faith · healing · languishing · restore

The Steal Can’t Be Real If You Check the Roots

I had a dream Friday night. I saw the enemy of my spirit, heart and soul stealing an inheritance that didn’t belong to him. My human spirit even spoke to me in the dream and said, “This isn’t holy, divine or pure.”

When I woke up from the dream I thought about it and prayed deeply. I asked God to help me decipher what I had just seen. He said, “Amanda, the inheritance you saw in your enemies hands is healing and restoration, and your spirit was right… It does not belong to him at all. That healing and restoration you saw is MINE. And My plan is to release it in a very different way. So be bold. Be courageous. Stand against this counterfeit that would like to mock Me and the healing and restoration I am bringing forth.”

From that point I moved forward. I knew I had to pray deeper than ever before.

But… Before I could… I began to feel my enemy reminding me of my past. He started tearing me down about my body image, the unfortunate loss of my father and some tremendous heartbreak. All of these areas are places where (in the past) my enemy has stolen large portions of life.

However, every time my enemy reminded me of destruction and loss, I reminded him of my current root system. I looked down deep into my spirit and saw my sturdy roots, and they screamed from the top of their lungs, “WE ARE ROOTED IN GOD. WE CANNOT BE SHAKEN OR MOVED.”

And so, I picked up my head and I moved forward with that truth in hand. I moved forward knowing that my life has been healed and restored. And, because of this healing and restoration, I contain the boldness, confidence and courage to stand against my enemy… Reminding him that the steal can’t be real if you check the roots. 🌱 #cultivatelife

change · identity · purpose · shaken

Authentic Identity…

Identity… It’s been like a foreign language to me… I was basically getting by in life because I trusted that those around me would translate what I heard but didn’t understand… Because, with their translations, then I’d feel stable and safe… And who actually cares if what they told me was true?… I mean, I trust those people, places and things… It’s where I was placing my confidence, security and identity…

For many of us, I believe, identity is like a foreign language…

We are in this great, big world searching for meaning, significance and purpose… And most of the time we choose to place our significance in the tangiblableness of life… The relationships, homes and institutes we are certain will always be there… Because they have simply always been there…

And we trust them so much, that we allow them to define who we are, what we do and what we will do one day… Never truly thinking, “what if they collapse?.. what if they fail me?”…

So then when a loved one dies, when we loose our job or when a relationship ends… Well, we don’t have a clue who we are anymore… It’s almost like we look around to listen for familiarity… For the things we are certain will keep us grounded and remind us “it will be alright”… But then we don’t understand what we hear anymore… Nothing makes sense… And so, we feel lost and confused, uncertain of who we are and what we are doing…

I feel like the questioning of “who am I/what am I doing?” has been a constant in my life… But it truly became a reality when I moved to Cali almost 3 years ago… And then it increased when my dad died unexpectedly…

Of course 2016 has truly been a year of it’s own… In January, God told me to leave my job without telling me where my next source of income would be… He basically put me on a “bread crumb” trail that’s led me to this moment (which hasn’t always been fun)… And then my grandparents (whom I’ve always relied on to be there) went into a nursing home, and their 40 year old ministry was closed… Then my mom put our families house on the market, which is so much closure concerning dad… Plus my closest aunt died unexpectedly, causing my mom to become even more depressed and afraid…

And so, in the midst of the instability of life, I’ve begun to realize I can’t really rely on people, places and things to keep me stable and safe anymore… Because they are as unstable as I am… Here one moment, gone the next…

Now, I’m going to be honest… All of the uncertainty has caused me to be a teary-eyed mess at times… To be a little mean and feel a lot of insecurity… Because each time something I believed provided stability has been shaken loose from my foundation, I’ve looked around for something, anything to cling onto…

And it was a learning curve at first, but I believe I’ve actually discovered what I can always rely on… The one source of life that reminds me who I am and gives me confidence to know whatever happens, it will be ok because He will always be who He is…

And I’ve heard it hundreds of thousands of times in church, but no one ever actually taught me what it means to have security in God… To find my identity in Him… I can say it all day long, but it wasn’t until the things I’ve always relied on in life failed me that I experienced this security, confidence and identity…

And too me, well it’s more than just God… Because He is so vast, so complex, so memorizingly authentic at His core… Because identity has so many parts that make it what it is… So having my identity in God means I am drawing my confidence and security from His love, His peace, His patience, His perseverance… From the attributes that make Him who He is… They are actually making me who I am…

Plus, the amazing thing about authentic identity… It’s universal and eternal… I’m learning that it can’t be moved, shaken or destroyed… Because once we grasp it’s authenticity at it’s core, we can be certain we will always be secure and safe… Even when life takes an unexpected turn…

identity · love of god · shaken · strength · unshaken

Unshaken Identity…

Identity… It seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life lately…

Who am I?… Where is my foundation rooted?… Why is it rooted there?… Are the things which it’s rooted in eternally stable and firm?

I feel as though this entire year should be themed “shaken”… Because I feel like God keeps allowing my life, my very foundation to be shaken at its core…

And it’s not enough to lay in bed at night and feel the shaking my soul is experiencing…

Because I feel like each month has presented me with a reality that reveals my identity has been held within people, places, things… Parents, grandparents, homes, cities, ministries…

My security has been trapped in too many tangible things…

And in the midst I feel so selfish… So self-absorbed… Because, in some ways, well I want to hold-on to the tangible, to what I’ve always known… Because those things have always been there to keep me safe… To protect me…

Or at least I think they have…

So then… Then how do I take all of this… The places my soul feels like it’s journeyed to while being shaken… How do I take all of this and stand with a firm, unshaken identity?…

Because, as the shaking has occurred… Well, it’s revealed God on an entirely different level to me… His compassion, His selflessness, His love, His peace and His joy… They’ve all been there waiting… As each tangible player in my foundation has been shaken loose… God has revealed Himself to me in another way…

And I seem to realize… Identity…. I believe it’s universal… That we are all universally searching for intangible, eternal truth about who we are at our core…

Yes, we are all different… But, deep within, I believe we are created to connect to essential truths that make God who He is… And to allow those truths to become the key components of our foundation… Of our identity…

Because with them… With those intangible pieces and parts, well I believe we are made completely confident and secure…

And then, when tragedy, confusion and life become a reality… Well we are left in a secure place… Confidently knowing, deep within, that our core is solid and whole… That it is completely and wonderfully unshaken…