Undesirable?..

Why is it so challenging to admit how we really feel on the inside? Why does it feel like a battle to express that we don’t like who we are in this present moment of life?

You see, for the most part, I love who I’ve become as I cultivate life with God… But then there’s this deep part of me that deeply struggles with feeling unwanted and undesirable. Honestly, it’s a root in my life that’s was planted a long time ago… And it’s grown into this awful creature that tries its best to dictate and control a portion of my life.

But you know what? I’m tired of it. I’m tired of feeling this way. I’m ready to feel the opposite of how I’m feeling now.

And I get it… God has to restore this part of my life so that He can fill me with more of His love and then make me healthy and whole on the inside, but then I do wonder… What will I be like on the other side of this? What will I have to surrender to Him so that I can be whole in this area once and for all? And will the surrender be a challenge for me at all?

And honestly, I believe it’s been a challenge to surrender this. I mean I’ve known this area and allowed in to define me for at least 24 years. However, if I don’t let it go… Well then I can never truly become all that God has created me to be. And I also will never fully know what it means to live a life where you feel wanted and desired. So I guess… Well I guess it’s time to let it go to the wind.

Relentless Self-Discipline

I’ve been told for the better half of my life that I have a lot of “self-discipline.” And while I’ve always attributed it to my father’s example in my life, in this moment I’m realizing something new…

You see I believe that in order to be self-disciplined you have to have something in you that relentlessly won’t give up. For me, that relentless is the Holy Spirit because He’s never given up on me or abandoned me. He simply believes in me because He sees me for who I really am. He sees the depth of my heart and who I can become if I continue to follow Him with my entire heart.

And I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been so wrong over the years… Because my self-discipline comes from the imprint the Holy Spirit has left inside of me. And though God is a bit chaotic, there is also an extreme balance to Him that cries for order. So, if you’re looking to become more of a self-disciplined person, then walk a little closer to the Holy Spirit. Get really up close and personal with His infallible love and determination to see you become all that He’s created you to be as you cultivate life!

Worthy Queen?

Yesterday I shared about how I’ve been facing this deep feeling of unworthiness lately. Then this morning I came across the image below and thought, “Wow, this image truly captures how I feel right now.”

You see in areas of my life I can only seem to focus on the places where I don’t seem to add up and make sense. But, right now, I’m so deeply pushed by the Holy Spirit to press past this place of unworthiness. Because I believe when I get past this place I’ll realize that the things I feel about value and worth will actually help me understand a deeper level of Jesus and His love for me.

So much of the time it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that we are flawed and full of holes… But you know, if we didn’t look like the photo above then there’d be no real reason for Jesus and eternal life. Because even if the reasons I feel unworthy never go away… Well I believe He can still bring beauty and life to the places that appear to be lacking and filled with shame and unworthiness.

And I don’t know if what I’m saying makes any sense at all. I’m really just a human that feels deeply frustrated that I’ve put so much value into the way one person has viewed me in the past. And I just want to let it all go now… So that the way God and Jesus view me and see me is the only thing I hold value and worth in as I continue to cultivate life. #cultivatelife #justlive #value #worth

Caution: Story in Motion

My life… It feels like a movie set right now. The film is rolling and the story line is moving, but I don’t exactly know how the plot is going to develop yet… I mean it’s clearly developing in front of my eyes. But… what is it going to become? What will my life become as everything continues to advance?!

Am I nervous? You know, I’m less nervous today than I was yesterday. The Holy Spirit seems to keep providing me with peace for the process.

So then what am I learning about this process? Well… It’s a lot easier when I don’t over plan, overthink or over complicate the story. It’s a lot simpler when I just stick with His plan on the narrow path.

You see my path is actually so narrow that sometimes it’s felt unbelievably challenging to keep walking down. And then other times it’s felt like a dark journey to nowhere.

But for some reason… Well I believe I’ve stepped onto a place on the path where I can finally see pieces of the plot of my story falling into place. And though I’m somewhat skeptical, I feel like the journey is about to become less of a mystery and more of a masterpiece.

Grown Up

“Ok… So here’s the plan: we’re gonna come home, help mom, sell the house and move on with our lives. This will take three months tops!” I firmly believe God laughed at my plan that day. To think, after everything my family had been through, that it would only take us three months to help mom. I was ridiculous to think such a thought.

You see over the last year and a half, I’ve had to grow up. There’s no other way to explain what I’ve experienced. Has it been painful? Yeah, parts of it have been extremely painful, confusing and altogether frustrating. Has it been fun? Sure it’s been fun! I mean have you met my sister before? She is THE entertainment.

But you know, I wouldn’t trade this time of growth for anything. Because in this time God has truthfully taken so many broken areas of my life and my family’s life and healed them. And He’s also pushed me really, really hard to be where I am today.

Now, I didn’t really appreciate the dark moments. I didn’t really prefer the moments when I thought money was going to run out and we were going to have to file bankruptcy. But, gosh I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world. Because in the midst of them I learned how to truly rely on God for everything… I learned how to trust Jesus for restoration in areas I didn’t believe could be fixed… And I had to follow the Holy Spirit, even when I couldn’t see.

So where do I go from here now that the house is sold and mom is settled? Well in this moment, I just choose to believe, listen and follow where ever He leads me… Stay tuned to see 😉!

Square Peg, Round Hole

“Fit in… just fit in Amanda. Figure out how to fit in and then you’ll be happy and confident and secure and complete!!”

This has been a narrative I constantly play out in my head. It’s been a narrative that’s taken possession of every season and chapter of life I’ve ever entered and lived through… This longing, this desire and want to just fit in and fit in well with those around me that are popular and leading the so called “pack” of life.

The funny thing is… It’s never worked.

Fitting in for me has never happened. Ever.

Sure I have dreams of fitting in with the world around me, but then I am left very disappointed when it just doesn’t happen. And then I’m left even more disappointed when I feel like an outsider and a loner because I can’t fit.

After my grandmother was healed she said she always felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. And while I’m not trying to take the words from her mouth, this is kind of what it feels like for me.

Funny thing is all of this trying to “fit” has produced A LOT of self-centeredness in my heart and soul…. Because, rather than being confident and secure in the way God has created me… Rather than standing firm in who I am as Amanda, well I find myself doing everything in my power to fit into that round hole.

So now, well I find myself having to set aside this deep want to fit. I find myself having to let go of the source of my insecurity. Because the insecurity has led me down a very unsatisfying road… One filled with endless thoughts in my mind that cause me to feel small and inadequate and unworthy.

However, God keeps telling me to just “stand firm. Stand firm in who I’ve created you to be Amanda and you will stand out as yourself.” And I don’t know if anyone else feels like that right now, in this place where you keep trying to fit to finally feel complete, but I just want you to know it doesn’t work. It’s exhausting and time consuming and ironically very self-centered from the way in which God would like us to be. Because instead, He needs us to stand firm and be secure in who we are in Him. He needs us to be all that HE needs us to be, and not what we see by viewing someone else’s projected life. And yeah, it does feel a little bit uncomfortable at first to let go of this way of life; however, once we’ve done it… Well we’ll find ourselves in more peace and satisfaction than before. Plus, not fitting in might actually cause us to stand out.

Going Down

If you’ve ever hiked a mountain before then you know the feeling that comes when you finally reach the top. In an instant all of the work it took to get there means nothing because you feel like you’re on top of the world. And, in a lot of cases, you can see for miles below.

Well over the last few days I had the opportunity to take a short trip to LA and hike my favorite mountain. On day one, our hike was essentially perfect. I was trilled to be in my element; however, day two was completely different. When we got to the top it was almost impossible to see what was below because a deep fog and rain had set in. And though I knew there was a buzzing city below, all I could see was the ledge in front of me.

As I starred off into the unseen distance, thoughts began to tumble through my mind. In that moment I knew we wouldn’t stay at the top for very long, but that we would have to make our way back down to the bottom. However, the hike down would most definitely be different than the hike up. Because on the way down we would be moving faster. The opposition of the climb wouldn’t be there, and we would be free to relax some and have fun.

For so many reasons that’s how I feel about life right now. The months of climbing have been painfully long and at times terrifying. I’ve wondered on many occasions, “When will this be over? When will we finally reach the top?” And, now that we’re at the top I can confidently see the goodness of God for miles.

However, like day two’s hike, there’s somewhat of a mystery to our journey down because a fog and rain have settled in. Meaning, I know in my heart there is so much of life waiting for me at the bottom, but I can’t see it. So, again it’s really going to take faith to put one foot in front of the other and walk down this mountain side.

And sure the journey down will be a lot faster, but it will be filled with things I might not be prepared for because I can’t see what’s in front of me. And yeah, that could create intimation and fear; however I’ve just got to climb down to be a part of whatever is happening at the bottom.