Being You… Complex?

What’s the biggest challenge of being you? Is it accepting yourself? Loving yourself? Or possibly just being confident in who you are?

What happens when the biggest challenge within you is interchangeable with the person you are at your core? The very essence of you?

For me… As Amanda Nicole…. My biggest challenge of being me is being confident in who I am… And yeah, it’s been an evolution of sorts… But when I dig deep, I know in truth that I’m still not the confident woman I so hope to be…

Now, the person I am at my core is well… To me the person I am, the One I hope to reflect the most is God… His heart… The deepest part of who He is… The purest part of who He is… A place so deep that it takes a walk through fire to truly obtain it in its fullness…

So, my biggest challenge is not just being confident in me, it’s deeper.. Much more complex… It’s being confident in God… In the ways of God… In the ways of His heart…

And it sounds kind of simple… Trust in God… Follow Him… Believe in Him…

But what happens when your heart cries out for more? What happens when the God in you wants more? When He’s asking you to go deeper… To just walk a little bit closer to that fire… To really experience the refine of that burn?

For me… This is my continued challenge at hand… To allow God to keep refining me… To refine me until I am all of myself, but then myself looks nothing like me and everything like Him…

It’s not an easy walk… It’s a challenge that takes days… Weeks… Months… It’s taken years… Heartbreak, loss and severe failure…

But I need this walk… I need it just as much as it needs me… And I don’t know what I’ll “do” with it all, but I do believe it is so rewarding… So meaningful… So purposeful… And it’s allowing me to be confident in Him and ALL of His ways…

Life on the Line…

I found myself sitting at the cemetery today… Why?… I went with mom to pick up the deeds for dad’s plot and the plot she’ll eventually be in…

And I’m not sure why, but death always seems to put life into perspective for me…

Whatever the case, the shortness of life on earth continues to cause me to realize that we should be living life to the very fullest everyday…

Taking risks… Making mistakes… Falling down… Getting back up… It’s all part of the process of this crazy place…

And I guess that’s why I feel more and more encouraged to continue to become confident in following the Holy Spirit…

I said before that I’ve never been confident in the follow… Yes I’m willing and able… But I’m also terrified at the same time…

But then, well if I don’t continue to follow am I even living at all?..

I feel like if I’m not following Him then I’m choosing to follow the ways of the world that surround me…

I mean, if we truly believe in Jesus with our entire heart we should all be following the Holy Spirit…

Life on the line… Head held high… With a heart full of passion and purpose…

When we follow Him there shouldn’t be a question in our minds if we are doing the right/best thing… We should just know and truly trust in the depth of our heart that His way is the best way… That He will not lead us into something bad, but good…

That doesn’t mean He won’t lead us face-to-face with our fears…

The last year of my life seems to be nothing less than facing my fears head on… And you know what, they haven’t destroyed me at all… I’ve actually watched them fall to their knees every time…

And I hope that that continues… I hope, in my deepest of hearts, that I never come to a place in life that I become content… At ease… Ok and settled with what’s hip, average and boring…

Instead, I hope that I always enter everyday with my life in God’s hands… Following the Holy Spirit… Knowing deep down that that could mean my life is on the line, but that living this way is the best way….

I mean, didn’t the disciples and apostles follow where ever they were led?.. We don’t know how to be led today… We don’t know what it means to live like Christ at all… We are more so consumed with comfort in our “Christianity” than the real life of a follower of the Spirit…

I believe He’s a little too exciting for some… A little to reckless for others… And somewhat of a badass in the way He handles where He chooses to take us…

But, with all of this said… I hope to continue to keep living… To keep learning… And more than ever to keep becoming confidently mature in the follow…

The Follow…

The follow…

What does that even mean?… Follow… But who are we following?… Why are we following Him?… How do we follow Him?…

Since I was a child, I was taught to follow one person over everyone else in my life…

That person is the Holy Spirit… Or the Spirit of God…

And I haven’t always been the best at following… Because life is a journey… And a relationship with Him is a real thing… Meaning it takes time to cultivate a relationship with Him, to trust Him over everything and everyone else…

And He is not an “it”… He is the person of God… The personality of God… The part of God that is a part of our life on a moment by moment basis…

And following Him is such a unique journey…

Because when we choose to follow Him, we never feel alone… We always feel surrounded…

And the fellowship He brings is so real, authentic, genuine and true… I really, truly love it so much more than anything I know…

Where would I be without the fellowship of the Holy Spirit?.. Without His constant companionship…

And, the good news is… This relationship with Him is available to every single one of us… Not one person is excluded from a full life, filled with constant companionship with Him…

And I’m not talking about a life of “hints” from God… I am talking about a real, one-on-one significant relationship with the Spirit of God… With the person of God…

He is the realest one I know… Realer than you and me… So evident and apparent in life on a daily basis…

He gives me more fellowship than any person ever could because He is there for me when people aren’t… When humans fail me, my connection to Him is there… And it is strong…

And in this moment of my life, I know no other way to explain the Holy Spirit to you than to say He is the person of God… And to encourage you to gain a clear or clearer connection to Him… To begin to follow Him and His ways… Because, though He will lead us into an unknown life, He leads us into a GOOD LIFE…

A flourishing life… A whole life… A complete life… A life of fullness like Jesus said we would have… Because Jesus promised we would do greater things once He was gone… He promised to send His Spirit to fill us… To be within us… That we will perform miracles through Him, in the name of Jesus…

So following Him means life doesn’t belong to us… It means we are constantly surrounded by His presence… Never actually in control… On journey that will blow our minds… Because He leads as the wind blows…

The Follow…

The follow… It’s my life… It’s my choice… It’s who I am… The woman I continue to become is based around the follow… Not God… Not Jesus… But Holy Spirit…

And it’s the most amazing and beautiful life ever… To be able to know when following Holy Spirit I can’t go wrong…

And it’s for sure a growing process… One that stretches me… Pulls at me… My heart, my thoughts, my emotions…

But, to me, it’s the greatest way to live… And I honestly hope to be able to give… To give this gift… A gift that was greatly given to me… I hope to give him to others…

Because at the end of the day… Well, I believe, life with Holy Spirit is the secret to life…

Follow Your Arrow

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Follow your arrow where ever it points….

That’s basically how my best friend sent me off to L.A…. my side of the apartment empty… my car loaded… lunch at one of the best places to eat in Dallas…. and then this song…. a song I had never heard before…. encouraging me to stay alert and just follow my own arrow…

Now I’ve been here 8 months… I don’t include dad’s death as time spent here… so 8 months in SoCal… and you know what… I’ve been following my arrow….

Yesterday I found myself sitting in an orientation for Make-A-Wish…. and I don’t really know where my arrow is guiding me…. I just know that I want to give more of myself to others… I want to help people in my own way…. so volunteering seemed like a good fit for now….

And as I sat down in my seat to listen to the speaker… all I could think was “follow your arrow”…. and I don’t really know how you do that…. I think you just kind of begin to figure yourself out…. what you do and don’t want…. struggle with the major issues holding you back… or the ones causing you to feel like you have to fit in with society….

Then as you work through the details…. well it’s almost like answers begin to fall out…. and I found myself missing work for a few hours yesterday just to make this orientation…

Of course if you know me really well… then you know missing 3 hours of work would send me into a tailspin because then I won’t make as much money in my pay check… which triggers my fear of money…

But that didn’t happen at all…. I actually didn’t even consider the fear of money until after I asked my boss if I could go and come into work late…. and you know what…. I was actually proud again in that moment…. another little moment of victory….

So if I hadn’t followed my arrow here and gotten rid of my fear of money…. I might not have been able to follow it to the next point… which I guess it going through with becoming a Make-A-Wish volunteer…

And so here I am…. and life doesn’t always feel up…. it doesn’t always feel positive… it’s not always easy to follow your arrow… and I feel most challenged now to follow my arrow into the area of riding myself of drama and control….

For some reason it feels like it’s going to be a challenge… like a big one…. but then again…. maybe it won’t be at all… Maybe it will be easy…. maybe I just need to practice a little every day….

So following my arrow seems to be a good plan… even when it feels like it isn’t…. even when the road seems a little curvy and bumpy…. because it those moments… the curves and the bumps…. i guess those are the moments we truly grow and come a little closer to what we are mean tot be and do….