What If?

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.

Relentless Self-Discipline

I’ve been told for the better half of my life that I have a lot of “self-discipline.” And while I’ve always attributed it to my father’s example in my life, in this moment I’m realizing something new…

You see I believe that in order to be self-disciplined you have to have something in you that relentlessly won’t give up. For me, that relentless is the Holy Spirit because He’s never given up on me or abandoned me. He simply believes in me because He sees me for who I really am. He sees the depth of my heart and who I can become if I continue to follow Him with my entire heart.

And I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been so wrong over the years… Because my self-discipline comes from the imprint the Holy Spirit has left inside of me. And though God is a bit chaotic, there is also an extreme balance to Him that cries for order. So, if you’re looking to become more of a self-disciplined person, then walk a little closer to the Holy Spirit. Get really up close and personal with His infallible love and determination to see you become all that He’s created you to be as you cultivate life!

Figure or Follow?

Living from a place where I don’t try to figure it all out… What a way of life!

That’s where I feel like I need to be right now. Having the discernment to see the truth, but trusting deeply that all of the pieces of the puzzle are coming together as I watch them move.

Because I feel like the wind of God has started to blow in my life in a more violent way than ever before. And when the wind blows you cannot stop it… Because the wind is very about you following It’s own path, not It following you. And I very much agree that it’s time for me to stop breaking things down and figuring out how He’s blowing and why He’s blowing, and instead just be moved. I mean… that’s what Jesus did… Right?

Now I’m not saying, “Don’t seek out His will.” Because we do need to have some type of understanding on how to make decisions. However, trying to solve a puzzle God has designed is extremely complicated, exhausting and time consuming. Plus, doing so causes us to get distracted and miss out on the journey!

So if you’re anything like me, slow down on the inside and just follow where you’re led! And even if it gets dark and depressing for a moment, keep following until the light of His wind pushes you forth. It’s worth it! I promise!

Caution: Story in Motion

My life… It feels like a movie set right now. The film is rolling and the story line is moving, but I don’t exactly know how the plot is going to develop yet… I mean it’s clearly developing in front of my eyes. But… what is it going to become? What will my life become as everything continues to advance?!

Am I nervous? You know, I’m less nervous today than I was yesterday. The Holy Spirit seems to keep providing me with peace for the process.

So then what am I learning about this process? Well… It’s a lot easier when I don’t over plan, overthink or over complicate the story. It’s a lot simpler when I just stick with His plan on the narrow path.

You see my path is actually so narrow that sometimes it’s felt unbelievably challenging to keep walking down. And then other times it’s felt like a dark journey to nowhere.

But for some reason… Well I believe I’ve stepped onto a place on the path where I can finally see pieces of the plot of my story falling into place. And though I’m somewhat skeptical, I feel like the journey is about to become less of a mystery and more of a masterpiece.

Are You Empty?

Over the years I’ve talked very openly about following the Holy Spirit, and how important it is to be led by Him regardless of what I’m feeling.

Now… Truthfully, following Him is a challenge. And just when I think I’ve got the hang of it, He takes a turn down a path I never saw coming.

And well, I guess I say it’s a challenge because allowing Him to lead my life opposes my human will. You see there’s a constant battle on the inside of me, one that requires me to choose His will for my life over my own.

Before this year began I would’ve told you I was very good at following the will of God because I thought that I had completely given all I had to Him. However, I’ve learned that as long as I’m full of myself and the ways of the world around me, I’m not completely sold out to the follow and the journey He has for me.

You see to completely follow the will of God for our lives means we have to become empty on the inside. Someone very wise once said, “If you have a glass filled with water, emptying the water doesn’t empty the glass. The glass actually becomes full of air. It’s only emptied of the unneeded.”

I find this statement very true. Because, I constantly find my life full of trash. I fill myself with too much social media, gossip and judgement the Spirit has clearly asked me to not be a part of. Instead, He’s asked that I stay empty. That I only fill myself with the things of Him. Because, in doing so, the follow is much easier. Life is much simpler. And my head and heart are a lot clearer to hear His voice and follow His plan for my life.

And I get it… It’s a challenge to live a lifestyle that promotes peace and the purposes of God; however, if we aren’t willing to empty ourselves to follow Him (even if it’s the smallest bit), are we truly cultivating a life?

Grown Up

“Ok… So here’s the plan: we’re gonna come home, help mom, sell the house and move on with our lives. This will take three months tops!” I firmly believe God laughed at my plan that day. To think, after everything my family had been through, that it would only take us three months to help mom. I was ridiculous to think such a thought.

You see over the last year and a half, I’ve had to grow up. There’s no other way to explain what I’ve experienced. Has it been painful? Yeah, parts of it have been extremely painful, confusing and altogether frustrating. Has it been fun? Sure it’s been fun! I mean have you met my sister before? She is THE entertainment.

But you know, I wouldn’t trade this time of growth for anything. Because in this time God has truthfully taken so many broken areas of my life and my family’s life and healed them. And He’s also pushed me really, really hard to be where I am today.

Now, I didn’t really appreciate the dark moments. I didn’t really prefer the moments when I thought money was going to run out and we were going to have to file bankruptcy. But, gosh I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world. Because in the midst of them I learned how to truly rely on God for everything… I learned how to trust Jesus for restoration in areas I didn’t believe could be fixed… And I had to follow the Holy Spirit, even when I couldn’t see.

So where do I go from here now that the house is sold and mom is settled? Well in this moment, I just choose to believe, listen and follow where ever He leads me… Stay tuned to see 😉!

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…