keep moving forward · Spirit

Questioning It All

I had a vision yesterday morning. I was in a dark, spacious cave, and I saw a waterfall flowing from a tall mountain-top of black rock. The mouth of the waterfall was wide. As the water fell, it plunged into a pool at the bottom, and then began to rapidly flow into a ravine. The ravine was different from the spacious cave. It was very tube like, tight and cramped. Still dark, but elevating downward. Then, very suddenly, I saw what seemed to be an end to the darkness… A bright light!

After this played out, I heard Holy Spirit. He said, “You are in a very tight, isolated and concealed space right now. So much is happening at once. I know it doesn’t seem like it is, but it is. Trust the flow. Trust what you feel in your human spirit. Trust the direction you’re being led… Even though you don’t understand. Trust Me.”

And then He stopped talking.

Lately, it’s been extremely challenging to keep moving forward. When you walk through many difficult seasons of life, without breaking into what God’s promised, you begin to question everything. And I have been. I am questioning it all. 

You see… It’s just the insight… The ideas… The concepts He’s given me over the years… Well, I’ve held so firm to them. He revealed them to me, planted them in my heart, watered them, nurtured them, watched them develop, mature and grow… And I see the fruit. I see what His ideas, concepts and dreams have produced in my own life and the lives of those that are close to me. But then… Then I ask, “What about the rest? What about the broad scope of all You envisioned and shared with me? And, I know I lack a lot of understanding, but how much longer will You choose to keep Your work concealed? Because I don’t care about fame, fortune, followers or ‘success.’ That doesn’t move me. Honestly, I only, truly care about You. I care that multitudes see how sensational of a feeling it is to be satisfied by only You. I care to share the same measure of love with others that You have shared with me. Everyone has to know! They must know that You aren’t so much ‘cool or hip or relevant.’ Instead, You’re legitimate and virtuous in Your very nature. You’re exactly what each person needs You to be in his/her own life at any given moment because relationship with you is a lifestyle, not a pop culture phenomenon or religion.”

His response? Quiet. Very still. Actually, His stature is so still that it echoes in a very boisterous way. Which then leads me to be still. To calm my soul. To stay present, confident and very focused on exactly where He’s leading. To not be conformed to my lack of understanding, but to just keep moving forward through this very tight, isolated and concealed space in time. 🌱

Spirit · truth

Uncertain Growth

The length of the season I’m in seems shorter than ever now. I do realize my path will eventually change course and evolve into something else. I don’t know when. I don’t know how. But I am certain.

Now, in the midst of the certainty, there is great uncertainty.

You see I am certain of God. I am certain of His character, His love, His fellowship and His grace. I am certain of Jesus and His power that propels us into a greater, fuller, freer, healthier life. And I am most definitely certain of Holy Spirit and His ability to be constantly and consistently present. However, the uncertainty… The uncertainty grows.

Actually, this is uncertain growth. It’s a level of spiritual maturity I wasn’t prepared to encounter and embrace. It’s a paradigm shifting moment where Holy Spirit is saying, “Okay, you’ve followed Me for more than a decade. You’ve followed Me in the midst of your brokenness, insecurities, disappointments, pride and pain. And now, now that you’ve walked through all of that, you are standing in a place of glory. You are standing in a position of holiness that is asking you to leave the past behind and let go of your fear of your future. Follow Me in the fullness of that healing and restoration now.”

And so, you see I can’t consider past pain or future failures anymore. This season of stillness has brought me into a place of inner stillness that promises I will move forward, but my soul will stay still. It will not dig up the past in an attempt to interrogate it on end, and it will not leap forward into a hypothetical future. Instead, I will remain still, steadfast, moving ever so forward.

And I believe there is so much to be gained when we view Holy Spirit through this lens. Because, honestly, He cannot be fully understood or quantified. His integrative power is too focused on moving forward with the Father’s plan to restore and fulfill. 

And I guess what I am trying to say is this… Cultivating a deep-rooted relationship with Holy Spirit takes time. It takes time for us to learn how to trust Him. It takes time for Him to know that He can trust us. And it takes time for His intricate process of restoration and redemption to be worked out inside of us. However, after many seasons of following His process of refinement, we will find ourselves in a place of maturity where He says, “Okay, now follow the uncertain, unexplainable, significant nature of My presence, My glory and My heart. Follow it. Trust it. And know, that no matter how fast or slow it might be moving, it is spectacular and full of life!” 🌱

power · Spirit · truth

Stay in the Victory

If you’ve been following my writings for the past few months then you know I’ve been in a season where I am intently focused on the manifested glory of God… Specifically the manifestation of signs, wonders and miracles. Now honestly, it hasn’t been the easiest season to walk through because Holy Spirit keeps asking me to whole-heartily remain in the stillness without looking to the past or the future. 

A few days ago, while I was just sitting still, I saw a huge gaping, bloody wound in the left leg of my spirit. The wound had black veins streaming from it like spider webs. They coursed through my entire being. I asked Holy Spirit, “What is that?” He said, “The wound is from past disappointments that cut deep. And, I have healed you: spirit, heart, soul and body; however, you keep turning yourself back to the disappointment, rather than the victory. You keep focusing on the pain and the frustration, rather than the way I stepped in and covered you. So, that open wound, it’s streaming through your entire being, defining you and leaving an impact on everything you do, say and think. And now… Now you must go through the cultivated process of staying in the victory.”

The victory… Ahhh, I am learning so much about focusing on the victory. I am learning that there is a legitimate supernatural substance of power we can pull from when we remind ourselves of all of the times God has intervened.

You see pulling from past disappointments doesn’t lead to the manifested glory of God. What leads to His manifested glory is our ability to see past our emotion… To fight through it and choose to praise Him in all things… To choose to see Him as good in all things, even when life feels lifeless, confusing, overbearing and challenging. Because, when we mediate on His redemptive/restorative ways working in our lives, well then… Then we can see where His glory has been prevalent. And then we can also embrace the truth that, God’s glory doesn’t manifest on pain and defeat. Instead, He needs us to surrender and say, “I see it! I see where You stepped into my past and set me free! I see where You healed my physical body and my broken spirit, heart and soul! I see where you covered me, protected me and rescued me from people, places and things that were harming me! I see where I choose to lean on You for strength, encouragement and relationship in moments where I realized how alone I actually am!”

And do you know… Since I’ve chosen to stay in the stillness, mediating on and pulling from the victories… I have actually witnessed the manifested glory of God in many different forms and fashions! (Maybe I’ll share soon!) So much so that they’ve left me somewhat speechless, thanking God for His goodness and also questioning, “Now do we get a steady stream going?” 🌱

heart · soul · Spirit

Right Where I’m Supposed to Be

Over the past week or so my soul has been pushing me to cave and capitulate. I hear my thoughts. I feel my emotions. And they… They have decided that this jagged, uncomfortable path of stillness leading to God’s glory is just too much for them.

Now, I truly do not want to get off of the path. My spirit and my heart are truly dead set on the direction I’m being led; however, my soul… My soul gets really distracted sometimes. Actually, if I’m not conscious of and self-disciplined about what I’m feeding my soul, then it begins to get annoyed. It begins to lose sight of the goodness of God and the place of power, dominion and authority Holy Spirit has seated me in. 

And the annoyance… Well, it opens up an unwanted avenue of doubt inside of me. And then the doubt begins to conduct its full-fledged plan to captivate my heart. Actually, the doubt is so wise that it starts speaking to me about the past. It tries to remind me why I should choose to fear disappointment… “You’ve been so disappointed before. You stuck to the path, and people that you trusted very deeply and intimately with the things of God let you down. So, how do you know you won’t get disappointed again? Why would you keep trusting this path, Amanda? Why would you keep relying on the goodness of God and all of His promises and provision when you’ve been so deeply wounded before?”

But then… Then I hear Holy Spirit say, “Amanda, I am not human. I am God. I have never left you. Even in the depth of your brokenness, loss and deep insecurities, I was there offering up a strong pillar of hope and love to lean on. And, I will never leave you or disappoint your heart. So, keep putting your faith in Me. Keep your identity in the truth that you live from a place of right standing through Christ. Keep your eyes focused on the spirit realm. Keep your expectations on Me and on things flowing from above. I am always working. Even when you are completely still, I am working. Do not forget about My glory. This is the last and final stretch of this season. Bring it home! Do it well! Finish it completely with honor, dignity and respect. Do it from a place of incessant faith and trust in Me. Do not fear. Do not doubt. Do not live from a place of lack: spirit, soul, heart and body. Instead, live in the fullness of Me.”

And you know, when I hear Holy Spirit speak, well His confidence and assurance in Himself and in me, it really motivates and strengths me. It truly gives me the courage to silence my soul and focus my attention on where He’s leading me. Rather than on where distraction leads me. 

And I don’t know if you ever go through this. I don’t know if you can sort through yourself from the inside out and differentiate between the voice of your spirit, soul, heart and God’s. I don’t know if you can recognize when fear and doubt try their best to take advantage of your weaknesses while interloping themselves into the mix of voices within you. However, I hope you are willing to let Holy Spirit lead you into this place of maturity. I hope that when you feel overwhelmed with doubt and fear you can stop yourself and say, “My foundation is rooted in what flows from above. So, I am choosing to press past all of the noise and keep moving forward with where I am being led. I will reach the end of this challenging season with grace, confidence and complete assurance that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.” 🌱

heart · Mind

Stillness

Remember how I challenged you in my last writing to “sit still” in the presence of God? Remember how I expressed that I believe stillness is the direct path Holy Spirit is leading those that are wholeheartedly following Him down? Remember when I described the path of stillness as an intense and somewhat cumbersome direction of cultivated maturity? 

Okay, if you remember, then you should be able to follow what I’m going to share next.

You see I’m learning that stillness is different than peace. It’s almost a higher level of peace. Peace… Peace is the absence of conflict. We can live in peace amidst conflict. Our souls and hearts can be at peace, even when our worlds are spinning mad or the world is spinning mad. However, stillness… Stillness is literally a supernatural interface with Heaven. It’s a weighty stature of God’s presence made available to us when our human spirit’s reach the paradigm shifting place of true intimacy and wholeness with the Godhead.

Recently, in regards to this, Holy Spirit said, “How are people going to know that I am truly with you, if you won’t let My stillness rest upon you? It’s okay to be still. It’s okay to not have any movement going on in you. That doesn’t mean things aren’t moving. Instead, it means you’re cultivating a space to carry the weight of my glory, which you’ve never truly carried before. And sure, sure it’s cumbersome. Sure, being still is not your favorite thing because you want to be doing, but I have called you to a life of stillness: spirit, soul, heart and body right now. A life of stillness that mediates on My goodness constantly.”

And so that’s where I find myself… Constantly focused on remaining empty of the complaints, frustrations and pettiness of my world and the world. Constantly choosing to accept and embrace the reality that we must continue to cultivate a deep-seated relationship with Holy Spirit and our own human spirits so that we may gain solutions for combatting the darkness in our world. And constantly focusing on Father God, Jesus, Holy Spirit and the goodness they eternally supply through grace. 

And as challenging as it was to get to “here”… As challenging as it’s been to walk down this “jagged path” for a season, this place of inner stillness is worth it. 

And so, again, I challenge you to just sit still. 🌱

heart

Sit Still

Very few people know this about me, but something I’ve practiced for years is the skill of sitting in the stillness of God’s presence. Usually, I sit for an hour every morning and just listen and converse while I pray; however, lately the amount of time I’ve been spending with Him has increased. I find myself sitting still for 2 hours in the morning and then other sporadic moments throughout the day. 

And the goodness of God keeps swelling up in me in these moments! It swells in me, consumes my heart and then is heard from the overflow of my lips.

Yesterday morning while I sat, I heard Him say, “I want to supply you with something I’ve been housing in a storehouse.” Then I watched as He led me to a boarded-up shack in the middle of a backyard. And I watched as the wind of His presence tore the boards off of the doors. Once the boards came off, the doors flung open very quickly and this gold-colored flow of energy in the shape of a long scarf came rushing out. I watched as it beautifully moved towards me, swirled around my entire being in a playful-like way and then rested on my shoulders like a tallit. Once it rested, it just sat there… Swaying back and forth with a very, very strong sentience.  

I asked God, “Why was such a beautiful thing being stored in a boarded-up shack?!” He said, “Because you had to truly seek me in the stillness of my presence until you found it. I placed such a treasure in a place that looked undesirable, but now… Now that you’ve come into a deeper place of understanding and self-control, it’s yours to carry. It’s yours to move throughout life with, but it’s only truly activated with the power of my presence when your heart remains in alignment with my eternal goodness.”

Now, if I’m honest, I felt so overwhelmed that I just sat there and cried. It was just such a beautiful moment, full of life and genuine spontaneity. 

And I’m sharing this with you because it complements the direction Holy Spirit is leading those who are whole-heartily following Him. You see this intense direction is pleading with us to follow the path of maturity with our entire selves: spirit, soul, heart and body. And yes, yes it is rough and somewhat unpaved; however, we won’t be able to continually bear His light and the weight of His glory if we don’t keep moving forward on the path.

So, as challenging as it might be, I want to encourage you to sit still. 🌱

Confidence · soul · Spirit · truth

And Then God Got Quiet

“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.

soul · Spirit · truth

Come Up Here

”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

Confidence · Mind · soul

What Gives God?

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

Spirit

Just Walk…

img_4301If someone asked me “Amanda, what’s the biggest thing you struggle with today?”…

I’d have to say my pace…

Most of the time, my days and weeks are inconsistent… I jump all over the place, meaning my soul is never consistently following the Holy Spirit’s flow… He’s moving right a long at His chosen pace, but then I’m jumping from one task to the next… And I become overwhelmed with not being able to keep up, which leads me to feel overworked and frustrated…

Plus, the constant pace of the tangible is very overwhelming to me… “Hustling” has become the way of life for so many people… And, if you’re like me, choosing not to hustle might place you in the “lazy” category… Or worse, it might cause people to think, “she doesn’t want this bad enough”…

And this is why, I believe, we are created to be consistent on the inside… That God has asked us to walk… Not to sprint… Not to run… And not to hustle… To do what’s simple… Just walk…

Funny thing, walking is when I feel consistent… It’s when I feel balanced… It’s when I feel healthy and whole from the inside out…

So, as the week continues to move… I ask you to join me, as I choose to just walk through life… Because walking is so much more beneficial to us than running or hustling… Because, when we walk, we can actually see life… We allow ourselves to stop and talk to people… To consider what might be dying or growing on the inside of us… And most importantly, to give us the opportunity to be grateful for the fact that we are alive…