places, I’ll take you there.” And my heart lept. I want so badly to live in a big city. I just want to be where the people are. Where you don’t run out of things to do. Where you don’t run out of people to meet. Where you don’t run out of connections. Where everywhere you go is awesome because it’s in the city. I want to be able to walk from my studio apartment to get my morning coffee and read my bible at this retro coffeeshop in New York City. I’m unashamed to want these things and God put that in my heart. He didn’t put that in everyone’s heart.
He also gave me the verse Romans 8:6 “the mind controlled by the spirit is life and peace.” and I just gotta say, I need my mind to be controlled by the Spirit. My body and soul is, but the mind is a whole different monster to tackle.
Day 2 I prayed a lot about Jesus bringing light to my dark places. To expose what isn’t pure in me and make it pure. The way gold is refined, for Him to refine me. He spoke to be Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” and James 1:3 that testing develops perseverance and perseverance must finish its work.
I also watched a youtube video from Transformation Church in Tulsa titled “Single, Not Alone” and yes, I watched it because I’m single and wanted some encouragement on that. I gave it a shot. It was a 55 minute sermon omg. It really changed my perspective on singleness, though, and how it is essential to build the foundation of singleness before marriage. He talks about how the Bible says to only get married if you think it’s what God has for you. It doesn’t say there is a person out there for everyone or that marriage is the end-all be-all for everyone. That was really encouraging. 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. That’s the same as if your flight attendant came up to you and told you your flight had a 50/50 chance of crashing and burning. You wouldn’t get on that plane! We should be way more careful about marriage than we are now. I encourage you to watch this video whether you are single, dating, engaged, married, or widowed. I linked it above. It is really life-giving on how God intended relationships to be.
Day 3 I prayed about God anointing the gifts He’s given me. I prayed for specific things. I read a little of Job and was so encouraged by the epilogue. Through Job’s suffering and even before God spoke, Job discovered the true character of God. After Job’s suffering, it says God gave him twice as much as he had before. That he blessed this later part of Job’s life more than the first. That Job had the most beautiful daughters in all of the land and got to see four generations behind him. He lived to be 140.
Later that day (Wednesday) God answered my prayer from that morning. I love Him so much.
We had our first worship night in our new building and it was the best night of my life. God gave us that building. It’s a miracle. We have a home. That building is answered prayers – prayers from the past and the future. That building will be where lives are restored. Lives are saved. Marriages are restored. Marriages are created. Kids are brought back to God. College students find community. Sick are healed. This night was on fire.
Day 4 they encouraged us about forgiveness. This is where God made me new. I put the past behind me, and God in front of me. For me, for me, only Jesus. I forgave. Forgiveness is releasing a prisoner and realizing that prisoner was you. I knew it was time. God had been nudging me about it. I wrote down every wrong done against me in forgiveness. “I forgive for ________.” And from such a crazy long list, God gave me an image of what a “record of wrongs” would look like. How He doesn’t keep that for us. How my page would be so much longer. But also how I want my list to be shorter. I don’t want to mess up. I don’t want to take lightly the great life God has purposed for me.
He also showed me forgiveness in some of Jesus’s last words. “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.” As much as I’ve been knocking my head about forgiving whose wronged me, I’ve never asked God to forgive whose wronged me. That gave me an entirely new perspective and humbled me to think, “wow, this is in God’s hands.”
Could it be that forgiveness is the key to unlocking your God-given potential?
Day 5 I prayed about walking in healing. I am now walking in healing. I prayed God would help me along the way, that I would abruptly pray, that I would put the phone down to spend quality time with him, that I would choose to listen to a sermon over a TV show. I read some of Psalm 119.
It’s been a life changing and refreshing week. I am walking in healing, in a New Life.
2 Corinthians 5:17 I am a new creation! The old is GONE. Behold, the NEW has COME.