Every year at church, God gives my lead Pastors a word for the following year. The word for 2019 is “Breakout”.
In honor of this break out year, God has given me something to share with you regarding breaking out of people approval.
For those of you who struggle with not allowing the opinions of people to dictate your calling, this post is for you. If you’ve ever wanted to make a decision solely for the likes of people, this post is also for you. Let’s dive deeper as we discuss a topic that will allow you to break free from the very thing that could be holding you back from your destiny.
Jesus clearly demonstrates how to continue to pursue your call regardless of the approval of others. I love that He didn’t allow the hatred of the Pharisees to stop Him from doing what He came to do— to save lives. He didn’t stop along the way to prove Himself to man that didn’t want to give Him the time of day. Instead, he graciously loved the unlovely while continuing to pursue and fulfill His calling. He was so focused on accomplishing the work that His Father sent Him to do, that the opinions of others didn’t decimate His focus.
I wonder how often do people in this world get distracted by the disapproval of man that prevents them from fulfilling their calling.
For me, growing up as a young girl, I desired to have the approval of people. “Watch me, look at me do this. Did you like what I did?” As an adult my questions turned into: “Do you like my outfit? What do you think I should do? Was that the right thing to do? What will people think of me?” Finally, I realized that God has to be the center of my life in order for me to fulfill my purpose— not people. I can’t be so consumed with what man thinks about what I do or who they think I am, that I lose sight of my call, my gifts, and my God given potential.
I believe we can truly gleam from Paul on his perspective of people approval.
Paul writes the following message to the people in Galatia:
“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” Galatians 1: 10
Apostle Paul had the revelation that either you have a goal of pleasing people or you seek the approval of God — but you can’t do both.
We simply don’t have the time to go through the check out line of people approval. Now is your time to be a servant of Christ and fulfill your destiny—without seeking the approval of man. I declare that this is your year of breaking free from the approval of people. You are who God says you are! And you can do what God says you can do!
Now ladies, your destiny awaits you...
I have missed writing to you all very much. I recently read my previous blog post before my break (keep-dreaming-keep-believing.html). I think it's very interesting that the last post that I published focused on never giving on your dreams. Soon afterwards, I felt so heavily in my heart the need to lay down the very dream that God has given me. I believe it's so important to take a pause occasionally. I honestly didn't anticipate taking a pause from blogging. Although I didn't want to, I know the importance of being obedient to God. I was reminded of the importance of continuing to pursue my dreams even during busy seasons of life. I believe these past 6 months have been a growing season for me! Ladies, can I let you in on what’s been going on in my life?
One of the greatest lessons that I learned during my time of fasting from the blog (I guess you can say it was a fast) was to put all my trust in God alone. I believe God placed it on my heart to take a pause with my blog to refocus on Him and what He’s calling me to do. Was it easy? Absolutely not! I was so tempted to make things fit the way that I believe that they should fit. Finally, I decided to trust that I was hearing from God and put the very thing that I believed was going well on the altar.
These past few months, I’ve been more involved in ministry at my local church, where I’m also attending a 2-year leadership program. This journey of learning and growing in God has helped me in more ways than I ever imagined. I’m reminded of how God may ask us to place a good thing down to follow His leading to grow in other areas of our lives. As I think about it, it’s amazing!
I can sense that God is calling me back to my gift of writing to you lovely ladies (Oh yes, it’s time). I'm excited to get back into writing to each of you beautiful souls. I believe that God has given me more direction of where He wants to take this blog.
So what is the vision that God has given me for this blog? I believe God has sent me to your social media, web browser or however you’re reading this post, to share some good news with women across this world. I believe this blog represents the dreams that God has birthed in my heart to encourage women from all walks of life. Truthfully, without God, this blog is just simply words on a screen. But with God, I believe He can meet the needs of every woman who comes in contact of this blog. My heart’s desire is to allow God to use me in such a way that will cause women to know who they are in Christ.
To the women who are reading this blog post, God has something so special in store for you. You are here in this Earth because God needed someone to share something that only you can share with the world. I’m living for the moment to hear God say, “Job well done, my daughter. You did all that I had planned for you to do”. What will you passionately pursue? What is the thing that God is telling you to put down to follow hard after Him? I encourage you to listen and follow God’s leading. It’s time to start fresh as we move into this new year.
Always remember that God chose you:
“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” John 15:16
p.s. I’m looking forward to growing in God with you ladies during the upcoming new year! Please leave a comment below with a prayer request that you have, I would love to cover you in prayer. 😊
Prayer: “I pray that as a woman in this world, you will begin to dream again. That you will begin to tap into your God given potential and walk boldly into every situation that you step into with the understanding of the victory that you have through Christ Jesus.”
To the women who is reading this blog post, I have an encouraging word for you…. Don’t give up! Too often, we give up on the very thing that God has placed on our hearts. What has God been speaking to you? What has the Lord given you to accomplish? Maybe it’s writing that book, applying for that position at work, or taking that first step on pursuing your dream. Truth is, there is an assignment that God has provided you with the moment you came into the Earth. But what will you do with such an assignment? I encourage you to work at whatever it is that God has placed in your heart. For me, as a blogger, a wife, a full- time employee, and involved in ministry, I make sure that I create a special place for everything that I am committed to.
Disclaimer: Every season in your life can be busy, but it’s up to you to identify ways to come up with creative ways to manage it all. Here’s an example of my schedule outside of my full- time job:
Mondays- Write/Women’s Small Group, Cook
Tuesdays- Write, Workout
Wednesdays- Cooking Day!
Fridays-Date Night <3
Weekends- Workout, Write, Cook, Sunday Funday & Relax!
And of course, as seasons change, you adjust accordingly. I believe one of the greatest lessons that I’ve learned as a woman with many tasks is that it’s important to make the most of the time that I have. I also understand that although I have created a plan of action, life happens and things come up that can cause my plans to be adjusted. But even when that happens, I trust God and I continue to pursue my dreams.
What have you been dreaming about lately? The definition of dream means: “A succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.” It amazes me how God has given us the ability to dream and visualize images, to think and experience emotions while sleeping. But I believe that the dreams that we experience in our sleep are a direct correlation to the thoughts and images that we see throughout our day. Now that’s powerful (Inserts praise break)! Maybe you’ve been in a season where you feel as though you’ve been experiencing a drought for some time. I’d like to ask you what have you been watching? What are you listening to? Or better yet, who are you listening to? I encourage you to follow the voice of God and come in agreement with the plans that He has for you. I dare say that your drought season is over! Sis, it’s time for you to dream again!
Don’t Give Up:
I’m reminded of Joseph, the dreamer in the Bible. You see, God spoke to Joseph through his dreams. His dreams were symbolic of what God wanted to do through Joseph. If I may be honest with you, you must be careful with whom you share your dreams with. Joseph shared his dreams with his family and his brothers plotted to sell him into slavery (Genesis 37:28). I’m not saying that the same will happen for you, but what I am saying is to be careful with whom you share your dreams. Many times, not everyone can handle what God wants to do in your life. One of the greatest keys to dreaming is to always have faith. Have faith that whatever God has placed in your heart will come to pass in His timing. Philippians 1:6 reads: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Always remember, that what God has started in you, He will accomplish it fully!
3 Reasons You Must Keep Going:
It’s your time, sis!
Ronnica, the one who believes in you!
To the women who have ever experienced feeling broken, insecure, worthless, purposeless and resentful of oneself, I dedicate this post to you. I want you to know that nothing can hinder you from being the beautiful, bold, confident women that you were predestined to be—not even your past. Truthfully, it takes courage to let go of the brokenness of the past and walk into the beautiful future that you were created to experience. Ladies, I want to focus on a woman in the Bible that many women across this world can relate to in some way—Mary Magdalene. Here’s a glimpse of Mary’s story of redemption.
Broken and Restored
Mary Magdalene was known as a woman who had been consumed with spirits filled with darkness. The Bible makes it clear that she was battling darkness times seven (Luke 8:2). But is Mary the only woman who’s ever had to overcome the pain of her past? So often, I see women that are hurting and trying to escape their pain. Quite honestly, I used to be one of them. Like Mary, I also grew up desiring true love and attention. As I mentioned in the “Closer Look” (a-closer-look.html) blog post, I used to condemn myself on the inside due to the past decisions that I had made. I’m not sure if you’re in a place in your life where you feel judged by the decisions that you’ve made, or maybe you want to break free from a life filled with hurt and disappointments.
I believe God finds glory in restoring the reputations of his people. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” For Mary, God restored her from the torment of her past and her new life began with Jesus. When I read the story of Mary, I see how she was redeemed by Jesus when she decided to follow God’s plan for her life. I can sense that many people believe that they must be cleaned up and without faults before they can receive Jesus. However, Jesus met Mary right where she was and he looked beyond her sin. There’s no limit to how God can restore the reputations of His people. God can restore a person who is addicted to drugs and alcohol, someone who is bound to the approval of others, a person who is filled with anxiety, or anything else you find yourself battling—there is truly no limit.
Redeemed by Jesus
I want you to know that God doesn’t view you the way that the world views you. God sees you beyond your faults. He sees you for who you were created to be. God viewed Mary as a pure woman. He didn’t look at her the way her peers viewed her. Do you find yourself struggling with viewing yourself the way that God sees you? Sis, God wants to restore you from the pain of your past and the weight that you’ve been carrying. Matthew 11:28-30 beautifully illustrates how Jesus freely restores the lives of his people.
“Come to me, all you are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”
Mary didn’t allow her past to detour her from following Jesus’s ministry. I’m convinced that she knew that there was something worth living for beyond the pain of her past. Simply put, her ministry was Jesus’ ministry. This is shown through her actions of following closely to Jesus; she completely placed her trust in him. I admire Mary Magdalene’s faithfulness to live a life fully surrendered to Jesus despite the hatred that the disciples most likely experienced-- her commitment speaks wonders. Mary was set free from her past and brought freedom to others. The Bible clearly says that when Jesus was on the cross to take on the sins of this world, she was still standing there with him (Matthew 27:55-56). This speaks a lot about her character and the risk she would take by witnessing the greatest price ever paid. How can we learn from Mary Magdalene? I believe you and I can continue to follow her footsteps by staying close to Jesus and saying yes to the purpose of our existence.
Confidence Found in Christ
Today, Mary isn’t known for her past, she’s know for the confidence that she had in Jesus. When she let go of her old life, her confidence began to grow in Christ. Truly, this is a beautiful and powerful story of Mary Magdalene. She was a woman who had been delivered and ever since, she followed Jesus’s every move. There’s something to be said about the confidence that she placed so heavily in Christ. What are you placing your confidence in today? I’ve found that when you place your confidence in this world, you find yourself desperately hoping to attain fulfillment in your success, relationships, social status, and so on. However, when you place your confidence in Jesus, you’re no longer bound to the unwanted pressures of living up to the standard that the world expects of you. Mary Magdalene was one of the first women in the Bible to find confidence in Christ Jesus. She was also the first person that Jesus appeared to after he resurrected from the grave (Mark 16:9). I believe that Jesus saw her faithfulness of living a life completely poured out for Him. This encourages me to keep going hard after Jesus and to never stop pressing towards more of Him. My prayer is that you will find complete confidence in Christ, and that you begin to take steps closer to Jesus.
“He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever—holy and awesome is his name” Psalm 111:9
Behind the Scenes:
Many have asked me how I come up with my blog posts. Quite honestly, I pray and ask God to give me insight on what He wants me to share with others. So often, I’m reminded of past experiences, real life stories in the Bible, conversations with my husband, the list could go on. This month, I’m going to share with you the stories of women in the Bible that we could all gleam from. In this post, I want to discuss the powerful story of a mother in the Bible who made an everlasting difference. Ladies, prepare your hearts for one of the greatest lessons we could ever learn from Mary--the mother of Jesus.
The Confident Woman
Before Mary could be confident in Christ, she had to be confident that Christ could be found in her. Truth is, Mary had a destiny to fulfill. In the book of Luke, we embark on the story of Mary and how purpose came to find her through an appearance of an angel, named Gabriel. Luke 1: 30-31 says: “Don’t be afraid, Mary, the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus”. Coincidentally, when purpose found her things changed drastically for Mary. She went from being a virgin who was engaged to being impregnated by the Holy Spirit with Jesus in her womb. God chose Mary to give birth to the Savior of this world. What I love about Mary is how powerful her, 'yes' was to do what God called her to do. Although she was startled by the angel that appeared before her, she came in agreement with what God wanted to do in her life. Ladies, true confidence in Christ takes place when we no longer reason our way out of the purpose that God has for us. Rather, trusting that whatever assignment God has chosen for us, he will give us the grace to accomplish it.
Mary was a powerful woman who demonstrated what it means to find purpose in Christ and to believe in the purpose that was birthed in her—literally. Mary endured the true test of faith and confidence in God. She had to believe that she was chosen for a reason and that God could entrust her with such a task. What do you think could have been going through Mary’s mind at that time? I can sense that Mary had to combat thoughts of worry that the purpose of raising the son of God was too overwhelming for her to handle. Thankfully, Mary believed in the purpose that God placed inside of her. But what happens when you suddenly begin walking in your purpose? I’m reminded of a scripture found in Psalm 37:23 “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him”. I believe the closer we walk towards our destiny, the more shifting that God does in our lives. This is never to harm us, but to get us aligned with the very thing that God wants to do through us.
The Journey to her Destiny
For Mary, the real journey of her purpose began when others were made aware of the child she conceived. Mary and Joseph had to travel from place to place to protect the life of Jesus. Ladies, when God reveals your destiny to you, there comes a level of pressure that you must press through. For Mary, certain things had to change based upon what God had put in her. There were people who tried to call her out and harm her and the life of Jesus. Her purpose caused her to change where she lived and what she did to protect her purpose (Mathew 2:19-21).
On the other hand, there were people who wanted to help her reach her destiny. To the woman reading this post that has identified her purpose, I encourage you to guard your purpose and protect it from distractions. I believe that there was level of confidence that Mary had to find in Jesus as she began to understand the weight of what she was called to do. Not only did she have to be confident that she could give birth to a world changer, but that she could also raise him up to do great things. For 9 months she carried Jesus and for 33 years he was her son before He was the Christ. This is powerful because Mary realized that destiny was in her hands. Knowing this, she had to be confident that God could use her for such a purpose.
We all have something that God has put in us that speak to our destiny and our purpose.
Just like Mary, you can find your confidence in Christ and trust that God will accomplish whatever he has placed you in this world to do. Ladies, I want to remind you that what God has for you is for you. Don’t give into the guilty feelings of comparison because what God has purposed for you to do is special and life giving. As I think about Mary’s purpose, I’m reminded of how she held the destiny for all of us to one day receive Jesus in our hearts. In the same way, I believe that someone else’s destiny is in your hands. We’re all supposed to give birth to something that God has given us. You never know who’s waiting on the other side of your obedience to say, 'yes' to God. I encourage you to ask God to show you what He has purposed for you to do in His timing. Always remember, you are favored and created to make an everlasting impact. Here’s to saying, 'yes' to God’s purpose for your life. And always remember your destiny resides within you.
"When you understand the purpose that resides within you, you can endure any challenge that awaits you."
Prayer: “Lord, I understand that I cannot do this without you. I cannot write another blog post without you. It is your strength that keeps me going. I’m just a vessel that has chosen to say yes to your desired plan for my life. Have your way in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
I am an encourager by nature. I find complete joy uplifting others around me. Does this mean that I myself never feel discouraged? Of course not! (We’ll talk more about this later)
I want to take this time to have a heart to heart with you and to speak into your destiny. When you were born, you were born with purpose. The timing was just right because it all aligned with the plan of God. I’m reminded of a scripture found in Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew and approved of you, and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”. In this scripture, God was speaking to the plan that He had for Jeremiah, to relay messages to the people in this world. But just as God had a plan for Jeremiah, He also has a plan for you. Sis, your divine destiny has been set before you. What’s preventing you from believing the plan that God has for you? Is it your thoughts? The pain of your past? Could it be unbelief?
What’s been on your mind lately?
I honestly believe that our thinking can limit our destiny—if we allow it. Can I be honest with you ladies? Thoughts come up in my mind that will attempt to discourage me. But it’s what I decide to do with those thoughts that make all the difference. You see, I choose not to receive any thought that Goes against the word of God and I confess the word over my life. I choose to say aloud with passion: “God has a plan for me to succeed and not fail. I am gifted and talented of the Lord. God has destined me for greatness!” I believe our greatest victories come from believing what the word of God says about our lives. What if you chose to believe that you were created with a purpose-- that God has such an amazing plan for your life? What would happen if you chose not to give up on whatever it is that you’ve been believing for? I suppose that you would begin walking in a new level of confidence and freedom.
I Challenge You:
I challenge you to believe the best about your situation and about your life. I can sense that many of you may believe that there’s no way or that it’s too difficult. I recall, one of my close friends suggesting that we often make things harder than what they really are. You see, the word of God says in Mark 9:23 “All things are possible to them that believe”. Somehow, we as humans’ reason our way out of all the possibilities. I encourage you to believe that according to God’s will all things are possible. I encourage you to read the "Confident Heart"(confident-heart.html), blog post on the importance of finding security in God’s plan for your life. Truth is, He will complete the good work that He started in you! The greatest challenge can be dwelling on the wrong thoughts. One of the greatest victories that I’ve experienced in my walk with God, is trading the wrong thoughts with thoughts of purpose. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” This means that you have the power to expose any thought that goes against the purpose and plan that God has for you. Knowing this, what will you do when thoughts of unbelief, fear, and failure come to mind?
Speak with Purpose:
Did you know what you think about will eventually become the very words that you speak? Therefore, keeping our thoughts aligned with God’s word is so important. I imagine that Jeremiah had thoughts of fear about the purpose that God had given him to preach to the nation of Judah. Just as God told Jeremiah to not be afraid of the faces of people, that He will give him the words to speak to the nations—God will also give you all the tools that you need to do His good work while on Earth (Jeremiah 1:8-9). I encourage you to pursue the plan that God has for you even when faced with opposition.
In the past, I used to be afraid to speak up and let others know what I was thinking or how I really felt about a situation. I would often come into agreement with others because it seemed less intimidating. The issue with this was that I missed opportunities to voice my opinion and insight. Today, I understand that God has given me a voice and influence to speak the truth with boldness. I’ve decided to let go of the opinions of others and seek the approval of God (Galatians 1:10) This mindset carried over to how I viewed my life and the decisions that I made in my past. No longer do I accept what others believe about who I am. Instead, I choose to think thoughts of purpose and confess who God says I am. Are your thoughts and words lining up with what God says about you? I dare you to say with boldness: “God has a plan for me to succeed and not fail! I will do what God has called me to do and be all that God has called me to be!”
3 Keys to Understanding Your Purpose:
-God has chosen you!
“Dear Lord, I accept your precious gift”
Prayer: Lord, I am asking you to write through me to reach the lives across this world. I ask that you help me to articulate the words to express the very love that you have freely given to everyone who chooses to receive it. I cannot do this alone. And so, I won’t.
Victory through Jesus Christ:
What an amazing time to reflect on the life that Jesus died for us all. Personally, I’m reminded of the victory that has been given to me through Jesus Christ. When I meditate on the powerful story of how Jesus died and resurrected from the grave for you and I—I think of what it means to have true victory. One could ask: “Why would Jesus die on a rugged cross for everyone?” I then must ask: “Why wouldn’t He?” You see, God had an amazing plan in mind when it comes to every person in this world. He knew of the fallen world that we live in and the only thing that could connect us back to God was His precious son, Jesus Christ. I’m reminded of a verse found in 2 Corinthians 5:18: “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ”.
Free from Bondage:
I recall walking aimlessly through life picking up bad habit after bad habit. Previously, I found myself in situations where I felt bound with no way to escape the life that I was living. I honestly couldn’t imagine what life would be like had I continued down the path that I was on. I say this to provide insight to you on how difficult life was for me emotionally and mentally. The sleepless nights of tossing and turning, wondering if life could get better seemed truly depressing. I had become accustomed to the bondage that I picked up from the broken relationships that I devoted all my time and attention to. For me, I somehow learned how to inadequately live a life filled with emotional bondage. What changed you ask? I have one powerful answer for you—the gift of Jesus. You see, I finally set aside the life that I had chosen to live and decided to purse real freedom. I realized that true freedom can only be experienced with Jesus Christ. Romans 5:6 says: “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at the right time and died for us sinners”. When I was helpless, Jesus came to free me from the bondage that I was entangled in. What is it that you find yourself bound to that somehow keeps hindering you from experiencing true freedom?
You Are Worthy:
The very mere fact that God sent His Son Jesus to die on rugged cross for everyone in this world, illustrates the very image of value and worth. He saw you years beforehand and knew that it would be worth every pain, every pierce and every feeling of agony that Jesus experienced. It’s interesting though—many of the challenges that we face such as sickness, brokenness, and anything else that tries to hold us back from experiencing the promises of God are the very burdens that Jesus took on the cross. The Bible says that Jesus was whipped so that we could be healed (See Isaiah 53:5) God wants to heal you from the pain of your past, and heal you emotionally, physically and mentally. Will you receive the healing that God has for you? I believe there’s so much to take from the actions that Jesus demonstrated while on Earth. Dear ladies, God adores and loves you so much that He sent His only Son to the cross for you. I encourage you to make this personal—between you and God. This means that a relationship, friendship, social status, job or title can define your worth because Jesus has already done this. As stated in the “You Are Worthy” (a-womans-worth.html) blog post, you have been bought with such a price, the kind of price that no one could ever repay.
Love of God:
As I think about the love of God, I am completely convinced that I am loved by God because He sent His only son to die on my behalf. You see, God loves you more than you could ever imagine. I have learned that God’s love is not the same kind of humanly love. His love is unexplainable, inexhaustible and without limits.
Transparent Moment: I used to be the kind of person, that would determine God’s love based upon how people would treat me. I thought that if someone was nice to me, then God must love me. But if someone was rude to me, then I believed God must not love me. I can sense that I’m not the only person that measured God’s love in this way. Dear ones, God’s love isn’t determined by the actions and words of others, the love of God is demonstrated through His Son Jesus Christ! I dare you to say with boldness: “God loves me SO much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for me.” I encourage you to receive the love that God has for you. I want you to know that God is singing over you.
Dear friends, I understand that without offering you the true gift of salvation, you will not be able to truly experience God's love. I want to invite you to begin a new life with Jesus being the center of it all. Click the link below to receive the gift of salvation—the greatest gift of all.