She Can’t Be Moved

Everything with God feels like a challenge lately. Every part of following His plan for my life continues to come with unscalable walls that I can’t seem to bust through without His help.

And the past two weeks… The past two weeks have had my spirit and soul deeply wondering what I’m truly doing and what’s next.

I also knew I needed to break through something. And… He did tell me a breakthrough was coming; however, I didn’t understand what it was or what would bring it.

And then in the middle of my Monday it appeared. This heavy conversation tried to tear at my heart and soul apart… It tried its hardest to make me feel like I made a mistake, but it was unable to actually succeed.

Instead I found myself resting on truth. I found myself holding onto the reality that God is the only true love I will ever need. Nothing and no one can fill me up like He can. I will only find wholeness and completeness in Him.

And for so long I’ve wanted to believe the opposite is true. I’ve wanted to fill my life with someone that would solve my problem of feeling alone… I’ve wanted someone to just take care of me.

But then how can broken people actually make broken people whole and complete? They cannot. Only a whole and complete God can.

And so… Despite the pain and insecurity that tried their hardest to tear my heart apart, I’m happy to report that I’m standing firm on the only structure and source I know will always keep me safe, protected and truly loved.

Thanks Death

I’m not one to wallow and get down about life and what I’ve lost, but lately I’ve found myself missing my dad more than I can explain. It’s sometimes unsettling the way he’s constantly on my mind, and then I’m forced to think about my reality. My mind begins to remind me that death happened, but that life has continued to go on around me.

And though it is so challenging to understand why he died so young. And though I miss him and the life my family had before he was taken from this earth… Well I am still so grateful to have experienced death.

You see there’s just something so motivating to me about death. I believe death is a being, and I believe anytime we experience him we must respect him even though he’s been so seemingly disrespectful to us.

You see death left an imprint on my life. He left an imprint so wide and so deep that it sometimes felt unbearable to breathe again.

However, since my dad’s death I’ve been thrusted into this place of living. A place that’s forced me to stare down death and decide that I will not allow my experience with him to define me in a negative way, but in a positive one.

Because of death I live freer. I love harder. I think more in-depth. I take risks. I consider others. And though he’s helped toss my world upside down, I give more. I’ve gained more. I stop and think of others and where they might be in life because there is a compassion inside of me that wasn’t there before I met him.

And… Although it’s so challenging to not become angry and bitter with God, I’ve found myself more connected to Him than ever before. He’s shown me what true love is. And within that true love I never feel truly broken or without.

And though I don’t know where you stand today, what you’ve lost or how utterly broken you may feel… Please know this. I believe it’s very healthy to feel every ounce of death. But then I also believe it’s so healthy to live life to it’s very fullest. To love with every part of our hearts we can love with. And though it’s challenging to forgive and not become angry with God, I’ve found that He will fill in the broken and battered pieces when we’re ready to let Him in again.

When the War Wages

Do you ever feel like your mind… that your soul is being completely assaulted?

Yeah… That’s where I’ve been for at least three weeks now. In this on and off war, and what (at times) feels like a complete assassination of my being.

It’s not fun. It’s ugly. It’s torturous at times. But mostly, it’s spiritual warfare.

I keep fighting back with truth…. The truth of Christ, but the war still manages to wage on.

And my enemy… You know the one of my soul, he continues to attack three particular areas.

First and foremost, he always goes for my body image…. Or the way I physically view myself. I think he knows attempting to destroy me in this area will ultimately destroy me in the other areas because I’ve build up so much false security here in the past.

However, if he can’t get me here… Well then he reminds me that I don’t operate off of the world’s system for attaining provision, wealth and financial security. He shows me that I could have more if I would simply hustle my way to the top of his kingdom.

And if he still cannot get me to crack… Well then he probes at my identity, Cultivate Life and all that God has promised for it. And then he proceeds to remind me how much of a failure he believes I am for trusting in God and His plans, rather than following the world and it’s schemes for getting ahead.

This is always a deep blow.

And… so I am usually left in a puddle on the floor. A complete puddle of frustration and tears. You see I can usually handle him in one or two areas, but when he comes after all three I seem to crack.

I don’t like it at all. It’s cruel and unjust to who I am at my core as a child of God.

So… How do I overcome it? Well, though I’m not the best… I simply remind the enemy of my soul of truth. If he comes after my body image, I remind him that I don’t place value in my body, but in God and His undying love and acceptance of me. If he attempts to remind me that I can make more money and attain more through his system, then I remind him that God has always done far better… And that I need more than what money can provide. I need faith, peace, love and joy. And then… if he tries to assassinate my identity and Cultivate Life, well by that point I’m so tired, frustrated and done with him that I usually demand and command that he leaves in Jesus name.

And then he leaves… And I’m exhausted. But… a battle within the war is won through the name of Jesus ⚔️ #cultivatelife

Should I Stop?

Over the past few days I’ve been back and forth about whether I should keep sharing what God’s giving me to write…

You see I feel like there aren’t too many people who care about Him and His design for life. I believe people aren’t truly trying to cultivate a relationship with Him… But are just interested in fame, power, money, comfortably and false security.

It’s discouraging you know?.. To see mankind so consumed with hate, jealousy, judgement, immorality and insecurity. It’s just sad.

So… In this moment I’m not going to stop sharing what I write because if I stop then I believe I’m allowing evil to win in my life.

But then I do wonder… Why can’t we, as humans, just wake up and realize we are all in troubled place without security in God? Why can’t we stop instigating the evil and promote life instead? Why can’t we see that Jesus isn’t a religion but a relationship that comes with freedom and abundant life? Why are we so deaf, dumb, dead and ignorant?!

And I might seem a little passionate… But I’m just so sick of the distractions we’ve all fallen for. I’m so sick of the war we’re all losing because we aren’t equipped to fight.

So if you hear what I’m saying… Wake up. Pursue God. Accept your forgiveness through Christ. And then cultivate a lifestyle of security in Him and His principles for life… Because not doing so will inevitably cost you your soul.

The Crown

Last night I found myself in the midst of deep internal conflict. Why? Well, I was wrestling with God’s will verses my will… this happens frequently.

Well, in the middle of expressing my internal struggle my sister just happened to be watching “The Crown” on Netflix. All of a sudden she said, “Shhhh! Listen to what she (the lead characters grandmother) is saying. I think it will help you.”

So I got quiet and listened. And here’s what she said:

“I have seen three great monarchies brought down through their failure to separate personal indulgences from duty. You must not allow yourself to make similar mistakes. And while you mourn your father, you must also mourn someone else. Elizabeth Mountbatten. For she has now been replaced with another person, Elizabeth Regina. The two Elizabeths will frequently be in conflict with one another. The fact is, the crown must win. It must always win.”

You see after I heard that statement, I just kind of sat back and breathed…. Because I understood, yet again, what I should do.

I believe when we come into the Kingdom of God we are asked to leave our old self at the door and place a crown of royalty upon our head. And because we wear this crown we must represent everything it stands for.

And I’m not going to lie, it’s a challenge to continue to allow the crown to win. Because as we do we let go of more of our selfishness, self-centeredness and human desire to live the life we want verses the life He wants for us.

And I get it, not everyone is going to surrender their entire self to the plans, purposes and desires of God… But I am. And I hope to continue to do it to such a level that others will eventually follow…. That they’ll follow me as I follow God into His Kingdom.

Square Peg, Round Hole

“Fit in… just fit in Amanda. Figure out how to fit in and then you’ll be happy and confident and secure and complete!!”

This has been a narrative I constantly play out in my head. It’s been a narrative that’s taken possession of every season and chapter of life I’ve ever entered and lived through… This longing, this desire and want to just fit in and fit in well with those around me that are popular and leading the so called “pack” of life.

The funny thing is… It’s never worked.

Fitting in for me has never happened. Ever.

Sure I have dreams of fitting in with the world around me, but then I am left very disappointed when it just doesn’t happen. And then I’m left even more disappointed when I feel like an outsider and a loner because I can’t fit.

After my grandmother was healed she said she always felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. And while I’m not trying to take the words from her mouth, this is kind of what it feels like for me.

Funny thing is all of this trying to “fit” has produced A LOT of self-centeredness in my heart and soul…. Because, rather than being confident and secure in the way God has created me… Rather than standing firm in who I am as Amanda, well I find myself doing everything in my power to fit into that round hole.

So now, well I find myself having to set aside this deep want to fit. I find myself having to let go of the source of my insecurity. Because the insecurity has led me down a very unsatisfying road… One filled with endless thoughts in my mind that cause me to feel small and inadequate and unworthy.

However, God keeps telling me to just “stand firm. Stand firm in who I’ve created you to be Amanda and you will stand out as yourself.” And I don’t know if anyone else feels like that right now, in this place where you keep trying to fit to finally feel complete, but I just want you to know it doesn’t work. It’s exhausting and time consuming and ironically very self-centered from the way in which God would like us to be. Because instead, He needs us to stand firm and be secure in who we are in Him. He needs us to be all that HE needs us to be, and not what we see by viewing someone else’s projected life. And yeah, it does feel a little bit uncomfortable at first to let go of this way of life; however, once we’ve done it… Well we’ll find ourselves in more peace and satisfaction than before. Plus, not fitting in might actually cause us to stand out.

Timing of the Trees

I’ve been coming to my grandmother’s house on Cane River my entire life. It’s a place that is 100% country, yet southern.

While sitting on her porch yesterday I found myself very confused about a patch of trees. “Where did they come from? Did they grow over night? Why was I just now noticing them?” This is all I could think… So I asked my grandmother.

And she replied, “Oh they’ve been there for quite a while. Really small things. But you know, just in the last two years they’ve shot up like that and now you can’t see the road or field on the other side of them.”

I just kind of sat there and thought for a moment… To me it was kind of interesting that they’d been growing so long without any notice; however, now they’re tall enough to block the field view and I really notice!

I tell this story because the trees remind me of God’s timing.

You see I believe when we live a life that follows God’s ways we must also follow His timing… And for me, well I’ve always struggled with staying on God’s time table. I want what He’s planted in my life to grow up big and tall right NOW! I don’t like to wait for His process because it seems so long and drawn out at times.

But in reality He needs the time to cultivate and nourish these things inside of me. His ways require that we become strong and sturdy and capable of withstanding a lot. And like those trees it takes many years for this to occur.

But then, at the right time… Well I believe you have a moment like I did yesterday. One where you look over and think, “Where did they come from? They’re so big and tall and full of life that they distract and puzzle my mind.”

And I don’t know what God’s planted in your life in different seasons, but if you just continue to allow Him to cultivate it… If you just allow Him to strength you, give you an identity in Him and make you whole and complete… Well one day I believe you’ll look over and see that all of that time wasn’t a waste because something great did come forth. And now the things planted are taller than you and you can go places with them that you never fathomed.