My Pregnancy Journey: Part 1

Ever since I was in my teens, I loved children. I loved being around them, interacting with them, having random conversations with them, and their innocent outlook on life. My love for children definitely motivated me to pursue a career in child development. It was never a question in my mind whether or not I would have children. It was a given.

When my husband and I began dating in 2015, we both expressed that we desired to have children one day. When our relationship became serious and headed towards marriage, we picked out names for our future children. Little did we know that our journey to pregnancy would not be as easy as we hoped.

May 12, 2018, I married my best friend and we agreed to start trying for children immediately. After about a couple months of trying, I became frustrated. I know trying for a couple months isn’t along time, but I was naive and expected to get pregnant quickly. I didn’t understand why it wasn’t happening for us. I decided to start tracking my cycle and learning more about my cycle. I began using OPKs and tracking my basal body temperature. I also began to research what a normal period was supposed to look like. I soon discovered that my period was far from normal. Experiencing excruciating pain to the point that all I could do was crawl into the fetal position and cry was not a normal period. Losing as much blood as I was losing and clotting the way I was was far from normal. I decided to seek medical help. It took me switching primary doctor’s to finally get the answers I thought I needed.

After meeting with my new primary and having some tests done, my doctor told me that she believed I had polyps. Polyps are small growths on the uterus that can cause pain, discomfort, and interfere with conceiving. I was told that this was an easy fix through minor surgery. This gave me hope. I felt like I had a concrete answer as to why I hadn’t gotten pregnant. In the middle of all of this (June 2018), my job switched insurances. Thankfully I was able to get all of my information from my previous provider and submit it to my new doctor. My new doctor had to do some tests (hysteroscopy and HSG). These tests of course confirmed what I already knew.

In October 2018, I was scheduled to have surgery to have the polyps removed. I was nervous because I had to be put under anesthesia, but I was excited to hopefully resolve the issue that I believed was preventing me from getting pregnant. After I had my surgery, my doctor informed me that the growths on my uterus were actually fibroids, not polyps. I ended up having a myomectomy to remove the fibroids. Thankfully where the fibroids were located the doctor was able to shave them off and not compromise the integrity of my uterus.

The recovery from my surgery was somewhat painful, but bearable. When I followed up with my doctor a few weeks later, he assured me that my husband and I would be able to conceive in no time and that I would see an improvement in my period. November 2018 I had my first period following my surgery. There was no change in my pain level. If anything it felt as if it made my period pain was worse. I was tired of experiencing such pain month after month so I decided to research natural remedies for painful periods.

I came across a few different remedies including Red Raspberry Leaf tea, arvigo therapy, and acupuncture. According to Euphoric Herbals, Red Raspberry Leaf tea contains calcium and iron, both of which play important roles in the menstrual cycle. Calcium helps regulate hormones, which in turn can help prevent PMS symptoms including painful cramps. The iron in this tea is helpful in preventing anemia, which can occur in women who tend to have a heavy monthly flow. This tea also contains fragarine. Fragarine can help tone pelvic muscles and relieve period cramps. I started drinking a minimum of 16oz. of Red Raspberry Leaf tea daily and saw a difference in my periods. Although my periods became more bearable, they still weren’t “normal”.

My next step was to give Arvigo Therapy a try. I found a specialist who was about an hour from where I lived. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but I was hopeful. I met with the specialist and we went over my complete menstrual cycle history. As we discussed my cycle history, she recommended that I take magnesium glycinate. She explained that most people do not get enough magnesium in their diet and that magnesium helps prevent muscle cramps. Since the uterus is a muscle, it also helps prevent menstrual cramps by smoothing the uterus. We also discussed my diet. I told her that I had been a vegetarian for the past year, but I was ready to go back to eating meat. She explained that vegetarian diets tend to cause hormonal imbalances because your body isn’t getting enough of the nutrients it normally receives from certain proteins (Disclaimer: For those who are vegetarian/vegan, I’m not here to debate this. Let’s just agree to disagree :)). She recommended a Paleo diet, which was what I had been planning to transition to. After discussing my history and diet, she introduced me to Arvigo Therapy and Castor Oil packs.

Arvigo Therapy is a form of abdominal massage. By massaging the abdominal area, organs and tissues in the abdominal and pelvic areas are relaxed and loosened. Internal organs that may have shifted are massaged and repositioned, which can help relieve painful symptoms. For women, this therapy works great for a prolapsed or tilted uterus. Some of the other benefits include increased blood flow, congestion relief, improved flow of lymph and nerve impulses, and improvement in digestion. After she performed the Arvigo Therapy, she had me do a Castor Oil pack. I was given a cotton cloth soaked in castor oil. The cloth was placed right below my stomach. A heating pad was then placed on top of the cloth. This was done for 30 minutes. The purpose of castor oil packs is to pull out the toxins that can cause hormonal imbalance, improve circulation, and decrease inflammation and pain.

Following this first session, I experienced what I would consider a normal period. I felt minimal pain, I was able to function and engage in my regular activities instead of being curled in a ball crying in my bed, and my period was a lot shorter (it went from it’s standard 7 days to 5 days). I was in shock and I cried tears of joy. I finally felt like I was getting somewhere, like real changes were being made. I continued to work closely with this specialist for the next few months. Even after discontinuing our sessions, I continued to implement the natural remedies she taught me and continued to see great improvements in my menstrual cycle.

May 12, 2019, my husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary. At that point I was no longer thinking about trying to conceive, but enjoying the journey and allowing God’s timing to take place. I was still implementing the natural remedies I had learned and focusing mostly on balancing my hormones and ensuring my period was normal.

The week of May 20, 2019, my body felt extremely off. My period was due soon, but I didn’t experience my normal period symptoms. Everything felt different. I was extremely tired and didn’t have much of an appetite. I could not stay up past 9:00pm, which was out of the norm for me. Everything just felt off. On May 27, 2019, Memorial Day, I decided to take a pregnancy for kicks. I honestly did not think I would see two pink lines. When my timer went off indicating it was time to check the pregnancy test, I was greeted by the sight of two pink lines. I came running out the bathroom and showed the test to my husband. I burst with tears of joy as I shoved the pregnancy test in his face (I’m sure he didn’t appreciate me shoving a stick covered in pee in his face lol). I was in such disbelief that I decided to take a digital test just to see the word “pregnant”. When I saw the word “pregnant”, I then decided that this was really happening. Little did I know that the following week everything would change instantly and I would face one of the most heartbreaking and difficult moments of my life…

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Pregnancy Journey!

Elevate Freedom

Tonight was the last night of the Elevate Freedom class I have been taking at my church. For the past 8 weeks, I have been coming face to face with the hurts of my past and learning how to walk in the freedom God has for me. As part of the class, we were required to write a forgiveness letter. I wrote a forgiveness letter to myself. My letter was one of the few chosen to be read to the class and the guests that came. This class has truly been a blessing for me. The Holy Spirit was able to reveal to me the anger and resentment I had towards myself for my past mistakes. Although this letter was painful to write, the peace and joy I have experienced since writing it was so worth it. I know that reading my letter tonight not only freed me, but touched other lives.

Official Release Day!!!

Tea for Two: A 30 Day Devotional is now available for purchase! Just click the shop link or purchase your copy at Amazon today!

Mission Trip to Belize Part 1: Preparation

Last Saturday I returned from my very first mission trip. To say that this trip was a life changing experience would be an understatement. From everything that happened in my life leading up to this trip to the trip itself as well as after returning from the trip, it has all left me so in awe of my Abba Father.

For the longest God has pressed upon me to go on a mission trip. Every year I would sign up to attend an information session for the mission trips and even once I paid my registration fee, but I never fully committed. Last year I decided to truly commit. I knew that I had to go on a mission trip. I was honestly not up for discussion. I prayed about which trip I should go on and the Lord led me to go on the Belize mission trip. I paid my registration fee and attended the first meeting. I was so hyped after the first meeting. I made a godly connection with someone who is know one of my close friends. I was so excited for this mission trip. During the first meeting, they told us that we would be attacked by the enemy like crazy. I expected it, but I think deep down I didn’t take it seriously…

After that first meeting, the enemy began to attack me like crazy. Many of my friendships and family relationships began to fall apart. I mean people were doing a complete 360 on me out of nowhere. My finances and my health were being attacked. I was struggling to raise the money for my trip. My mind was being attacked. I was under so much stress because I was commuting to a job that was over an hour from my home without traffic, but with traffic it would take me anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours to get to and from work. On top of that, some of my co-workers were giving me a hard time at work, attacking me for no reason. Everything around me was literally falling apart. I seriously was in a Job season. There were so many times I thought about pulling out of this mission trip, but I didn’t. I knew that was what the enemy wanted me to do.

In the beginning, I was mad at God. I told Him, “Why are you letting the enemy attack me like this when I’m preparing to do something for You? I’m going out into the mission field to share the Gospel and to bring You glory, but You don’t even have my back!”
Yes, I have my moments when I get real with my Abba Father and tell Him exactly what’s on my heart. During this time He began to show me that He was using these trials to prepare me for my mission trip and for my future. Once I understood what God was doing, I embraced the trials. I made it my goal to not let these challenging situations steal my joy and peace or cause me to react. I learned to rest in God and trust Him to work things out.

It wasn’t until a month before my mission trip that God began to turn my situation around. Little by little people began to donate. I had a few unexpected donor’s who paid not only for the remainder of my mission trip, but also gave me money to buy what I needed for my trip and spending money. However, right after that victory, the enemy attacked me physically. I ended up missing about two weeks of work due to having a fever of 100.4 that spiked to 105 and a stiff neck. I went to Urgent Care, ER, and my doctor and none of them could tell me what was wrong with me or what was causing the fever and the pain. I prayed and asked God to keep me despite all that was happening and to show me what to do. I sang worship songs and prayed like crazy during this time. He showed me what to do and healed me. During this time off, He led me to apply for a preschool director position. I honestly didn’t think I would get an interview, but I went for it anyway. The next day I got a call for an interview. I was so scared and nervous because I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I also was concerned that if I miraculously got the job, would they be willing to give me the time off for my mission trip. I prayed and told my Abba that if this was the job that He had for me, He would work it all out. I went on the interview and it was the most laid back interview. I mean it was like I was just talking to one of my peers about child development. On top of that, the woman who interviewed me had researched me and she knew all about my mission trip and she saw my YouTube videos. She really liked me, but had more interviews to conduct. Well two days later she called me and offered me the position and was willing to allow me to start after I returned from my mission trip! You know that was God!

Not only did God bless me with a job that is 15 minutes from my house, He gave me my dream job where I will be able to do some incredible things for His glory. I’m still in awe of what He did. He truly came through for me. After all the stressing and crying because of the long commute I was making, He turned my situation around instantly!

To read about all that God did during my mission trip to Belize, go to Part 2 of Mission Trip to Belize.

Mission Trip to Belize Part 2: There’s No Turning Back

DSC_0213.JPG

This trip seriously snuck up on me. I felt so unprepared. I started packing my bag a week before we were to leave for the trip and ended up not completely packing until the night before we left. When the day finally arrived for us to leave for Belize, I was a mixture of emotions. I went from excitement to fear to curiosity to anxiety. During the drive to the airport, I started wondering if I was even supposed to be on that trip…wondering if I had made a mistake. But it was too late to change my mind lol.

When we touched down in Belize, we immediately got to work. Our first project was to a couple of bathrooms and a patio area at a school. We also had the opportunity to play with some of the kids that went to the school and pass out supplies. Some of the other projects we completed were building a fence around a school and a playground to make it secure for the children, painted a church both inside and out, went out into the community to pray with people and invite them to an outreach we had in order to share the Gospel and pass out more supplies.

Although we were able to be a blessing to the people of Belize, they were even a greater blessing to us. They showered us with so much love and welcomed us with open arms. They taught us how to be content and joyful with what we have. They taught us how to appreciate each moment in life. While we were at one of the schools putting up a fence, I helped pass out candy to the children. We gave each child one starburst. What got me was how each child was so grateful for that starburst. They didn’t complain. They were truly thankful for that. Honestly, that convicted. How dare I ever complain about anything? How dare I ever be ungrateful? It really made me start thinking before I twisted up my lips to complain about anything.

Of course the enemy attacked us while on this trip, but God intervened. Our first night there, one of my roommates found a scorpion on her bed. Thank God she saw it before she went to bed and we were able to get it out of the room. A couple of days later we went back to where we built a fence around a playground in order to take a group picture in front of the completed project. While we were there, one of the local kids had a metal goal post fell on his head causing a deep gash. Thank God we were there and we had a few people on our trip who work in the medical field. That same night when we got back to our dorm, there was a fire literally a few feet from the room I was in. Unlike in the US where we’re able to call 911 in order to have firefighters deal with a fire, we had to handle it ourselves. We as a group along with those who were hosting us worked together to put the fire out. We had people praying and singing worship songs, we had people going and getting everything from buckets to trashcans to fill with water to dump on the fire. On top of that, the water pressure was very low so it took time to fill up each bucket, but God. God allowed us to be able to put that fire out and He kept us safe while doing it.

This trip also pushed me outside my comfort zone. When most people first meet me, they think I’m quiet and for the most part I am. Well by day three of the trip, I was my regular self. I was joking around and laughing and letting my personality shine through. I also started building some strong bonds with the people on my trip. They have honestly become my extended family. I was also asked to lead the morning devotional with 3 other women. Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous. God led me to speak on being pushed outside our comfort zones because that was what He was doing in me during this trip. I mean this trip seriously put me in situations that I would have never imagined I would be in. From taking a cold shower just about every night to doing manual labor to not knowing if I was going to wake up with a tarantula or a scorpion in my bed, this trip stretched me.

IMG_1181

Everything I experienced on this trip has prepared me for my new job. Going to Belize has taught me to be assertive, how to lead, how to take the lead when I see a need, how to be patient with others, how to make the best of each moment and situation, and how to embrace and love who God created me to be. Honestly, if you have never been on a mission trip, go. Now. No, seriously, go on a mission trip. That trip will change you forever. You are separated from all of the distractions. You are forced out of your comfort zone, but most importantly You will hear God speaking to you loud and clear, and you will learn how to trust Him like never before.

 

Stuck

STUCK_Logo

Have you ever reached a point in your life where you felt stuck? It seemed like no matter what you did, you couldn’t move forward. You tried to go left, right, forwards, backwards, up, down, and around, and no matter what direction you went in, you ran smack dab into a wall.

What do we do when we feel stuck? How do respond? Is it something that we are doing to prevent God from moving us forward in our lives?

This has literally been the story of my life for the past few months. I have felt stuck. Any move I would make, any plan I would make…literally anything I would do would not succeed. This included trying to find a better job as well as maintain various friendships. I felt like everything around me was falling apart and no matter what I would do to try and fix it, I would fail. On top of that, I began to doubt myself. I started to question if I was in God’s will for my life. I started to be so hard on myself because I felt like such a failure since I wasn’t at a certain point in my life. I wanted so much more out of life, but I felt as if no matter what I would do to try to move me forward, I couldn’t move forward. I felt like every door I would try to go through would be slammed shut in my face.

Here was my issue: I kept trying to make my plans God’s plans. I kept trying to push my agenda on God. Although I never mentally or verbally confessed this, in my heart I believed that I knew what was best for me and that I could come up with a better plan for my life, and so I tried to pursue my plans. 

Isaiah 55:8-9 9 (MSG), I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.’ God’s decree. ‘For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.’

We can come up with these plans that we think are full proof and will take us to the next level, but God can even top that. We don’t know more than God. We can’t see the whole picture like He can. This is why we need to live out Provers 3:5-6, which says,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

God knows what is best for us. No matter how many times we try to convince ourselves otherwise, in the end God knows what’s best and we have to trust Him. Trusting Him is so hard, especially when it looks like our situation isn’t changing in the natural. But despite what we see in the natural, we have to believe that He is working on our behalf.

When I finally realized that I was trying to control my destiny instead of relinquishing all control to God, He began to minister something powerful to me. He showed me that no matter what door I would try to go through, what plan I would try to put into action, He would not let it succeed. You see, anything we try to do apart from God or try to do in our own ability, God will not let us succeed in it because it does not give Him the glory. He told me that no matter what plan I came up with or what I tried to do on my own, I would continue to run into a wall. God even gave me a vision. He allowed me to see myself standing in the middle of a room and no matter what direction I went in, I would run into a wall. No matter how hard I tried to escape the room or what plan I tried to come up with to get out of the room, I would hit a wall.

Once God showed me that, I asked Him, ” What do you want me to do then?”. He told me He wanted me to be still and do nothing but trust Him and walk in obedience. Of course that’s not what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear. There was something that God had put on my heart to do a couple of years ago, but I didn’t complete it when He told me to. He wanted me to write a book. I started the book and made it through the majority of it, but I didn’t finish it. I got so distracted and caught up in other things that I failed to make time for it. I did what I wanted to do instead of doing what God wanted me to do.

God already has my life mapped out with incredible plans for me. Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV) tells us Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” I love the Message version of this verse, which says Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations—that’s what I had in mind for you.” Jeremiah 1:5 is telling us that even before we were conceived, God knew His plans for our lives. He knew what He called us to do. He knew how each and every day of our lives would turn out. He knew everything about us before we were even thought of by our parents. Let that sink in! So if someone as mighty and powerful as our God, who has had our entire lives planned out even way before we were born, is asking us to trust Him and follow His will for our lives, what do we have to lose? 

I want to leave you with this: If you are feeling stuck or if you are simply miserable with where you are at in life right now, do not be discouraged. God has great plans for you and He will fulfill those plans and purposes He has for you. Your main responsibility is to continue to pursue God with everything in you, walk in obedience to Him even if He is asking you to step outside your comfort zone, trust His timing, and wait on Him with an abundance of patience and joy. If you do that, the valley season you are in will fly by so smoothly. Stop worrying and fretting, and simply trust in God. And last but not least endure to the end during challenging seasons.

I’m praying for you friends! If you have any prayer requests please feel free to email me at andriarene01@gmail.com

Love you all!

 

 

A Lesson in Faith and Obedience

faith and obedience

Have you ever been to The Cheesecake Factory and faced the tough decision of which cheesecake to select for dessert? I mean there’s about a million selections of cheesecakes from Oreo cheesecake to carrot cake cheesecake so how am I supposed to choose just one cheesecake? Maybe you just go with your favorite like I do or maybe you contemplate trying something new. Deciding on trying a new cheesecake can cause much anxiety. You’re sitting there thinking well if I choose this cheesecake I’ve never had before, I will either love it or absolutely hate it. It sounds good on the menu, but how it sounds on paper and how it actually tastes are two completely different things. So what do you do? Do you just go with old faithful or do you step out on faith and try something new?

Sometimes following God’s will for our lives can be a lot like choosing a slice a cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. We’re often faced with life altering decisions, but how do we know which choice is the best, which choice will keep us in God’s will for our lives?

This is something I’ve been facing lately. In April, I began working as an assistant director at a preschool. In the beginning, I was so excited. Everyday I went to work with joy in my heart and a smile on my face looking forward to the workday. But as time passed and I began to see things I didn’t like, things I didn’t agree with, to hear constant complaining, gossip and negativity, I started to question whether or not I was still in God’s will for my life, whether or not I had made the right decision. There were days when I would go home crying because of the stress of everything. I would cry out to God more and more, but I couldn’t hear His voice. I just didn’t know what to do anymore, but I continued to seek Him. I began to seek Him even more. Talking to Him continuously about everything, seeking Him in His word.

As time went on, I began to pray about relocating to LA because I desired to be closer to my boyfriend and my close friends, plus I was ready for a fresh start. I even started applying for jobs out there. I ended up getting an interview for a position I really wanted. This position would prepare me for the career I was working towards, the pay is much more than what I’m making now, the benefits are great, there are constant opportunities for advancement, and it would allow me to live in LA. I went for the interview early one morning and then went to work after the interview. I promise you, a few hours after interviewing, I got a call from the director who interviewed me offering me the position. To say I was happy would be an understatement. I was like a kid in a candy store. I was thinking, “Yes! I knew God didn’t forget about me.”

The only thing left to do was turn in my letter of resignation on my current job, but I didn’t want to do that until I received my letter of employment from the new job. The director said that they would have the letter of employment for me by the end of the week. So I went ahead and wrote my letter of resignation, and waited to turn it in until I received my letter of employment. Well, the end of the week came and I hadn’t received my letter of employment. I started getting anxious and began to worry. I contacted the director to follow up on the letter of employment, but she never replied. Then, to add to the confusion, my friend contacted me about a part-time teaching position at one of the local community colleges. I had asked her a while ago if there were any openings and she had told me that they had filled all of the positions for the next school year. But then, when I was already confused and it was utter chaos, she texts me to say they have an unexpected opening. I honestly didn’t know what to do, but I went ahead and applied for the teaching position even though it didn’t make sense to me since I was still hoping for things to work out with the position in LA. I started to get so frustrated because I didn’t understand what God was doing, and I had no idea what to do. I didn’t want to make the wrong decision, but at the time I didn’t know what was right. I only knew what I wanted. I told God, “I thought this [the position in LA] was what you had for me! I prayed that you wouldn’t allow me to get it unless it was what you had for me. So why did you allow me to get this position if it wasn’t what you had for me?”. I battled with these thoughts the entire weekend. I had no peace, my joy was pretty much nonexistent. I felt so down and discouraged. I started questioning what I was doing with my life and I honestly felt like a failure. Now that I look back on this, I know I was overreacting, I was letting my emotions rule me, which was not wise.

At the start of the following week, I prayed like I’ve never prayed before. I poured my whole heart out to God and decided to be still. He began to minister to me. He showed me what He wanted me to do. He told me to stay put on my current job because my assignment there was not complete. He began to show me all the changes He wanted me to implement and gave me so many ideas. The next step was to present these ideas to my current director. I honestly didn’t know how she would respond, but I prayed for God to soften her heart and that He would allow her to like my ideas and be willing to implement them.

That week God began to do some amazing things. He allowed me to get an interview for the teaching position, which I was so nervous about because I had to do a brief presentation on my favorite theory of development. Well, I had my interview and let me tell you, the Holy Spirit worked through me and allowed me to do an amazing presentation. I mean the interview panel was even impressed with how I explained certain concepts in a way they had never heard before, but made so much more sense. You know it’s something when you stump someone who has been teaching college courses for years and has their doctorate, but that’s how God works! I left that interview feeling so amazing, but most importantly I had peace. I didn’t feel anxious and I didn’t worry. I rested in God knowing that His will was best and that’s what would be done. When I get to work after my interview that day, I decided to meet with my director. I told her about my ideas as well as the possibility of me teaching at the community college part time. She completely supported me working part-time as an instructor, and she absolutely loved my ideas and decided to start implementing them immediately. One of my suggestions was holding a staff development because there’s so much that needs to be discussed and brought to light in order to improve the school. That same day she created a flyer informing the staff that we would be having a staff development in a couple of weeks. Also, she wanted me to be responsible for some aspects of the meeting. I honestly was not expecting that, but I’m excited because this will allow me to further develop my leadership skills.

So things really began to turn around. I was being presented with some incredible opportunities and I was walking in obedience to God. I was also stepping out on faith and trusting God to work things out according to His perfect will. At that point, I had forgotten all about the job in LA; however, the director at that site hadn’t forgotten about me. She emailed me out the blue asking me if I received my letter of employment. I simply replied that I hadn’t received it. Once again, I didn’t know what to do. All this time I had assumed that she decided to go with someone else so I figured the job wasn’t mine. Part of me wanted to renege on what I told God and my director what I was going to do, and take the job in LA because that’s what I wanted and thought I needed. But the thought of doing that did not bring me peace. Then I started talking to God and told Him, “Lord, if you allow me to get this part-time teaching position, then I will email the director of the job in LA telling her that I will not be accepting the job offer.” Side note: Isn’t it funny how we try to negotiate with God instead of just doing what He told us to do with no questions asked?

I went ahead and decided to go with my plan that I presented to God, but once again I didn’t have peace. I felt the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart and showing me that I wasn’t walking in complete obedience to God. I tried to ignore it, but I couldn’t. Finally, I sent an email to the director over the job in LA informing her that I will not be able to accept the position. The day after I sent that email, I received an email about the teaching position at the local community college offering me the job! I mean all I had to do was walk in obedience and trust God, and He worked everything out. In addition to that, my current director is all on board for me teaching at the community college. Everyday leading up to this offer, she would tell me that she knew I was going to get the teaching position. She is so supportive and encourages me constantly and knows that I’m destined for greater things. She’s truly a blessing. And did I mention that she is also a Christian?

It’s so amazing how when we surrender to God, walk in obedience, and trust Him, He literally allows all things to fall in place. I am so amazed by what God has done in the span of two weeks. I mean He has moved so greatly in my life, but He has also helped me to see things in a whole new light. I no longer dread going to work. Now I’m excited and I look for ways that I can help this school grow. I’m so excited for this new journey in my life and I can’t wait to see how God is going to turn this school around as well as use me as an instructor at the community college.

With that said, when God is showing you to do something, just do it. No questions asked. No trying to think of a better way that will work for you or will be more comfortable to you. Simply trust God, and do what He is showing you to do even when it’s difficult or uncomfortable. Remember “Obedience is better than sacrifice…” (1 Samuel 15:22).

Be Still.

be_still_be_happy

Have you ever felt like you were on the verge of something great…on the verge of a breakthrough? Things in your life are going fairly smoothly, you are getting on your face before Jesus daily, Jesus is speaking great things in your life, and you can literally see little by little Jesus making moves and setting things up for His plans for you to come into fruition. And then all of sudden Jesus is quiet. You call on Him, but you don’t hear His voice…

This is the story of my life right now. At the start of the year, I went on a fast and I grew even closer to Jesus, went even deeper in my relationship with Him, and He started giving me a glimpse into His plans for me. He didn’t reveal everything, but what He did show me left me so in awe…left me literally speechless. I even started seeing Him, little by little, put things in motion. But these last couple of weeks, Jesus has been fairly quiet. It’s like everything is at a standstill. This caused me to become anxious. I started questioning myself, asking myself if I have done something wrong, if I have pulled away from Him without even realizing it. That wasn’t the case. Then I started asking Jesus, “What’s going in? Why have things come to a halt?”

This morning the Lord told me,

“Be still beloved. I am right here with you. Right now it seems like I’m not doing anything, but I am doing many things in the spiritual realm that you cannot see in the natural. Right now I want you to focus on resting in Me and trusting Me even when it seems like nothing is happening. The key to you successfully fulfilling My plans for your life is your trust in Me and you keeping your eyes on Me. Once you stop trusting Me or take your eyes off of Me, everything around you will begin to fall apart. You need Me every step of the away along this journey.”

Be still. Two simple words, yet they hold so much meaning. Hearing that from the Lord was hard for me to accept. I don’t want to be still. I want to start living out His plans for my life right now. I’m tired of waiting. Although I want to keep moving ahead in God’s plans for me, He tells us in His word “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” (Psalm 37:7).

God doesn’t tell us to be still for no reason. He tells us to be still because He sees the whole picture while we see only a small portion of it. There are things that He has to develop in us before He fully moves us into a position to do these great things for His glory. If we run ahead without Him, it’s only going to end in disaster. King Saul is the perfect example of this. In 1 Samuel 13, King Saul was instructed to wait 7 days for Samuel to come to offer a sacrifice to God. Saul waited but started to get anxious because the men in his army started getting anxious. Instead of waiting and fixing his eyes on God, he started to look at what was going on around him. This lead him to take matters into his own hands and offer the sacrifice even though he knew it was against God’s will. As soon as he offered the sacrifice, Samuel showed up. And then in 1 Samuel 13:13-14, ‘13 “How foolish!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”’

King Saul was destined for great things, but because he stepped out of God’s will for his life, those plans for him would never be fulfilled, and his life continued to get worse and worse. It is a challenge being patient, especially when God gives you a glimpse into all that He has in store for you. It’s even more challenging when you feel like you are so close to those plans coming to fruition, but they are not happening soon enough. Although it may not make sense as to why the fulfillment of these plans are taking so long, put your trust in God. Keep your eyes on Him and trust His perfect timing. Ultimately He knows what is best. Don’t try to take matters into your own hands because that will force you out of His will for your life. His will for your life is perfect. Do not be anxious or worry that His will for you will never manifest. Remember Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” Every promise God has ever made to you, He will fulfill it. BUT it will be in His timing.