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.” 🌱

develop · faith · fear · heart · listen · relationship

Deaf Ears?

We’re all speaking. With all of our facts, opinions and restless, chaotic tips and thoughts… The majority of us have something to say. Even if we don’t share about it on a public platform, we’re all talking.

So my question… My question is this…

Who is listening? Who hears Holy Spirit’s voice? And when I say this, I don’t mean the second-hand account spoken from what someone else heard from Him. I mean… Who’s truly seeking Him, listening to Him and following His ways? Who’s choosing to take the risk and live from a place of faith over constant anxiety, restlessness and fear?

And if we are listening… What is He saying to each individual heart? How is He (not the government, religion or any other crumbling system in place) about to lead us as a nation and a royal priesthood founded and designed to belong to His Kingdom alone? 🌱⚔️ #cultivatelife

darkness · demonic · faith · fear · heart · pain · relationship

Sharp Objects

I had a dream about a month ago… I was standing in my living room and from the kitchen a dark figure was standing at my counter throwing knives, swords and other sharp objects at me. In the moment I didn’t know what to do…. So I reached my hand out and surprising caught each one of them by the handle on the other end.

I had a vision this morning… I saw glass and shards of metal coming at my heart… Trying to really penetrate and tear apart this whole and complete substance God’s placed inside of me.

When the vision began, I immediately thought of the dream… So I asked Holy Spirit about both of them. He said, “Amanda, the dream was a foretelling of you handling the shards and metal in the vision. For too many years you’ve allowed manipulation, deception, fear, lies and toxic behavior to tear you down and penetrate your heart. But that’s over now. Now it’s time to stand firm and confidently and courageously catch every sharp tool darkness throws your way. It’s time to be the fortress, in this area of your life, I’ve created you to be.”

And with that… Well I just felt peace. Peace that showed me this chapter is coming to an end because I will no longer be stunned with pain, rejection, fear and confusion of the past.

And I don’t know why I’m sharing this… This is kind of deep and very personal to me on several levels of life. However, I do want you to know, we weren’t created to live in darkness, pain, fear and rejection. Yeah…. Sure we can become so familiar with the darkness that it seems like we should lie down and embrace it as home. But I believe what’s stronger than the darkness that incases us is the light that comes out of us when Jesus truly steps into our story, heals our pain and restores us to full capacity.

And I don’t know about you…. But who wouldn’t want that? 🌱 #cultivatelife

challenge · faith · fear · follow · heart · keep moving forward · process

“She Gambles with God”

“Does trusting the Lord and not worrying mean we’re coping out?”

“No Bill. It just means we’re doing what God told us to do.”

That… That was a conversation my grandparents had several years ago as they continued to follow Holy Spirit wherever He led them.

And… You know, thisThis is exactly how I feel right now. My lack of worry almost makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong. Like I’m “coping out” on life.

Because, normally, when we say we “trust God,” we still secretly harbor anxiety and worry in our hearts. And then we just keep that “smile” on our faces… You know, the one that says, “I’m good! I’m fine!! I’m trusting God!!!”

However, faith… Faith truly is a lifestyle for me. It’s a real walk that requires so much risk… So much risk that I feel like my forehead constantly reads, “She gambles with God!”

And I guess I’m saying all of this because I want to remind myself and you that it’s okay to wholeheartedly trust God. Actually, it’s 1000% healthy and normal to embrace that initial wave of fear we all feel when we step into the unknown, but then it’s also so healthy to have so much of God within us… So much of Him that we ride over that wave of fear with so much confidence, courage and strength in our hearts… Enough to say, “I will not carry the fear I feel… This fear that would like to collide with my heart and drown me.” 🌱 #cultivatelife

 

 

faith · fear · follow · keep moving forward

Foggy Backroad

On Jan 1, 2020 I found myself on a winding, Louisiana backroad. In route to the gym, all I could think was, “Gosh the fog is SO thick this morning. I can barely see what’s in front of me.”

And… You know, that’s how 2020 has appeared to me in real life. It’s foggy. It’s unclear. It’s a winding, twisting, twirling backroad waiting for me to drive down so I can discover what “next” is.

And I don’t know if you feel this way at all; however, if you do… If you don’t know what next is because it’s shrouded in foggy mystery… Well I want to encourage you to move forward. To take one step, one inch or one mile at a time.

And I know our culture promotes knowing what’s next because it helps us attain “success;” however, I believe not knowing what comes next is very humbling and powerful. I believe following the foggy road demonstrates faith because we’re willing to take a risk even when we can’t see ahead.

So, if you do feel like me, have faith, take the risk and be encouraged… Because the foggy road will lead you somewhere 😉🌱 #cultivatelife

develop · fear · follow · isolation · keep moving forward · mature · peace · stillness · surrender

Isolation: The Reality

This is it. This is a cultivated life. It’s a tree, firmly planted… Growing in isolation from the rest of the forest… One that’s nurtured well, develops, matures and grows properly in due season.

Is the isolation enjoyable? Well of course. It’s nice to live in peace. Is it frustrating? Only when I allow it to be.

But I do believe living in isolation is healthy because it promotes so much time with God…. Time that would otherwise be spent distracted by the noise, nonsense, chaos and division that goes on in this world.

But can I tell you what mainly frustrates me about living in isolation? The reality… The reality that I cannot seem to escape the will of God. It’s just there. It’s constantly there looming over my head. And I know I cannot completely move forward until I follow through with the next step.

But you know… Sometimes I don’t want to take the next step because I feel like it’s leading me absolutely nowhere. It’s like I’m walking down a dark pathway that leads to a wall… And I think “Oh great… Now what?” And then the wall opens up as a passageway to the next step… But then I fear to take the step because I just don’t understand where all of the following is leading. I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around what it’s all about.

However, if I don’t… If WE don’t keep following, well then we shut Holy Spirit out. We limit Him. We place Him in a box that says, “Do not touch.” And when we do not touch the things of Him anymore we become very stagnant, much like the chaotic world around us and so disconnected from the spirit that lies deep within.

And I don’t know about you… But I’d rather live in isolation with God all the days of my life then become completely disconnected from Him and the things of Him. 🌱 #cultivatelife

capacity · challenge · complain · develop · faith · fear · freedom · isolation · refine · relationship · surrender

The Isolated Life

Isolation. Oh gosh, I hate isolation. Actually, I hate the initial feeling of isolation. Have you ever felt it before? It’s this blatant reality that no one completely gets you, who you are or what you’re going through. And it’s deeper than feeling alone because when we’re isolated we aren’t actually “alone”.

You see… When we meet Jesus and begin to follow Holy Spirit, we jump onto an unpaved path scored with separation. It’s just this raw understanding that no one and nothing will understand us the way He does. I mean… There’s just so much intimacy born inside of the truth that no one will ever fully get me. Because, to get me, well… You’d have to be inside of my head and my heart. And I only know one dude that can fully and completely do that… God.

But you see, real, true freedom is the reality that our old self is dead, and now we are only surrounded and protected by God’s Holy Spirit. Jesus cut and will continue to cut us free from all darkness, sickness, disease, bondage and brokenness that we’ve ever experienced. And as He cuts us free, we begin to become more and more separated from who we used to be and what we used to know.

But the freedom… The feeling of living without darkness, decay and death, it’s just so… So good. It’s so good that we MUST embrace the unpaved path of isolation or we will become bound by insecurity and fear of the unknown.

And the isolation isn’t always so raw. As we develop, mature and grow in our relationship with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit we become really chill with being free. It becomes second nature to just sit with Him and be.

And I don’t know if you’re fully grasping where I’m coming from. You see I spend so much time in the undistracted presence of God that He’s captivated my whole heart. And in taking my entire heart I’ve been emptied of all the chaos and calamity that go on in my mind and heart and in our world. So much emptiness has happened that I’m truly free. And it’s the best feeling… A feeling I hope everyone I encounter will experience and receive. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

capacity · challenge · complain · faith · fear · follow · just live · patient · peace · surrender

Wait-y

Patience… Patience is really, really, really challenging for me.

You see I’ve learned how to be patient with people and situations that are out of my control… But patience with God, myself and my own life…. Well that’s a completely different story.

You see I just don’t like to wait. Waiting… Well waiting seems SO boring and uneventful sometimes. And it doesn’t matter how many times God tells me to “wait” or “just be patient Amanda,” I still find myself complaining to Him like a small child who wants what I want NOW!

But I suppose I’m learning something while I wait. Because I see patience… I see the time that surrounds her is vital and good… And I guess… I guess it’s not so boring and uneventful if I seize this time to focus on other things while I wait.

Because one day… One day the waiting will be over. The waiting will be over and I just don’t want to look back and see that I wasted so much time complaining… Complaining rather than embracing what I have that’s so GOOD right NOW! 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

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

brokenness · fear · healing · idols · keep moving forward · lies, deception & manipulation

Without the Idol

I discovered a fear embedded deep within me. I discovered a fear embedded deep within me and it has to go.

It has to go because I need to be free so I can move forward in life.

You see I used to be very good about idolizing people. I used to place all of my faith and myself into humans that didn’t ever deserve that kind of affection and desire because they are HUMAN.

The downfall to all of this is the reality of my fear. Deep within me, I feel that I can’t move forward because the idol is gone but then I’m still convinced I need the idol to be successful.

My soul is lying to me though. And I’m certain I see the truth. I’m certain that I need to move forward without this fear. But a huge piece of me believes I will fail if I move forward without the idol.

But yesterday I made myself sit down and make a list of everything I’ve done in life without the idol. And guess what? The list was long. The list was strong. The list made me realize that I’ve been successfully moving forward without the idol and I need to continue to do so.

And I don’t know if this makes sense to you, but if you’ve ever placed someone on a pedestal in your life then you’ll understand how challenging it can be to move forward without the words they’ve spoken dictating your actions and choices. And so, I hope… I truly hope you can find it within yourself to allow faith and hope in God to become a stronger guide than any human can ever be. And then I hope you move forward and amaze yourself with the things you can accomplish… Freed from every idol that ever held you captive by fear and lies. 🌱 #cultivatelife