heart · soul · Spirit

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.” 🌱

Confidence · soul · Spirit · truth

For the Love of God

“But the disappointment God… It’s SO heavy. I don’t want to feel it anymore. I don’t want to carry it anymore. Plus… Paired with the anger… The anger that’s still consuming 10% of my heart… Well the anger really makes the disappointment feel all consuming at times.”

This is me. This is me working through more brokenness with God. And… Well… You’d think, at this point, my healing would be complete in this area. But… it’s just SO deep. All of it. The brokenness touches every layer of my essence… From my human spirit, to my soul and then impacts my body in ways that it shouldn’t.

And I’ve forgiven. I’ve forgiven and chosen to move past a lot of the pain and heartache. But sometimes… Gosh sometimes I feel like the disappointment will never go away. And then I can’t seem to quite understand “why?” Why did it have to play out like this?

Actually… I’m not stupid. I understand “why,” but then I’d rather live in the deception of the past. The deception and manipulation was just so fanatical and illusive… Almost like I was living in a dream I’d never wake up from and have to take responsibility for.

But… Then… Well, I woke up from that dream several years ago and was forced to enter a world of truth and disappointment. And, some days (though they are few and far between) I still feel like I’m still waking up to an undiscovered layer of truth and disappointment.

So… what am I to do with layers upon layers of continued disappointment? Well that’s what I’ve been asking God.

And… Do you know what He keeps showing me?

Love.

Of course, it’s been way too simple for me to process at once. But everyday I hear Him say, “My love for you woke you up from the fanatical, illusive dream. My love for you drove out the lies, deception and manipulation you both created. My love protected you. It empowered you. It’s given you the ability to constantly move forward, one whole and complete step at a time. And maybe you still feel angry and disappointed. I don’t blame you. The deception was deep; however, keep focusing on My love. Keep your eyes anchored to My heart. For inside of it you will discover the healing your heart is seeking.” 🌱 #cultivatelife

Confidence · soul · Spirit · truth

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.”

Mind · soul

Crossing the Speed Bump

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And then the speed bump causes unnecessary chaos….

And I’m left wondering… Why do I even bother worrying?… Worrying always takes me to a bad place….

I say this because after choosing to stay positive about the speed bump ahead…. I stayed calm for a moment…. but then I allowed my worries to overwhelm my mind and I found myself hitting a car in a parking lot….

Yes this happened… Yes it would’ve just been better to follow God’s lead when he said “you’ll be fine. I’m going to take care of you”…. but for some reason that wasn’t enough…. Probably because I don’t value my relationship with him enough….

And so the small speed bump ahead kind of turned into a banana…. Like the ones in Super Mario Carts… And my thoughts were racing to fast…. And I found myself spinning out of control…. All over the road of my life….

Now… remember I’m working on my fear of money, victim mentality, drama queen mood swings, valuing self and ability to stay in the moment….

So in this moment… in a moment when I would usually freak out…. well I did for a moment…. but I pulled myself together… picked up the girls from school and headed back to the car to take them to their afternoon appointments…

Then one of the girls says, “Amanda, everything is fine. No one’s hurt or dead. The world didn’t come to an end. I’m sure worse things have happened this year. The worst that could happen is mom being mad at you.”

And with that…. well she helped me turn my moment of chaos around…. with that… the child whom I’ve grown to love so much… helped this overwhelming moment become one of peace and light….

And I just sailed throughout the rest of the day….

Normally I would’ve blown something like that out of proportion… I would’ve made a big deal and included other people in the midst… I would’ve found a way to become the victim…. But I didn’t… I just moved forward and let it roll off my back….

In so many ways I feel encouraged… I feel like I’m getting somewhere in life….

And there’s really nothing more to do than be a grown up… because I’m learning that making mistakes doesn’t mean the mistake makes me…

Hitting that car doesn’t change the value of who I am and what I want in life… it doesn’t qualify me as stupid or irresponsible or out of control…. well maybe my mind was a little out of control…

But it does tell me that I don’t value my mind enough and I don’t value my relationship with God enough… I don’t allow myself to remain in a place of peace when I receive news that puts me on alert….

So moving forward… I guess I should practice that a little more…

Trust that life will work itself out in the midst of what I see ahead…. and then keeping the peace enough to slow down as I cross over the speed bump…

Mind · soul

Another Speed Bump Ahead

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Moving forward… moving forward… moving forward…

Bam…. all of a sudden a moment of stress hits me… a moment where I have to choose to let it go and move forward or allow the moment to completely take my peace away…

And it’s my choice… it really is up to me… whether this will steal the peace that is right here… readily available to me…

But it still seems like a challenge to remain calm…

God’s even saying “you’ll be fine. I’ll take care of you”… but I let the words of others, the chaos of others, the decisions of others dictate me…

And it’s dumb…. it’s dumb to be like this… because I feel like I hit these speed bumps weekly… it’s almost like a chance to redeem myself… to push through and stay peaceful in mind and soul… and I wonder so much if I’ll do it…. Will I actually stay calm… listen to God and trust myself…

And I’d like to say yes… really I would… but I’m following my track record and being honest with the facts… and the facts say no… but maybe… just maybe this time… I won’t allow things like this to shake me….

Because it’s fear of money at the core… it’s lack of control at the root… that’s what I’m feeling… I’m feeling those things… those things that have kept me a prisoner for so long… I am feeling them trying to overtake me and my peace once again….

But in reality… I should just move forward with whatever comes my way… trust what God says… trust myself… and have confidence that peace is right there…. all I have to do is live with it….

Simple enough… Huh??…

Spirit · truth

Disappointment

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Not gonna lie… I’m being a little selfish this morning. Sometimes being an adult sucks because you have to make decisions, decisions that don’t always seem “fair…” Plus, I’m only 25. So I feel young, but I know I’m not a kid anymore. Responsibilities are a way of life now, and then there are those moments when I just wanna say, “I’m young and I’m doing what I want.” But today… well today I have to be responsible. And this means I can’t go to the beach on Sunday.

Last night the three of us sat down and made a list…. a long list of all the things we have to do and need to do before going, and well… it’s just not possible right now. Because we all three choose to finish the house and Bridge and I promised to get all affairs in order before we leave.

So in the midst of moving forward with daily activities of organizing a business and completing a house… I’m a little disappointed. Disappointed because I got too excited about going. Disappointed because I love the beach and the sun. Disappointed because I honestly wanted to get away from all of this for a while. And I know I’m going back to Cali in a few weeks, but I still love Destin so much and I wanted to see my friends.

But, I guess that’s life. Really it’s honoring my dad. I made a promise to my mom to be here and get things done for her. I made a promise to dad in the hospital room right after he passed that I would take care of things. That I would make sure everything was held together and that we would confidently moved forward without him.

So… here I am. Dad’s been gone for one month today and I stand here looking at this mess… And I want to get away from it, but I made him a promise. And I promised myself I would honor him…. which is challenging at times because it means doing things I don’t wanna do. It means taking my selfishness and being selfless… because dad would’ve done it for me. He would’ve done anything for me. He did do everything for me. So sacrificing one little trip to Florida isn’t that big of a deal.

And then I have to tell myself that more trips will come, and that this is really healthy for me. It’s helping my relationship with my mom get better. I feel closer to her than ever before. And… in a strange way… it’s helping my relationship with my dad. Honoring my parents is something I’ve never been good at. So, I feel like this is me doing something for him that I’ve never done before. It’s taking time, energy and my summer to do it…. But I guess that’s part of honoring the man that created half of me. It’s part of making sure his life, business and partner in life are ok when I leave.

It’s also helping my relationship with myself. I struggle with this too. I’m not as close to myself as I should be. I’m not always good at pointing out my own flaws and working through them… it’s much simpler to point the finger at others. But now… well now I’m expecting myself to finish. To finish well and finish strong. And more importantly to do what I said I am going to do and not be a dud. To truly honor my father the best way I know how.