doubt · faith · keep moving forward · stillness

Questioning It All

I had a vision yesterday morning. I was in a dark, spacious cave, and I saw a waterfall flowing from a tall mountain-top of black rock. The mouth of the waterfall was wide. As the water fell, it plunged into a pool at the bottom, and then began to rapidly flow into a ravine. The ravine was different from the spacious cave. It was very tube like, tight and cramped. Still dark, but elevating downward. Then, very suddenly, I saw what seemed to be an end to the darkness… A bright light!

After this played out, I heard Holy Spirit. He said, “You are in a very tight, isolated and concealed space right now. So much is happening at once. I know it doesn’t seem like it is, but it is. Trust the flow. Trust what you feel in your human spirit. Trust the direction you’re being led… Even though you don’t understand. Trust Me.”

And then He stopped talking.

Lately, it’s been extremely challenging to keep moving forward. When you walk through many difficult seasons of life, without breaking into what God’s promised, you begin to question everything. And I have been. I am questioning it all. 

You see… It’s just the insight… The ideas… The concepts He’s given me over the years… Well, I’ve held so firm to them. He revealed them to me, planted them in my heart, watered them, nurtured them, watched them develop, mature and grow… And I see the fruit. I see what His ideas, concepts and dreams have produced in my own life and the lives of those that are close to me. But then… Then I ask, “What about the rest? What about the broad scope of all You envisioned and shared with me? And, I know I lack a lot of understanding, but how much longer will You choose to keep Your work concealed? Because I don’t care about fame, fortune, followers or ‘success.’ That doesn’t move me. Honestly, I only, truly care about You. I care that multitudes see how sensational of a feeling it is to be satisfied by only You. I care to share the same measure of love with others that You have shared with me. Everyone has to know! They must know that You aren’t so much ‘cool or hip or relevant.’ Instead, You’re legitimate and virtuous in Your very nature. You’re exactly what each person needs You to be in his/her own life at any given moment because relationship with you is a lifestyle, not a pop culture phenomenon or religion.”

His response? Quiet. Very still. Actually, His stature is so still that it echoes in a very boisterous way. Which then leads me to be still. To calm my soul. To stay present, confident and very focused on exactly where He’s leading. To not be conformed to my lack of understanding, but to just keep moving forward through this very tight, isolated and concealed space in time. 🌱

doubt · fear · heart · soul

Right Where I’m Supposed to Be

Over the past week or so my soul has been pushing me to cave and capitulate. I hear my thoughts. I feel my emotions. And they… They have decided that this jagged, uncomfortable path of stillness leading to God’s glory is just too much for them.

Now, I truly do not want to get off of the path. My spirit and my heart are truly dead set on the direction I’m being led; however, my soul… My soul gets really distracted sometimes. Actually, if I’m not conscious of and self-disciplined about what I’m feeding my soul, then it begins to get annoyed. It begins to lose sight of the goodness of God and the place of power, dominion and authority Holy Spirit has seated me in. 

And the annoyance… Well, it opens up an unwanted avenue of doubt inside of me. And then the doubt begins to conduct its full-fledged plan to captivate my heart. Actually, the doubt is so wise that it starts speaking to me about the past. It tries to remind me why I should choose to fear disappointment… “You’ve been so disappointed before. You stuck to the path, and people that you trusted very deeply and intimately with the things of God let you down. So, how do you know you won’t get disappointed again? Why would you keep trusting this path, Amanda? Why would you keep relying on the goodness of God and all of His promises and provision when you’ve been so deeply wounded before?”

But then… Then I hear Holy Spirit say, “Amanda, I am not human. I am God. I have never left you. Even in the depth of your brokenness, loss and deep insecurities, I was there offering up a strong pillar of hope and love to lean on. And, I will never leave you or disappoint your heart. So, keep putting your faith in Me. Keep your identity in the truth that you live from a place of right standing through Christ. Keep your eyes focused on the spirit realm. Keep your expectations on Me and on things flowing from above. I am always working. Even when you are completely still, I am working. Do not forget about My glory. This is the last and final stretch of this season. Bring it home! Do it well! Finish it completely with honor, dignity and respect. Do it from a place of incessant faith and trust in Me. Do not fear. Do not doubt. Do not live from a place of lack: spirit, soul, heart and body. Instead, live in the fullness of Me.”

And you know, when I hear Holy Spirit speak, well His confidence and assurance in Himself and in me, it really motivates and strengths me. It truly gives me the courage to silence my soul and focus my attention on where He’s leading me. Rather than on where distraction leads me. 

And I don’t know if you ever go through this. I don’t know if you can sort through yourself from the inside out and differentiate between the voice of your spirit, soul, heart and God’s. I don’t know if you can recognize when fear and doubt try their best to take advantage of your weaknesses while interloping themselves into the mix of voices within you. However, I hope you are willing to let Holy Spirit lead you into this place of maturity. I hope that when you feel overwhelmed with doubt and fear you can stop yourself and say, “My foundation is rooted in what flows from above. So, I am choosing to press past all of the noise and keep moving forward with where I am being led. I will reach the end of this challenging season with grace, confidence and complete assurance that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.” 🌱

doubt · faith · fear · keep moving forward

Doubtful Disbelief

“Stop what you’re doing!”… That’s what doubt and disbelief scream at me. “Stop what you’re doing and don’t move forward because you’re a fool and this is ridiculous.”

And it’s like that every time I step out in faith… I feel great at first. I feel like, I can “take on the world.” I feel like the hand of cards I placed on the table is being played nicely.

And then… Then huge waves of doubt and disbelief come. And they remind me of the past. They remind me how disappointed I’ve felt at times for excepting one thing and receiving another. They remind me how long the journey has been without the promises fulfilled. They remind me of the isolation I feel for following Holy Spirit instead of listening to man-made systems and structures. They remind me of the death, pain and sacrifice I’ve been through to get today… The people and places I’ve lost and the relationships that went sour. They remind me that I don’t know what I’m actually doing in life, nor do I have any control at all.

I hate doubt and disbelief.

But… Well, without them… Would taking the risk even be a thing? If my past, present and future weren’t all on the table ready to be gambled at my own free-will, then would I even be in God’s will?

And so I step back… I step back with humility, and I remember how much I develop, mature and grow every time I’m faithful. I remind myself that God’s never EVER left my side… If anything we’ve grown closer. I also remind myself how good it feels to flourish on the inside when I’m faced with challenge and adversity that are larger than me. And then… Then I step forward with a positive attitude and a clean, yet faithful heart. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

challenge · doubt · faith · focus · keep moving forward · strength · weary

Should I Stop?

Over the past few days I’ve been back and forth about whether I should keep sharing what God’s giving me to write…

You see I feel like there aren’t too many people who care about Him and His design for life. I believe people aren’t truly trying to cultivate a relationship with Him… But are just interested in fame, power, money, comfortably and false security.

It’s discouraging you know?.. To see mankind so consumed with hate, jealousy, judgement, immorality and insecurity. It’s just sad.

So… In this moment I’m not going to stop sharing what I write because if I stop then I believe I’m allowing evil to win in my life.

But then I do wonder… Why can’t we, as humans, just wake up and realize we are all in troubled place without security in God? Why can’t we stop instigating the evil and promote life instead? Why can’t we see that Jesus isn’t a religion but a relationship that comes with freedom and abundant life? Why are we so deaf, dumb, dead and ignorant?!

And I might seem a little passionate… But I’m just so sick of the distractions we’ve all fallen for. I’m so sick of the war we’re all losing because we aren’t equipped to fight.

So if you hear what I’m saying… Wake up. Pursue God. Accept your forgiveness through Christ. And then cultivate a lifestyle of security in Him and His principles for life… Because not doing so will inevitably cost you your soul.

doubt · faith · fear · focus · heart

Doubtful Focus

It’s funny.. The Lord has never failed me in what He’s spoken to my heart, yet I still doubt what He says is to come.

You see He has a pretty good track record of being right. Actually He’s never wrong. He’s always 100% correct when telling me what’s to come.

So why do I still doubt? You’d think I’d flat out believe everything He tells me by now. The good. The evil. The right. The wrong. But I don’t. Instead, I doubt. I get discouraged in my heart and look at the reality of the situation surrounding me.

And I know doubt is the opposite of faith, but I can’t help it. It’s like I almost feel gun-shy about accepting the goodness He says is coming into my life soon.

But I shouldn’t feel gun-shy at all. No, I should hold my head high and keep my focus on Him… On Jesus… On the Father… On the God-head who so willingly leads me through the mountains, hills and valleys of life.

You see to focus on Jesus constantly is an awfully challenging task. There are so many things that try to distract and distress us. Plus, sometimes it’s hard to even understand what it means to focus on Him. But I’m learning that to focus on Him is to focus on faith, hope, love, joy, goodness and peace. It’s choosing to place my entire life in His hands knowing deep down all that I am is because of Him.

And when my ever-so wondering mind strolls down a path of doubt and fear… Well I have to quickly remind myself that I’ve never been peacefully successful on that road. And that it’s time to be led back down the only road that leaves me mysteriously reliant on an intangible God that has never failed me before.

doubt · fear · lies, deception & manipulation

Imaginary Life…

As God has continued to truly leave me somewhat stumped on where He’s leading me, I’ve had to make a conscious effort to remain confident… Constantly feeling fear and insecurity about where He’s led me, but then hearing His voice firmly and repeatedly say, “Be confident in ALL of my ways Amanda. ALL of them.”

And so I pick myself up and choose to grasp confidence over fear… Because in this moment He’s working me through something that has truly destroyed me for years… My imagination: my ability to make up stories in my head to escape my current reality…

I’ve done this for years to escape the stress I’ve felt when my parents wouldn’t stop arguing… Or when I felt so insecure because I hated the body I was in… Or when I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing… Basically anytime I’ve felt fear or insecurity, I’ve used my imagination to conjure up a story to make me feel seemingly better…

The downfall? It’s a story… It’s fantasy… It’s fiction… It’s not real… Meaning I’ve left myself filled with disappointment after disappointment… I’ve created a way to get rid of the stress I can’t handle, and in reverse I’ve caused more stress on my soul and mind…

So God has been working me through it all… And it’s really been a huge mountain to climb at this time… When finances are the lowest they’ve ever been, the house won’t seem to sell and the reality of life is at an all time high… Stress, fear and insecurity seem to be the most obvious route for me… Creating illusions to “make it” through this seems to be the easiest, most mind-relieving way to go…

But with God, well I am pulled to learn a new way… A new route… A better way to navigate through life…

And I’m learning that life… Life is what I lack security in… I lack the confidence to admit to myself that this is my reality… I lack the confidence to be confident in the good and the bad… It’s always easy to embrace and love the good… But the bad, who wants that?…

For me, I’d rather ignore the stress of it all and just create a better story in my mind… I’d rather change the story up some and convince myself of a bunch of lies… I’d rather be weak and cope with what I don’t understand than be confident that bad things have happened and I have to navigate through them…

But that’s when God showed me something… He showed me that deeper than being confident in life (the good and evil) is to be confident in eternal life…

Not Heaven or life after death…

But the truth that I have eternal life living in me… And that eternal life is always aiming to take the ugly parts of life and make them beautiful…

I guess you could say He wants me to be confident in the truth that Jesus is alive in me at all times… That Heaven lives in me at all times, and so a solution is in me at all times… Even when I can’t find it, He’s aiming to create a better life for me…

And so that’s how I feel right now… I see this colossal imaginary mountain I’ve created for 25 years and I feel utterly disappointed… And I’m up against another mountain called the reality of life… And they both seem so big, so scary, so much bigger than me… And I want to run and hide and be confident in the fact that I can create to escape them all… But then God says, “No. No just be confident in all my ways. Be confident in eternal life. Be confident in the truth that I am taking all of this disappointment, pain, hurt, confusion, frustration and stress… I am taking it and making it beautiful. I am making you whole. I am making a better way because that, that is what eternal life through my Son does in your life.”