You might oppose me when saying this… But there’s something so thrilling about darkness. Yes, it’s uncomfortable and intolerable. Of course it can feel like a constant circus of chaos and a cave of deep despair. However, in the midst of the darkness, I’ve learned that it is COMPLETELY possible to be fixated on peace and immense joy.
You see I’ve learned surrendering our current darkness to God in exchange for His peace is possibly one of the most powerful things we can do.
We’re literally saying, “Hey God, I am not smart enough, wise enough or understanding enough to carry or solve what I’m experiencing… So I’m gonna give it to you. I’m gonna leave my current circumstances in Your hands. And every time I think of them, I’m going to remind myself that I’ve given You the reins to craft up a solution.”
And sure… Sure sometimes His solutions take many moments to become tangible and complete; however, His solutions always offer up abundant life, light and immense amounts of joy.
And it’s also so comforting to lean into the truth that a being far greater than us loves us, cares about us and is willing to stand up for us when life is caving in at every corner.
So, if you are or have ever experienced darkness so black that you can’t see your hand in front of your face, then be encouraged. Be encouraged because you’re not alone. Many people have walked this road before, and I’ll bet that the ones who’ve trusted in God’s ability to provide solutions have found peace and immense amounts of joy in the midst of the chaos. 🌱 #cultivatelife
“And then God got quiet… And He stayed quiet… And I didn’t know what the silence was for or what would happen next.”
He’s quiet. Yeah… We’re definitely having conversations about the world and my world. But… For the most part He’s super still. He doesn’t have much to say other than, “Mirror me. Cultivate an environment of peace Amanda. Let My peace rest deep down inside of you.”
And I believe He’s looking deep into my heart more than anything right now. I believe He’s searching for the darkness that’s rooted deep down in there… He’s looking for the negativity, the gossip, the judgment, the ugliness that’s hiding in my soul.
His peace actually feels like a flashlight… One that’s probing around, demanding all darkness to filter to the surface so that it can be drawn out quickly.
And I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced THIS before… This intrusive, peaceful, deep cleaning of my soul. Usually He drags out the truth or the love to straighten me out… But this time, this time He going with the peace.
And it’s different. I don’t hate it. It’s actually a lot easier to embrace than truth and love because it’s so constant, still and eternally captivating.
And I don’t know if I’m making 100% sense. But I did want to share what’s happening inside of me right now. Because I hope you feel His peace too. I hope, in the midst of the chaos, confusion and calamity… I hope that His peace grabs a hold of your heart, filters through the nonsense and then gives you a sense of confidence to stand tall with a pure and faithful heart.
Keep the peace…. Even when life’s circumstances push you to the limit, remember why you have it… Remember to stay focused on the One that can’t be shaken, moved or truly manipulated.
Keep the peace. Keep it down in you. Hold on to it tight and don’t let it go. I know things can get crazy, hazy and confusing as hell at times, but I hope and pray peace keeps you anchored, grounded and completely secure.
Oh and don’t forget…. You know… The One… The One that holds the peace. Don’t forget about Him.
Always, always, always keep your entire self: spirit, soul and body focused on Him.
You know I never understood that when I was younger… I never understood how my mother, mentors and grandmothers seemed so sure of God. But now… Now that I have a more developed relationship with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit I more so get it. I get what it means to feel fear and choose peace. I see why it’s vital to trust the words of Holy Spirit over what millions upon billions of restless, insecure sources spew out.
And I know our world (and maybe even your own personal world) seems to be spinning into a chaotic mess… A mess that we cannot afford to control… But… Well… Keep the peace 🌱#cultivatelife
”Gosh… It’s so beautiful up here. Up here above the chaos below.” That’s what I said to God as I peered out the window from the airplane. It was flying high above what looked like Heaven below.
And He’s been saying, “Come higher with Me.” And I’ve been arguing back, “No. No. NO! Because I don’t know what’s up there. And I have to let go of SO much more of what I want in life. This isn’t fair!”
God’s will… His view of what my life should continue to look like… It’s so freaking complex and misunderstood by my human mind. And… Honestly, it really takes me living through my spirit, rather than my soul and mind to continue to follow Holy Spirit where He’s leading.
But, through the deep struggle in my soul, I push through and relentlessly follow.
And now… Now I can begin to see what He’s been talking about… The reasons why He’s been asking me to, “come higher” and “cultivate life from a state of Heaven.”
And I know it sounds a little strange, but this place we just climbed to has more peace than I ever fathomed could be cultivated within myself. It’s just this constant, weightless feeling that I can’t describe with any single word but “Heavenly.”
Nothing really bothers me up here. My eyes are focused on Him and His will and I’m not overtaken with fear, stress, anxiety and worry. It’s just so still… Even though I have no clue what “next” is.
And I don’t know if this is where you are today. I don’t know what your relationship and path with God look like; however, I just want to speak from a place of encouragement and experience when saying this… Keep following Him. I know He’s frustrating and sees things in such a different WAY than we do, but when we truly trust and follow through wholeheartedly, I believe the destination is so incredibly rewarding. And no, no it doesn’t ever consist of a destination of power, fame or fortune. But it does consist of what we need for basic living… Which are the tools to continue to LIVE and cultivate a healthy lifestyle with Him 🌱 #cultivatelife
I had a dream about a month ago… I was standing in my living room and from the kitchen a dark figure was standing at my counter throwing knives, swords and other sharp objects at me. In the moment I didn’t know what to do…. So I reached my hand out and surprising caught each one of them by the handle on the other end.
I had a vision this morning… I saw glass and shards of metal coming at my heart… Trying to really penetrate and tear apart this whole and complete substance God’s placed inside of me.
When the vision began, I immediately thought of the dream… So I asked Holy Spirit about both of them. He said, “Amanda, the dream was a foretelling of you handling the shards and metal in the vision. For too many years you’ve allowed manipulation, deception, fear, lies and toxic behavior to tear you down and penetrate your heart. But that’s over now. Now it’s time to stand firm and confidently and courageously catch every sharp tool darkness throws your way. It’s time to be the fortress, in this area of your life, I’ve created you to be.”
And with that… Well I just felt peace. Peace that showed me this chapter is coming to an end because I will no longer be stunned with pain, rejection, fear and confusion of the past.
And I don’t know why I’m sharing this… This is kind of deep and very personal to me on several levels of life. However, I do want you to know, we weren’t created to live in darkness, pain, fear and rejection. Yeah…. Sure we can become so familiar with the darkness that it seems like we should lie down and embrace it as home. But I believe what’s stronger than the darkness that incases us is the light that comes out of us when Jesus truly steps into our story, heals our pain and restores us to full capacity.
And I don’t know about you…. But who wouldn’t want that? 🌱 #cultivatelife
This is it. This is a cultivated life. It’s a tree, firmly planted… Growing in isolation from the rest of the forest… One that’s nurtured well, develops, matures and grows properly in due season.
Is the isolation enjoyable? Well of course. It’s nice to live in peace. Is it frustrating? Only when I allow it to be.
But I do believe living in isolation is healthy because it promotes so much time with God…. Time that would otherwise be spent distracted by the noise, nonsense, chaos and division that goes on in this world.
But can I tell you what mainly frustrates me about living in isolation? The reality… The reality that I cannot seem to escape the will of God. It’s just there. It’s constantly there looming over my head. And I know I cannot completely move forward until I follow through with the next step.
But you know… Sometimes I don’t want to take the next step because I feel like it’s leading me absolutely nowhere. It’s like I’m walking down a dark pathway that leads to a wall… And I think “Oh great… Now what?” And then the wall opens up as a passageway to the next step… But then I fear to take the step because I just don’t understand where all of the following is leading. I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around what it’s all about.
However, if I don’t… If WE don’t keep following, well then we shut Holy Spirit out. We limit Him. We place Him in a box that says, “Do not touch.” And when we do not touch the things of Him anymore we become very stagnant, much like the chaotic world around us and so disconnected from the spirit that lies deep within.
And I don’t know about you… But I’d rather live in isolation with God all the days of my life then become completely disconnected from Him and the things of Him. 🌱 #cultivatelife
What’s real? What’s true? What’s eternally lovely and ever-growing? That… That is love.
However… It’s not human love. For human love is too faulty. Too futile. It’s too fatal.
You see this love, this love is pure. This love is whole and complete because it’s structured for one place and one place only.
What’s that place you may ask? That place is the heart.
Deep beneath the surface of the skin… Beneath the layers of the ill-beaten soul lies the heart. And it… It is THE prime real estate of the spirit. A place so deep and intimate I’m convinced no man or woman can fully know it.
You see I believe our hearts are created to contain a love that’s so powerful, so magnificent, so great that we cannot help but constantly be overrun with the joy of the Lord when we are consumed with it.
For this love… His love… It brings healing. It brings peace. It brings restoration. It stops anxiety and depression and calamity of all sorts in its tracks. It can stand on every single battlefield and win the war when darkness seems to overshadow life.
It’s the love of Father God. It’s the love that Jesus walked this earth in. It’s what I feel coming off of Holy Spirit when I’m in His presence. It’s the sweetest, most beautiful thing I’ve ever known. And it’s made… It crafted for me and for YOU! ♥️🌱 #cultivatelife #cultivatelove
How can I confidently stand firm on God and His words and His promises when I have days like yesterday? Moments where I feel impatient and start to flip flop about the promises.
And what about the “bloom?!” God promised I’d see a bloom in my life, but now I feel like He meant the trees around me!!
What gives God? Where are your promises? What’s your delay? What’s the delay? And why do I still have to be still?
In the stillness there’s still growth though… There’s still constant and consistent movement and life.
And even though my soul flips back and forth everyday… I still have hope. I still have joy. I still believe cultivating LIFE in the Kingdom of God is the best way we can choose to live life! 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive
Lately I’ve been questioning God about so many things in my life. I’ve asked Him about things I made peace with that have been stirred up inside of me again… I’ve asked Him why certain things aren’t further along than I expected them to be…. And then of course I’ve questioned Him about why I feel confused deep down about His promises for my life.
And while I feel frustrated that He hasn’t given me a clear answer, I found that my grandmother had a piece of wisdom to contribute to the whole.
Yesterday, in mid conversation, she said, “You know, I don’t believe parents should have to tell their children ‘why.’ If a parent says, ‘Because I said so” then they have more wisdom and knowledge. They know better than the child because they’ve lived life and experienced reality.”
After she said this I just kind of sat there and realized her wisdom was the answer to my unanswered questions.
Because whether I want to trust Him or not, God has my best interest at heart. He knows and understands far better than I do. And although I really, really want an answer to suffice me, I don’t need an answer as much as I think I do.
And I don’t know if you ever feel this way, but I do hope you feel encouraged to simply trust the lack of God’s answer to your constant, “But why?!” 🌷💃🏻 #cultivatelife
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.