Yesterday, I caught myself looking very intently at old photos…. And they gripped me in such a way that I thought, “I don’t even see myself in these photos anymore. The person I see in these photos is just an image… A mirage… A shell of me in a once lived life. A girl who was searching very deeply for identity, security and belonging. A young woman who needed to be completely stripped down and cleansed of her brokenness, confusion, selfishness and deep-rooted pride.”
And now I do realize we don’t all look at our past selves, only in an effort to compare it to our present selves. However, well… I do because I love to track my growth rate.
Which is why sometimes… Sometimes I wish I could travel to the past and tell that girl, “Hey you, you’re gonna go through a lot of challenging processes, but they will refine you. They will develop and mature you. They WILL cause you to grow. Actually they will propel you to grow in such a way that you’ll feel isolated A LOT. And you’ll feel misunderstood even more. However, your capacity…. Amanda, your capacity to move forward with the plans and the will of God… Wow! It will grow! You will be able to take on more than you ever imagined… More than you ever schemed up in all of those phone calls… Yeah, the capacity God’s going to instill and install inside of you will be so voluminous. So don’t stop. Don’t ever stop growing!”
And you know… I say all of this in this moment because I am wrestling deeply with capacity. I’ve been asking God for months to grow it… To give me a greater understanding of how it works… And He’s been very reliable in answering. But the feeling of growth… The amount of pressure it takes for one to reach the maximum amount one can contain or produce… Gosh it is a challenging process.
However, I do believe… I truly, truly believe it is so very healthy to outgrow who we were years ago, months ago or even a few weeks ago. Because if we’re ever going to truly thrive the way God intended us to, then we MUST be willing to capacitate. We must be willing to stare ourselves down in the mirror and say, “I don’t know who you’re becoming or how you’re going to get there, but you will move forward. You will grow. And you will do it with Holy Spirit leading the way!” 🌱 #cultivatelife #keepmovingforward
Do you know what it’s like to go through things that are truly agonizing for the spirit and soul? Moments in life where you promise yourself that you will get through “this” and you WILL live to tell about “it?”
Yeah… I believe I’ve lived through so many of these moments. Moments of life that have completely broken my heart, forced me out into the great unknown and left me in a place of complete surrender and freedom.
But then… Well I also believe these moments are interesting because they can lose their shine after a while. Time passes and the experiences aren’t as fresh as they once were. Life balances out and you begin to breathe a grateful breath of fresh air again. And then you hope that life always stays like “this”… That you don’t have to face anymore heartache, agony and pain.
And I don’t know about you, but I think this is where I am right now… Living in a time where life isn’t heart-wrenching, agonizing and grey… But then it’s also not over-the-moon/my heart’s greatest desire fantastic… It’s just… Well, it’s just good.
And in this goodness is so much grace. Grace that reminds me that the past is in the past, and the future is still a mystery to be lived. But today… Today is good. 🌱❄️ #cultivatelife #justlive
How do I know it’s fixed? I know it’s fixed because I moved forward in life. I spoke to the fear that was trying to convince me to not move forward. I told it to sit down and shut up. I told it that it no longer has power in my life. I told it that I am a whole and complete person without the idols and lies of my past. I told it that I don’t need nor welcome it’s company anymore.
And then I did something… I stepped out again. I stepped out and stepped forward into a completely unknown and unfamiliar arena of life.
You see over the past several months I’ve been allowing God to heal my heart of some deep and delicate pain. Pain that I wasn’t really aware was there. I thought it was gone. I thought I’d dealt with my past.
But you know… Allowing God to work with me and help me process the past has really opened me up to my present and my future. I’ve never felt so capable of thriving like I do in this moment.
And I’m sure there will be moments when my past fears try to break in and lurk around in the depth of my heart. But then I’m even more certain that my healthy heart has the ability to really gain strength now. Strength that will tell my past to stay… Well in the past. 🌱 #cultivatelife
“Amanda, we slayed that giant in your life. Don’t you remember? Why are you stepping back into the fight with it again? Leave it alone. It’s dead in your life.”
Over the past 24 hours I’ve heard nothing but that type of conversation from the Holy Spirit… A constant reminder that my past was fought and won on the battlefield of life… A constant note that going backwards would be a huge mistake.
Now, I’ll have to admit, hearing the truth does make sense… The war of my past was powerful and extremely challenging. So much so that I sometimes wondered if I’d ever make it out alive.
So I get what He’s saying. Which is why I’m choosing to move forward. However, there is a part of me that thinks, “My past makes sense. My past is comfortable. My past can be manipulated, exaggerated, stretched and understood. My past can’t be that dangerous…. Right?”
But then I know the truth. The truth is that I have to move forward with the Holy Spirit. The truth is that I have to use faith as I step forward and take on a riskier way of life. The truth is that I can’t get trapped in comfortability, manipulation or danger of that magnitude again. The truth is that the giant is dead, and I don’t need to resurrect him at all. ⚔️💃🏻 #cultivatelife
Have you ever been in a moment in life where you’ve had to put something valuable to rest? It may be a person, a place or a thing… But the reality is that you have to let go of it with the idea that you may never cross paths with it again.
You see a few years ago I had to do this… I had to let go of some valuable people in my life. I had to completely empty my hands so I could pick up my next assignment.
And honestly, it wasn’t very easy to let go of these people because they helped shape my life in such a pivotal way. But… God asked me to let go of them. So, I did. I walked away with a grateful heart and my head held high, knowing I had completed His task and grown in ways I never imagined.
So it feels kind of strange to be in this moment today. A moment where someone I held dear has been placed back into my life.
And I don’t know what the purpose behind all of it is. God doesn’t always include me in the details… but I do know that life has changed and here I am with this person in my life again.
And, well I just feel grateful and encouraged. Grateful that my past has reconnected with my present, and encouraged to live a lifestyle of letting go of valuable things God says to let go of.
So if you’re in this place where you need to let go of something… Then please, please be encouraged to let go of the valuable things in your hands. It might feel challenging, and you might wonder how you’ll move forward next… But I promise He has a plan and a way. And… you never know, that valuable person, place or thing could make it’s way back into you one day. ☺️💃🏻 #cultivatelife