This is J Man… Most know Him as Jesus.
He was created a year ago by my ever-so gifted and talented sister Bridget. (The stories on how He was created and why would blow your mind- Maybe I’ll share them one day)
You know… He’s moved with us all over NYC. Yep, each borough we’ve lived in, He’s been with us!
At first it seemed absurd to carry this 5ft canvas with us everywhere we’ve lived, but 6 moves later we’re just grateful that He’s finally in His new home in Queens.
You know… The past 3 weeks have been full of failure upon failure. And there have definitely been moments when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and tell God, “I’m out ✌🏻.” But then this morning, while I was praying, I looked up and saw J Man… J Man and His big ole bobble head floating above me. And instead of feeling discouraged, doubtful and in disbelief, I was reminded that He’s literally been on this journey with us the entire time. Through all of the moments we’ve wondered if we’d “make it” or if we’re still on the “path,” He’s been a friendly reminder to keep moving forward.
And you know… I don’t know where you are in life today. I don’t know how many failures and disappointments you’ve experienced; however, I do know J Man is real. He’s real and He’s alive when we let Him, Father God and Holy Spirit take the lead in our lives. And I know that’s challenging almost all the time, but I’ve learned every failure is an open door to the next opportunity He wants to lead us too. And even when we make mistakes (like the BIG spiritual one I recently made) He’s ALWAYS there to reroute the path and make up for what was lost.
So where ever you are, and how ever the divine presents Himself to you, please always be willing to follow! It’s 100% worth every step you take! 🌱♥️ #cultivatelife #justlive #bridgetwinderart #jman
“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
Why is it that as we get closer to the things of the Lord doubt beings to slip in?
It’s like there are all these years of following and searching and building and hoping and praying… And then right as you can feel the pulse of things starting to come together in a real way, doubt sneaks in. He sticks his head into your mind and says, “But what if? What if you’re wrong? What if it’s not going to happen? What if you’re waisting your time? What if you get disappointed and have to stop completely?”
Actually, now that I think about it, doubt in my life is always a “what if?” But then the words of God are never a “what if?” Actually I don’t think I’ve ever heard God speak in terms of “what if?” He’s a pretty concrete dude…. With many sides and angles, but He’s never there to lead us into a place of “what if?”
So how do I combat the “what if?” Well I believe I fight it with the truth God has actually spoken into my heart and life over the years. And then I choose to stay really close to Him and His voice in moments like this. Because, in truth, I want what He wants because I know it is good and prosperous and for His Kingdom alone.
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.
I opened the box more and more yesterday… I lived in the day… And as I did… Well parts of me wish I hadn’t…
Because beneath the beautiful wrapping… Well right now I see a heavy, heavy, heavy brown box…
And this heavy brown box is too much for me to carry…
Basically… I don’t want the heavy brown box or whatever is in it…
Now… I might change my mind when I actually open the box…
But for now… Right now… My answer to God is this…
This life situation… It’s to heavy for me to carry… You told me 3 months ago to “wait for the weight”… Well I have… And I don’t want the weight… I am not equip to carry these types of burdens or problems…
And though they cause my heart pain and some grief… I will not pick them up and carry them with me…
Instead I choose to just give it to my Father in Heaven… Because I believe He’s the one strong enough… Equipped enough… Loving enough… And more than enough to carry it all…
And I truly believe if I can do that simple thing over and over again… Well it will lead me to just live with more and more peace…