Perfectly Imperfect: God Wants More than Your Messy Bun

Messy buns are one of the best trends out there but at the same time they are the worse. I was recently waiting in line to go to the bathroom at a theme park and there were two young ladies in front of me. They were the epitome of grunge hipsters. Messy buns and all. They carried a confidence about them that I found myself wishing I had yet when they turned the corner and saw the mirror I saw that they too care about what their “mess” looked like. Eyes glued to the mirror, arms up quickly fixing and pulling and fluffing their buns until one says to the other,”ehh it’ll do,” while she still fixed her hair. 

There are times when God calls you into the dark valley. Into the mess you’ve made. The days, months, years of fear have piled up by the time you choose to take that next step, you’re facing a giant of irrational possibilities. For so long you’ve fixed, pulled, and fluffed your mess by trying to do the fix your mess yourself. Doing everything but the thing that tugs your heart and makes you afraid.  You’ve been told that this would be the thing that defeats you. The thing that makes you lose everything. Your reputation, your dreams, your friends, yourself. It could be a conversation, choosing to stay in a job, go back to school, getting out of habits, letting go of unhealthy people. Letting go of control. Things that hurt yet you feel the hurt isn’t that bad. You start finding yourself saying, “ehh it’ll do” yet still hope for a change in your mindset or situation. 

When God calls us to walk through the dark valley know that it’s always to show us and our enemies the truth of who He is and who He made us to be. He’s tired of us walking around scared of the what if. The things the enemy has played over and over in our minds relentlessly until we start to believe his voice is in congruent of our Father’s voice. 

What if I’m honest and get rejected, what if I leave the job to pursue my dreams and I fail, what if I stay in this place and get stuck, the list goes on. 

This time last year I was reading the book Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick. One of the chapters dealt with the fear of what if. I walked away from reading that book with a new way to challenge fears. Take a moment and think about what you fear the most. Now ask yourself if that thing you fear happened would God still be God? Would that thing knock Him off of His throne? Would His hands be tied and not have a way to save you?

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

To be completely honest I’ve been stuck in fear to the point that I have believed that my fears were bigger than my God. Fear has taken over my mind to the point that I haven’t known the difference between God’s voice and the enemies voice. Nights had become the time where my heart would race and sweat would pour. Fear kept me up. Fear stole hours on end that I can never get back. Fear of things that never happened. 

I will not fear. 

I’ve wasted too much time believing I’m too messy for God to handle. I’ve tried saying that I will not fear yet fear is what consumed me, making the darkness a whole lot darker. Sometimes to the point of believing all I could be was hopeless. That is until I remembered I’m not alone in the darkness. 

“for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’ve been told by numerous people to imagine the thing you fear the most and see where Jesus is. For me the fear has been that I would wake up and be a horrible person one day. That I wouldn’t be good. Though I intentionally make specific choices this fear has messed with me majority of my life in many different ways. But one day I was so tired of the enemy using my imagination as his personal horror film festival. So I sat in my room and imagined my fear and said, “Jesus where are you?” That’s when Jesus showed me that the irrational fear wasn’t the true fear. The fear was greater. 

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:17-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I was afraid of Him leaving me. 

One night I woke up terrified and I texted my accountability partners and simply told them I was fighting. They replied “where is Jesus?” Like a light beaming in the darkness I realized that He was still there.  

In the dark valley He is with me. When I awake He is with me. When I walk away from Him even then He knows exactly where I am. 

In Isaiah 41 it says “you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

When I realized that God would not abandon me I realized I didn’t have to walk around with a mindset of hating the way I looked spiritually yet saying hopelessly, “it’ll do.” People always say to embrace your mess; accept it. But I’ve realized that stopping at embracing my mess is stopping short. Truth is we must continue and embrace not only our mess but true restoration and change happens when we embrace what He has done even in the midst of our mess.

Dear Soujorner,

Take a second and think about this, God went to the ends of the earth, to the part where you were banished to save you. Jesus went to great lengths to save you. He was forsaken by His Father so you wouldn’t have to be. He went to hell so you wouldn’t have to. He loved you enough to be the one God turned from. I pray that as you embrace your mess you don’t stop there, but you continue until you embrace what He has done in spite of you mess. No matter how dark, how messy, ugly, scary, hopeless, or hurt you are know that God has already has the solution to heal and grow you, Jesus. 

Like it says in Philippians 3:9 Our goal is not to gain righteousness based on the law, that’s too much pressure. We will never obtain perfection. But our goal is that we obtain righteousness that comes through faith. A righteousness that depends on God. 

God wants more than a confidence found in you proven by wearing your hair in a messy bun; He wants you to have a confidence in Him that He can take even your messiest of beliefs and still hold onto you like the precious child you are to Him. 

  

Buried Treasure

 “Pour it out” He gently lifted His hands showing me He’d catch whatever was of value from the heavy bucket I had been carrying. 

“But– it’s so full. I don’t want it to be empty again. This is who I am.” I protested 

“Yes it is full but what is it full of. Pour it out. You’ll find what’s really buried inside.”

“But, I don’t want to lose anything else. I’ve lost so much. This is all I have left.” I held the bucket even tighter. 

“Trust me.”

I had nothing else to say. Every excuse was rebutdtaled. He had proven Himself faithful, comforting and loving. Especially in the last few months. His gentle face was one that I had become accustomed to. I sought for so long to see it and finally I stood face to face with Him. He was nothing I had imagined and yet everything I had dreamed of and desired. He had been there. I could trust Him. I would trust Him. 

I lifted the heavy bucket and poured its contents into His hands. Thousands of grains of sands sifted through His fingers. Each one a belief I had that was shown to be a lie. 

“Stop here.” He abruptly said. “What do you see.” 

All of the sand finally drifted through His hands and there laid a gold lion head. 

My heart cracked. “That’s for..” I couldn’t finish my sentence 

“COURAGE” He said. 

“But I don’t feel courageous.” 

“But you ARE. Keep pouring” He gently prompted. 

By now the hot tears were flowing from my face. I felt for the bucket and started pouring again until He told me to stop. The sand flowed through His hands. 

What was so heavy in my hands was like feathers in His. 

Again the sand left His hands and there in His hand laid the lions head and now the clearest of diamonds I had ever seen. 

I knew what that was for. Purity. 

“But that’s the last thing I am!” I yelled

“Not in my eyes. Keeping pouring.”

 The bucket was getting lighter. I could feels things moving around in the sand. I poured. This time I felt something fall out of the bucket and into His hand. I stopped. 

“A paper?” I questioned 

“Read it.” 

Was once abandoned now Adopted

But why? Why would You who have everything see me as adopted?!”

“Because you are. Come on you have a little left”

I poured again and saw a glimmer catch the light of His face and fall from the bucket into His hand. I stopped. 

There laid in His hand the most beautiful crown. 

“Righteous. I call you righteous.”

I sank to my knees. 

“Daughter, this is what I call you. This is what I see. When I look at you I see the beautiful creation I made. I see the courage I grafted in your heart, and the purity intertwined to your soul. I see remember the day that I adopted you and the joy that sprang up in my heart. I see the righteousness I’ve called you to. No matter what people have said through their words or actions this is who you are. Yes your bucket was once full but the unbeliefs hid the very identity you possess. Continue to pour them into my hands  anything that comes against what I have said about you. I made you and I have the authority to tell you what is in you.”

Dear Soujorner,

If you poured out all of your beliefs into God’s hands and allowed Him to sift through the sand and the treasure what would be found? I guarantee you’d be surprised that He’s not waiting for you to come to Him so He can angrily shake His finger in your face. The bible says that it’s the kindness of our father that draws us to repentance. That His thoughts about us our precious and innumerable. He’s not waiting for you to fall asleep so He can pack up and leave you. You are the apple of His eye. So will you pour every belief you have into His hands. There is a beautiful treasure buried under all of that sand the world has handed us.   
  

Graced Grief 

It’s been two months. Two months of chaotic thinking, anxiety, grief, darkness. Two months since I said goodbye. Two months since grief has been an everyday process. Two months of learning how to live without a father and grandfather. Two months of battles. Two months of hugs. Two months of waking up randomly and crying. Two months of talking and trusting and relying. Two long months. 

2015 was the hardest year of my life. The last 2 months wrapped it up in one giant word. GRIEF. there was so much grieving in the last year. And to be completely honest it is continuing. Losing two people has been enough but even before all of this there was grieving that I didn’t know what to do with from my own lack of trust in God and seeing others close to me go through hard times. The death of my dad and grandpa were just the cherry on top. 

This last week God has challenged me to start looking at grief through His eyes. In this season I am learning how to not see God as a being who has a stiff arm and soured look on His face when I come into His presence. He’s taught me that He is embracing me in this season. In the grief of realizing the unbelief I’ve cuddled up next to through out my life. In the grief of losing relationships, saying goodbye to passions and communities, and holding my grandpas hand as he took his last breath. He is embracing me. 

One of my favorite stories in scripture is found in Matthew chapter 14. 

“Herod had arrested John, put him in chains, and sent him to prison to placate Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. John had provoked Herod by naming his relationship with Herodias “adultery.” Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid because so many people revered John as a prophet of God. But at his birthday celebration, he got his chance. Herodias’s daughter provided the entertainment, dancing for the guests. She swept Herod away. In his drunken enthusiasm, he promised her on oath anything she wanted. Already coached by her mother, she was ready: “Give me, served up on a platter, the head of John the Baptizer.” That sobered the king up fast. Unwilling to lose face with his guests, he did it—ordered John’s head cut off and presented to the girl on a platter. She in turn gave it to her mother. Later, John’s disciples got the body, gave it a reverent burial, and reported to Jesus. When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully—someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:3-14‬ ‭MSG‬‬

When people say that God knows how we feel they truly mean it. Jesus walked this earth and had a real life human experience. He experienced loss and pain. He experienced grief. But this part of His life shows me more than just His grief but it also reminds me of God’s Grace. 



“When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully—someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick. Toward evening the disciples approached him. “We’re out in the country and it’s getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper.” But Jesus said, “There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper.” “All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish,” they said. Jesus said, “Bring them here.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:13-21‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Jesus just found out that His cousin died. Not only was this a part of His earthly family but John was the one that prepared the way for Jesus. Out of everyone Jesus was around John the baptize understood what Jesus was going through to some degree. He too had been looked down upon and was responsible with a very high calling. I’m sure when Jesus heard that John had died, it hit him in the core of his body. Though the Bible doesn’t give us details of Jesus’ pain it does say that He tried to get by Himself but was met by a crowd of needy people. Many times in life I’ve tried to deal with a sudden set of emotions while dealing with others.

 This summer I said goodbye to a part of my life that I loved. Within hours of saying goodbye to an amazing set of people I was woken up with news that my grandpa had fallen. With a head full of questions I had to push through the crowd of circumstances that now encompassed me. Chaos. I’m sure Jesus felt chaotic. there were so many things out of control yet He was able to address the needs of the crowds around Him. How? Grace. Jesus stayed focused on the Father and He knew that if the Father was calling Him to heal the crowds that His Father would provide rest. 

Though this last year was full of grief I have to say it was fuller of God’s grace. I don’t deserve to have a faithful God. A God who believes in me when I don’t believe Him. A God that’s so gentle and patient when I want to hold on to old ways of thinking. I don’t deserve His peace of mind or strength but that’s the grace of God. I don’t deserve it and can’t arrive so that I do.  He freely gives His grace to those who love Him and for that I am forever grateful. 

Dear Soujourners,

I don’t know where you are in your journey as you read this but I pray that if you need to experience God’s grace that your eyes would be open to it. And if things are brighter for you today I pray that you would rely on God to help you extend grace to those around you. I pray that no matter what 2016 holds we would reach the end and see God’s graceful hand guiding us along the way and our steps becoming more secure on His path because His grace has found us just as we are. 

Until next time,

Monique❤️

 

His and Hers

I’ve always heard the saying there are plenty of fish in the sea. But what happens when the sea water becomes murky and toxic because of the litter in the filth that the outside world is pouring into it? The fish have to become affected by it right? In this dirty world there’s so much toxicity that is poured into the minds of young adults. Both men and women. People who are trying to maintain purity. Did you get that? People who are trying to maintain purity. There are still people who are trying. There are still men are choosing not to take advantage of women; who are choosing to have standards above what the world is telling them to be. There are still women, insecure as they may be, that choose not to cave in to what the world is telling them they have to obtain so that they can have a good guy. I pray that this blog helps you understand how you can choose to have character in the midst of a toxic world. Purity is so much more than virginity. Purity is of the mind and of the heart. You can physically be a virgin but have the dirtiest mind in the world. You can not think about sexual things but have a mouth that spews toxicity. So how do we become people of character? Let’s look back on this beautiful relationship between Solomon and the woman whom his soul loved. 
His Name

“Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you.”
‭‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

From the beginning this woman says that Solomon has a name. When I first read this it was kind a like of course he has a name. What kind of person doesn’t have a name? But I came across a podcast about how this woman wasn’t saying that he had a name but she saying that he had character. He was a good man. Though Solomon was extremely handsome what truly attracted this woman was the fact that his character outshined his physical appearance. 

Regardless of what people of told you about your appearance in your masculinity, the thing that is going to keep a good woman is character. Choosing to be man of God. What does that really mean? A man of truth, a  man of honor, a man of your word, a man who is faithful and loyal, a man who listens he doesn’t want to just fix everyone but allows others to journey through the process of healing and chooses to love and have grace through the rough times. The truth is you don’t need a girl to become this man. Start with yourself. You and God. Allow Him to love you like the perfect Daddy He is. Then allow Him to bring brothers in your life that you can love too. That’s how you choose character over culture. 

Her Standards

“I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked upon me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept! 

  To be lovely

Do you have a favorite word that describes beauty? A lot of times people use the word pretty to describe something that is appealing to the eyes. But what about when it’s simply breathtakingly gorgeous? I think if we could have a heart to heart over coffee with this woman in Song of Solomon we would find that the word she loved to describe beautiful things would’ve been lovely. 

How was she able to boldly say to the man that she liked a lot that she had insecurities but she was lovely? This woman knew that though there were things about her outer appearance that she wasn’t fond of but her character on the inside was stunning. Because she chose to be a woman of character she knew that there were things she should and should not do. She knew that she must not only protect herself but also the one who her soul loved. 

His Pursuit

The book of Song of Solomon begins with the woman speaking. She is pouring out her soul in regards to how she feels about Solomon. Though this book doesn’t start with how Solomon pursued this woman, we can clearly see that he did. There is a relationship that has been ongoing and as the book progresses we see that Solomon is everything but a passive player. In fact, who Solomon was, was like medicine to her soul. Did you catch that earlier? 

The Bible says, “Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth;” Wow! And the other thing is that Solomon was known for this. He was a good brother BUT when he pursued the one He was attracted too he made it known that his affection was for her. He didn’t leave things hidden and uncertain. He made sure she knew that there was more than brotherly love for her. He pursued her heart to the point where she was able to trust him enough to say, “Here are my insecurities!” 

This isn’t meant to be taken as you are supposed to fix the girl you’re interested in, instead it shows that a man of character who pursues a girl in the right way can help ease those insecurities by reminding them of truth. 

You’re never meant save any one but you can always swim with them towards the Savior. 

Her Pursuit

“Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you pasture your flock, where you make it lie down at noon; for why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions?”

I know I’ve written a blog about this before but once again I see the fact that a woman in a Bible chose to pursue man. It may not be the way that we think of pursuing but I think it’s smart to mention that after this relationship has built up a respect and a trust the woman has to start taking steps towards the man too. 

She wanted to be where he was. To see him even if it was in the middle of the most insecure days. She set it all aside and asked, “where will you be at noon?” Not at midnight when the sun isn’t shining and it’s easy to hide things but at noon. She even says, “for why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions?” The veiled women were prostitutes in those days. She chose to say that she wanted to be far from a woman that seduced him to get him to stay. Though there were insecurities she was very secure in two truths. 1. This was a man of character and she could trust him. 2. She could not trust her insecurities. 

Trusting your insecurities will always make you do things that you never wanted to do to earn a love that was never there. 



If you’re in the talks of dating and you keep finding yourself holding back from this guy that has proven to you that he is a good guy (and trusted mature Christians in your life agree) and that you can trust him I would take a minute and ask yourself why is it that you keep holding back? Pray about it. Choose not to trust your insecurities and hide. Go boldly into the light with your character and ask, “where will you be at noon?”

His Response 

If you do not know, O most beautiful among women, follow in the tracks of the flock, and pasture your young goats beside the shepherds’ tents. I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots. Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels.”
‭‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭1:5-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I feel like Solomon is kinda saying, “I know you know where I’ll be, but I will tell you how to find me because I want to spend time with you too.” He knows that she’s seen him with his flock but he chooses to be intentional with what she’s asking because he doesn’t want to play games. He doesn’t want her to wonder if he thinks about her, or likes her. He wants her to know that she can follow his flock! Then he addresses her insecurities about her appearance and says, “I think you’re the most beautiful creature on earth!” He continues to pursue her through it all. 

To be honest sometimes us girls get a little crazy. Our tendency to overthink can make us not even know what’s going on. But sometimes we just need to talk and process. We have fears because of past experiences. We don’t think we are enough because we’ve fallen. As we continue to learn how to renew our minds and get new perspectives, we know we can trust the relationships that let us be vulnerable. Knowing that we can go to you as a brother or if the relationship is deeper as a boyfriend or husband means that we know you won’t judge us but you’ll remind us that we have Christ, is so assuring. But also knowing that you desire our relationship, honor us as people, and think our insecurities are junk cultivates more and more trust and honor. 

If you’re in a relationship with a girl and you realize she assumes or goes back to fear take a moment and ask her why and then listen and respond. Responding means telling her truth that God says. Pray for her and encourage her to continue on this journey of healing and restoration of those insecurities. 

Dear Soujorner

As you journey through singleness or dating I would challenge you to choose to be a person of character. 
As women we are told that we should be completely independent or overly dependent on a man. When we have these mindsets it shuts down the purpose of relationships. We have to find the balance. The balance is found in character. Choosing to be a woman who says, “yeah I’m insecure in these areas, but I am not only working on it through vulnerability and exchanging lies for truth but I am also choosing to still do what it right.” Choose to not be like the veiled women of our culture, hiding in shame and covering up their insecurities in sex and vanity. Choose to say yes to the future you will have with your husband one day by saying no to cheap insecurity fixes that only last a moment but leave wounds a lot longer. Choose to wait. To not be bored with singleness and accept this season. Choose to become the one you’re looking for is looking for, as Andy Stanley would say. 
Guys, we need men of character. Our world needs you to be a brother to the brotherless, a protector, and leader. But above all our world needs you to know that you are a Son of God and that is all that matters. From that realization God will form your character and you will slowly but surely become who He’s always known was in there. Keep choosing character over culture. 

Keep journeying dear friends

❤️ Mo

  

Good Guys are Extinct

I was recently at the gym and put on  Apple radio as I was getting ready to run. For those of you who don’t know me I am probably the worst person to keep up with music. Songs can be on the radio for months and I will have just discovered it anywhere from six months to a year later. The only exception is with Taylor Swift 😆. Anyways I am running to a pumped station only to find my heart was extremely sad by a message that is constantly asking for my attention. In no way is this post meant to condemn single ladies for feeling this way or is this post meant to give single gents an excuse. In fact I hope that God shows you through this post, and the ones to follow,  that the pressure is off. The pressure of finding the spouse to fill lacks that only God can, so that you can have healthy relationships.

As a single lady (que Beyoncé, if that’s still relevant haha)  I can’t tell you how many times I have been caught in the conversation, said it myself, read articles,  and combatted the lie that there are no good guys in the world. Though there are facts that seem to back up this statement, truth is it breaks my heart and I believe it breaks God’s heart too.

“I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked upon me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept! Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you pasture your flock, where you make it lie down at noon; for why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions?”

‭‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭1:5-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Song of Solomon is a beautiful love story of two people. From the beginning of this book both the man and the woman are people of character. I have studied this book countless times and am always blown away by the fact that this relationship was everything but perfect. Even though these were both people of character they had insecurities conflict messy moments and a whole lot of unconditional love. I think we can draw a lot from this book as we approach our relationships and the pursuit of the marriage that we want to have one day.

The facts are the facts. <<<
he facts are that there are alarming numbers of men are incarcerated, haven't grown up with a positive male figure in their lives, or living other lifestyles that get rid of the desire to be in a relationship with a woman. Those are the facts but my question to you is since when did God ever work based on facts?  When was he ever limited based on what the circumstances were in the world? The answer is never. He has never been limited by the things that are going on in the world. He has never been limited by your circumstances or my circumstances. So to say that God has run out of godly man is kind of an insult to our Daddy and our brothers in Christ who are trying.

Ladies<<<
he times that I have heard or said the statement that "there are no good guys in the world" usually comes from one of two states of the heart.  1.) a heart that is afraid  or 2.) a heart that has been hurt. In fact all of the times that I can think of that have come from one of those two roots, which tells me that the issue isn’t that there are no good men in the world but that the perspective of your heart needs to be challenged.  In Song of Solomon the woman speaks about both of these.

“I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked upon me. “<<<
uring this time and in this culture having dark skin was something that wasn't beautiful; pale and white was what was considered beautiful. As the Woman speaks she's very honest with the fact that she doesn't even like people to look at her. I know that we can all relate to days like this; when our insecurities are so high that we don't even want to get out of bed let alone be around people. It feels like her insecurities are oozing out of her and are plain to see just like the color of her skin.  It's clear to see that this woman is facing the same questions that we face today. Am I enough? Am I beautiful? Do people see me the way that I see myself? Will I ever captivate a man's heart? She gets it! But we can learn so much from how she deals with her insecurities. Before we get to that though we still need to address the fact that sometimes our hearts speak out mean things because were hurting.

"My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!"

This woman also knew what it was to be hurt by people. She expresses how her brothers (whether literal brothers or men of the town) made her keep their vineyards. She was left to do what men were called to do at that time and it marked her.

Some times we say that there's a lack of something because we've put ourselves in relationships  and positions where we should've never been in the first place. We choose to date guys that our friends don't approve of and instead of letting go of the unhealthy relationship we let go of the healthy relationships, only to find ourselves wallowing back to our healthy friends letting them know that they were right. Sometimes we’re in a relationship and then realize that things are not as good as we thought  and instead of choosing to talk about those things we choose to ignore the warnings because we don’t want to be alone. I mean relationships take a lot of work and a lot of time and who wants to throwaway months or even years of work when we can either fix them or adjust and compromise our standards to become lower, right?

Truth is if we truly took time to get to know the guy we dated and chose not to leave community but allow people into our relationships more than we probably would be able to walk away from the wrong person a lot sooner and embrace the healthy person when the time comes.

Sometimes you’re hurting because all of your friends have dates and you’re stuck at home on a Friday night.  You put yourself around people, and do all the right things but you just haven’t met the one whom your soul loves yet.  It’s OK to know that you haven’t been on a date since you were in high school or maybe you’ve never been on one but that never makes you worthless. The hope I would hold onto is that you’re hidden for purpose. God has someone specifically for you. Never feel sorry for protecting your heart  and becoming the woman of God that He has intended you to become.

Being honest whatever the hurt is sometimes it is rooted in the facts that men haven’t lived up to be who we believe they are supposed to be to us. They haven’t protected, led, fixed, been patient. We have daddy wounds, but this woman responds in two ways first she doesn’t end her sentence with, “I’m dark.” She ends it with ” I’m lovely.” Where did she come to the conclusion? That she was lovely but she didn’t measure up to the world’s standards of beauty? She found that truth in Truth Himself. God.

In order to deal with the very real hurts from our dads, ex boyfriends, uncles, abusers, brothers, or fill in the _____________ we HAVE TO BRING THEM BEFORE GOD. He is the only one who will forever heal, restore, protect, and love our hearts. Everyone else is simply learning how to. <<<
have so much to say on this topic but ladies start here. Let's start with ourselves. Dealing with the hurt and fear from life. Truth is no man will ever be able to fix you. They can help pray for you, guide you to resources, and help you process but even your husband will fail you at times. God is the only one who remains. He is good and oh so faithful to heal even if the healing hurts trust Him right now.

Gents<<

I hoped to write more but post will end up being a series. At this point though I want you to know that those of you that are trying in pursuing God you’re doing a good job. Sometimes us girls can overreact and say things because we are hurting. In fact I think just as human beings when we’re hurting we make these huge general statements. Have Grace on us please? When you hear one of your sisters in Christ say that there’s no good guys know that it’s coming from the heart that is broken. The best thing you can do is choose to be a man of character.

Dear Sojourner,

I want to challenge you in this next week to take some time and examine your heart. Regardless of where you are on your walk with God and where you are on the desiring scale of being married, sit deal with things that feel like they’re lacking or hurting still. Allow Jesus to fill those voids. Be completely honest. He can handle the things you think you feel. He’s not scared. Thoough it feels like it sometimes the end all goal is not marriage but the end all goal is to love Jesus fully and finish this race called life with character that was birthed through faith, perseverance  and a hope in Jesus Christ that doesn’t ever disappoint. Let’s choose to go after the life He intends us to live.

Until next time keep journeying.

Mo< a href=”https://wheremogoes.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/img_0726-0.jpg”&gt;<<
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The Joureny: Cloudy with a Chance of…Meatballs?!

To be totally honest my biggest fear is that I won’t be the person God created me to be. From a young age I have been scared of messing up. Not in the way that a perfectionist wants things to be perfect but in the way of believing that I could only have conditional love. I remember times when I was a kid wondering if I had sinned that day. I have had a mindset that God loved me because He happened to have created me and He has to love what He creates. I remember getting to the point this year realizing that I 100% believe the gospel for everyone else, but when it came to me… I didn’t believe it was enough. 

Sad right?

But before you click off and go back to facebook or something the story doesn’t end that hopeless. I am still a work in progress. 

On my journey of truly believing that I am who God says I am and He is who He says He is and I can be fully satisfied with Him, I kept coming against resistance. They always say that breakthrough comes right after the hardest seasons, this season has definitely been a hard one. But God reminded me, I’ve been here before.  

Take a minute and read this verse slowly. 

“I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. ”Isaiah‬ ‭41:9-10NLT‬‬

When someone calls you they are calling you with an intention of communicating something. They want to talk to you. In this case God is calling to tell you that you are His! Don’t stop here though it gets better!!! He goes on to say that He has chosen you!

Imagine this with me. You are on your way to pick a puppy to join your family. When you go to the pound there are several puppies. Soft fluffy puppies (I like dogs a lot lol) but you walk in do you pick the first puppy you see? No. You would take your time. Looking at them. Maybe even petting and holding some. Your goal is to take home the best puppy for your family. 

God did the same thing to you. He saw you bound up in sin, shame, guilt and darkness. It says He CALLED YOU FROM THE ENDS OF THE EARTH! It goes on to say that He CHOSE YOU. 

And here’s the part that messed me up. He will not throw you away. Did you catch that? He doesn’t believe that you are junk! This verse first found me about 5 years ago in a season that is very similar to the one I’m in right now. It made me fall in love with God. Most days it was what helped me get out of bed. To know that I wouldn’t be thrown away was a beautiful thing. Then one day I went to see the animated movie, based on one of my favorite childhood books, Cloudy With Chance of Meatballs. The movie was great. Towards the end the main character, Flint, messes up big time. Flint gets to the point where he takes himself, lays down in the fetal position inside of a trash can full of failed inventions. His dad goes out to look for him and finds him there. He asks Flint why he’s in there and Flint goes on to tell him that he is junk just like the the inventions that failed. At this point I am bawling like a baby. Flint’s dad then says to Flint, “When it rains put on a coat.” And gives him his lab coat. 

What an amazing picture of what we do. After we’ve messed up we go and hide telling ourselves that we are too dirty, messed up, nasty etc to be near God so we throw ourselves away. But God never allows us to stay there. Just like Flint’s dad God comes looking for us. 

He’s done this since the first fall. 

“When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” “Who told you that you were naked?” the LORD God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?””‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:8-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God was on His way to see Adam and Eve when He found them hiding. Can I tell you something Sojourner? He’s on His way to see you too. He doesn’t want you to stay in shame, guilt, darkness and sin. No matter how ugly the sin is, no matter how far gone people have told you you are GOD NEVER THREW YOU AWAY and He NEVER will. 

Instead of a lecture I think God would say something kind of like What Flint’s dad said to Him. He’s saying to you, to me, to us “when you’ve messed up put your coat back on.” What coat am I talking about? 

“I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels.”‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.” Job 29:14

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Romans 13:14

“you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.” Ephesians 4:24

In case you didn’t catch it when we go to God He has a coat for us to put back on. The coat of righteousness.  The coat of our new nature given to us through salvation. Put back on the truth of who you are. God will never throw us away. As long as we have air in our lungs we can choose to putthe right  perspective back on. Will you go to Him today?

Take a minute and pray this with me. 

Dear God,

I see areas in my life that I have thrown myself away. Areas where I have given up all hope of becoming better. Can you forgive me? Your word says that you chose me. That you are for me and hold up my hand. I choose not to be afraid and give you all of me. Help me to believe You more and more. And help me to stop throwing myself away. I choose to put on the robe of righteousness again. Remind me to put it on when I take it off. I need you. I love you. 

Amen. 

 

The Journey: Who Are You Waiting For?

“Our soul’s history with God is frequently the history of the “passing of the hero.” Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged. Take it personally: In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God was worth died—I gave up on everything? I became ill? I got disheartened? Or—I saw the Lord?

It must be God first, God second, and God third, until the life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever. ‘In all the world there is none but thee, my God, there is none but thee.’ Keep paying the price. Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision.”

-Oswald Chambers

For those who are waiting for that dream position who is it that you envision will “give” you that? Who is the hero you are ever so patiently waiting for? A specific person? A company? A ministry? Or are you envisioning your Creator giving it to you?

This last week I received an email that I have been waiting on regarding an opportunity to go and work at one of the churches that I look up to. Since I have been on this journey of discovering God’s greatness inside of me, I have envisioned that in order for me to be back in full time ministry I have to get the training that I need. This specific ministry and Pastor had helped me through books and podcasts. The future looked promising if I went there. But the email was being sent to let me know that I wasn’t accepted to the program I had thought would save me from this wilderness.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith,because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

We are so tempted to take our lives into our own hands. To make everything happen without waiting on God. Too often we knock doors down that were closed so that we can have what we want when we want it. There is a balance. We don’t need to sit around expecting God to bring every little thing to use and at times have to move or even continue where we are at in faith, but we also need to learn to allow Him to bring our contentment in the season of waiting.

He is the One who will ultimately bring the vision.

Today as I was reading I came across this quote by Oswald Chambers and was convicted. As I thought about who would one day give me the opportunity to be in full time ministry, to be a wife, a mom, amazing writer etc. I realized all of those dreams were reliant on a person instead of the One who gave me the dreams to begin with.

Here’s the challenge that I have found; if for some reason you lost the most important person in your life, would you still be able to dream? Would you believe that you are still called? Or would you go through a season, like I did in the last 2 months, of believing that your calling is invalid because someone is no longer by your side?

We must get to the belief that regardless of the people, companies, or ministries that accept us we are great simply because we are made in God’s image. When we believe we are accepted by the Creator of the Universe and He has huge plans for us, we don’t have to strive to prove people wrong. We also don’t have to put pressure on people to stay in our lives. We can simply enjoy a real relationship with those that God has gifted us with. Sure there may be grieving when someone leaves which is healthy but devastation doesn’t need to pour down.

When you have a chance look up Elisabeth Elliot. Her story of finding love in her 1st husband the missionary Jim Elliot is how I want to live my life. To be so anchored in love for God to see the love of your life be murdered by tribal people and then go back to those same people, not for revenge but to share the gospel with them is astounding. May we love each other with honor and grace knowing that seasons may make our relationships look different. May we be thankful to God for the moments we have working in areas that we’ve dreamed of knowing that they may be memories one day. And may we look to our Father  as our hero,” 10  the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong,firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

P.s. It’s so funny how God will show you something that adds to something you just experienced! Check out this bloggers devotions on the same subject. I just got more freedom. :] When Uzziah Died over at the amazing Two Rivers Blog. 

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The Journey: Trading Blame for Belief

“Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel. Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭4:29-31‬ ‭

Have you ever experienced a moment where God made himself extremely clear? Whether you heard a sermon, the book was exactly what your soul needed, or you received word from someone that was perfectly on point with the season that you were currently going through. Whatever God spoke to you that caused freedom in your mind and heart allowed belief to take root. The belief seems to be so deep that you never understand how you could never believe God again. But then something happens and it seems like there was never any roots from that seed at all. Doubt seems deeper than any belief that you ever thought that you had and fear and anger creep back in. 

Unbelief can be such a vicious cycle but I realized a new trigger that if we are aware of we can dodge so that we may keep our belief. 

You don’t have to go very far in the book of Exodus to see the Israelites lose the very belief that God was with them. In fact you just have to go to the next chapter. Right after they realize that God has heard their cry and they believe that they will soon be set free from the oppression of the Egyptians, pharaoh gives a word telling his servants to no longer give straw, a vital ingredient in the bricks they were required to make, to the Israelites. 

Truth is opposition hits often but the question is how will you choose to respond to it?

““We are given no straw, but the slave drivers still demand, ‘Make bricks!’ We are being beaten, but it isn’t our fault! Your own people are to blame!”

As they left Pharaoh’s court, they confronted Moses and Aaron, who were waiting outside for them. The foremen said to them, “May the LORD judge and punish you for making us stink before Pharaoh and his officials. You have put a sword into their hands, an excuse to kill us!” Then Moses went back to the LORD and protested, “Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people, Lord? Why did you send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh as your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to your people. And you have done nothing to rescue them!””‭‭Exodus‬ ‭5:16, 20-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Too often when opposition hits we find ourselves reacting the way the Isrealites did. Looking for someone or something to point a finger at. Like the Isrealites when something hard happens we forget that God just sent an answer to our deepest cries.  We choose to look at our situation and try to figure out who is to blame. Like Moses we go to God and point the finger at Him. We forget that when God called us to freedom, the new job, relationship, etc, He told us that there would be opposition BUT that He would use us to prevail in the end (see chapter 3). We tell God that He doesn’t know what is best for the people around us. 

Lastly we blame ourselves. In our blaming God we often remind Him of our weaknesses or past sins and tell Him he was wrong for using us. We take our focus off of the fact that He says that we are great because He is in us. The problem with blame is that when we choose to put the blame on any of these three parties (people,God, or ourselves) we open the door for unbelief to take root. 

Because of the curse, bad things happen in this world.  We will always run into trials that just happen. Jobs lost for no real reason, people making bad choices, sicknesses strike, the list goes on but we must quiet our souls long enough to not overthink the issues and instead say, “I don’t understand why this has come up God but I trust you.”

A few weeks ago I woke up with this thought in my head, “Your authority diminishes when you start believing that you are less than forgetting that you serve a God who is more than.” I felt the Holy Spirit show me that when we believe that we aren’t _____________ enough to do what He called us to do, we aren’t being humble or dying to ourselves instead we choose the mindset of being disqualified we are choosing to forget that even though we may not be enough He is. 

Dear Soujourners,

I pray that as freedom comes you would also hold onto the belief that God has you always. No matter what opposition the enemy throws at you, he can never take your freedom unless you give it to him. Put down the pointing fingers. God doesn’t need you to blame anyone to free you. He doesn’t need you to forfeit your beliefs so He can prove you wrong. He wants you to remember that His Son left you with all authority (Luke 10:19 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”)  and that because of Him you are greater than the one that’s in the world (1 John 4:4) so you can and will get through whatever opposition that’s thrown your way. Don’t forget all He’s said and done. 

He is in you therefore you are enough to overcome this opposition. 

Choose to believe it.  He has you. He’s promised. 

Mo ❤️

  

The Journey: The Words that Still Wreck 

Words are one of my favorite things. To be able to write and create a world that began as a simple imagination and then allow someone else to recreate that world simply by reading and imagining is a beautiful thing to me. But too often it too can be a horrific nightmare. My love for words has created both worlds many times during my life. For many seasons I have found myself in this hurricane of words bouncing off the walls of my brain. Words that were spoken out of careless joking that stuck. Words that were spoken out of spite that stabbed. Words that were spoke out of another persons theology that robbed. 

Words that wrecked me. 
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭15:4‬ ‭

The words that have wrecked me the absolute most didn’t come from a mean spirited person. If you have read my previous blogs you know that my relationship with my dad (click to read more) has been everything but perfect. I grew up with out him. He chose a life of drugs alcohol and other women instead of being with his wife and kids. There was a ton of pain that came from that. A lot of times our relationship was as on again off again as Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. We would have a good year and then I would call one time when he had too much to drink or was under the influence of something and would end the conversation with shame and guilt hanging around my neck because of words he spoke. 

Through the years I found myself writing letters of how I felt hoping to release unforgivness for the things he had done and said. I always feared that he would get sick and last year he did. Very sick in fact. 

Love covers a multitude of sins (click to read more about my trip to VA)

Last year I found my self on a plane a few days before my 24th birthday to go see my dad. I remember hoping and praying that while I was in Virginia I would get to see my dad delivered and get to pray with him and see him accept Jesus in his heart. I had huge expectations, but I also knew that regardless I was there to love him, so when I came home and the conversation about God didn’t happen I patiently waited. I tried to keep the relationship on great terms but it was still hard. In June my dad had several more surgeries and different medical things arrive. One day after a surgery my aunt called to tell us that the doctors weren’t expecting him to make it through the the summer. I sobbed that night. To know that death was so close to my dad and he still hadn’t accepted Jesus into his heart seems childish but truth is I know there is life after this and more than anything I want to see my dad after we both pass. I had my doubts though. Some were simply doubting that my dad could change but some went deeper than that. I doubted that God could change him. I doubted that God cared that much about him or me to change his heart. But I prayed. 

I begged God not to take his life until he surrendered it to him. I didn’t talk to my dad for a few weeks because I was scared. 

June 14th, 2015 I was driving, with one of my closest friends, when I called my dad to see how he was doing. His hello was sweeter than it had previously been. As he was telling me that the doctors lifted the previous statement that he would not make it through the summer I could feel the joy through the phone. He continued to tell me that he had a surgery coming up the next week and for the first time he didn’t have fear or worry. “I just can’t be afraid anymore Monique, not when I have Jesus living in my heart.” 

My heart stopped

Did I just hear what I thought?

All I could say was, “that’s cool dad.” He went on to explain how the Chaplin at the hospital came to see him because he heard about how he was close to death and had an amazing amount of joy. The doctors and nurses kept making comments about how much joy he had. His answer was simply, “Jesus is inside of me”. I was completely baffled. Holding back tears I listened to my dad apologize for it taking him so long to get his life together and how he was just so happy that he didn’t die without surrendering his life. 

God is so good. 

Ending the conversation I asked if I could pray with him and he said of course. I was so thankful that God answered my prayers but He wasn’t done. 

Have you ever read that verse in Ephesians that says that God will do more than we could ever think to ask for? It’s found in Ephesians 3

“19and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

I simply asked that my dad would see the love that Jesus has for him and would accept it but God knew that I needed more than that. That’s when I got wrecked in the most beautiful way possible. 

“Monique, before you go I want to pray for you.” I heard these words coming through the other end of my phone. As my dad prayed tears rolled down my face. I don’t remember all that he said but I know that my life was forever changed by those simple words. I’ve heard those words from several people in my life but when the one person you have been praying for your whole life speaks those words… It messes you up

God is faithful

The last month I’ve had countless conversations with my dad. I’ve also had countless conversations with my Heavenly Daddy. He reminds me that if He has my ex alcoholic, drug addict, cancer ridden father than he too has me. He’s shown me that through the last 24 years of my life He knew the longing I had as a baby for a father, he saw the tears that fell because all the other kids brought their dads to Father’s Day picnics at school, he knew the pain that stabbed me when I felt I wasn’t good enough to have a dad. He saw it all. Even the seasons of anger and bitterness towards Him and my dad for this life and complications I felt because I didn’t have a dad at home. 

This past Saturday I woke up early to update my dad on my grandpa, who is also in the hospital. I didn’t have a great week mentally. I felt the enemies accusations heavily on my mind. And though I kept running to God it was still hard. My dad could tell. Before I hung up he asked, “Can I pray for you?” Once again I found myself sobbing. Half because of the pain and hurt of the chaotic world around me and half because I was overwhelmed with joy that this was once again happening. 

Dear Sojourners,

First if you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ but you’ve happened to come across this blog and have read it to the end I want to tell you without having a religious debate there’s something more. There is a God who created you and loves you more than anything. Regardless of what you’ve done, thought, believed, the questions you have, He wants to take all of those things and answer them, redeem them and make your life have more meaning than you’ve ever had. It’s not childish it’s truth. I know people that have claimed to love God have made it look like He is this tyrant that hates people because of their sin but truth is he hates sin because it hurts his children. I can’t give you the answers of why certain things happened or didn’t happen in your life but I know one thing, He will take the ugliest most horrific things and turn them into something beautiful. Will you let Him? Simply believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord confess with your mouth that He rose from the grave and accept His love. That’s it. Let him do the fixing. 

Secondly dear friend that is hurt because it seems like your prayers are never heard. Maybe you found a different outcome to your circumstance and it doesn’t seem fair. Can I encourage you to keep praying. Don’t close that communication with God. Allow Him to heal you as you pour out the anger, sadness, bitterness, and just plain hurt. He can handle you and your emotions. He won’t cast you off. In fact he will kneel beside you and weep too. Then he will stand you up holding your hand and keep journeying forward until one day, whether on earth or in Heaven, you will get the answers you need. 

No matter where you are in your journey know that His love leads you to a hope that doesn’t disappoint. 

Keep journeying dear friends.

Mo Go

PS if you accepting Christ, have any questions, or would like prayer feel free to leave them in the comment section. If you don’t want them public simply put a * and I won’t publicize them but I will pray for you. ☺️
  

The Journey: Oh How He Loves…

how has God shown you He loves you In the last year? Month? today? What about the last hour? 

Too often we have this idea that God is constantly disgruntled at the human race. Our picture of what the Bible calls “Our first love” (John 17) is so far from loving it’s no wonder we have problems with shame, guilt, condemnation, and fear. 

A huge part of my current journey is choosing to see Jesus as the loving groom I’ve heard about. To allow the one who first loved me to be the one I fearlessly love. 

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” Song of Solomon 2:4

This verse has led me into a question that I hope you too ask yourself. But first think about this, what is a banner? What does it do? Is it something big? Small, unnoticeable? 

One version of the verse above says, “..it’s obvious how much he loves me.”

When I think of a banner I think of a huge covering. Something that is not missed. Something that people know what it symbolizes. A flag. 

So the question I challenge myself to answer every time I see a flag is simply, “How has Jesus shown me His love today?” 

On days like today when it’s hard to count the ways of His love because I cloud my view with unworthy things He sends me treats. 

Treats like a sunset or a reminder of how far He’s brought me. 

Today after going on an unexpected adventure with a dear friend of mine I went on Instagram and found this little gem. 

  
My senior year in high school I met this spunky adorable freshman that I had the honor of walking with through a hard time in her life. This was the beginning of my heart for discipleship. 

7 years later I have found God take what I thought was a hobby and turn it into a full on calling. As I have been on this journey of transition and finding the love that God has for me as His daughter and nothing more I found the fear of losing my identity if I “took a break from my calling”. 

This simple post reminding me of the lengths God called me to take when there was no position gives me assurance that I will be who I’ve been called to be with or without a position in ministry. 

How has He shown me His love today? He’s reminded me of who I am and have been for the last 7 years. 

Dear Sojourner,

You never know what influence you make when you simply do small things with great love. Allow the “small” talents you have be used by His great love and watch lives be changed. Even if you don’t know the impact you make He knows, and He will remind you when you need it most. He loves you. Start counting the ways. 

Dear Andrea, 

You were the first girl that ever had a part of my heart that made me want someone else to be better than I ever was. To see where you are now makes me so happy. Know that God used you to spark a fire in my heart for discipleship and pushing people to be the best. I know God has huge things for you. You’ve come so far and I’m honored to have been used by our Father. It’s all grace. 

Continue on your journey 

Mo Go

  

The Journey: Separation Anxiety

“Mom?”

“Monique? What’s wrong?!”

“I-my stomach hurts. I need to come home.”

” It’s just your nerves. You can’t miss the first day of school.”

“But mom I can’t-I- I need to come home. It’s -it’s more than nerves. I think I’m sick”

“Sigh. You have to stay. You can’t keep doing this.”

“I’m not trying to..I just can’t stay today…”

Up until high school this was a all too normal  phone call my mom would recieve every first day of school. It would start the night before and would end with me in tears not wanting to stay at school. I would be excited for school all summer but for some reason walking into the first class after being outside in the crisp morning air would make me realize that I was stuck. But more than stuck I was away from my MOM. My mind would flood with anxious thoughts of anything and everything ranging from what if I never see her again because something happens to her or what if she chooses not to pick me up. As a child I was scared that I would lose the one who I loved more than myself. This thought plagued haunted me constantly. Going to friends’ houses to spend the night weren’t a norm because I simply missed my mom. There were several times I would go to my aunts house for the summer and within a couple of days I was too sick to stay and she’d have to take me home days early. When I got home it was like my stomach got a dose of the right medicine and things were fine. 

Fear of Separation. To be apart. 

Looking back now I realize that a huge part of why I was so anxious when I wasn’t around my mom for long period of time was a combination of being a mommas girl and fear of being abandoned. Though I was very young when I lived near my dad I believe that a part of me emotionally knew that I had already lost one parent and I had to hold on for dear life or else the other one could be snatched from me too. This caused anxiety that leaked into so many other relationships besides the one with my mom. 

I was listening to Pastor Steven Furticks message, You Had to Be There. He was talking about 1 Kings 17 and how there was a drought sent but God sent Elijah to a brook where He sustained him for a time. God even sent Ravens to feed him, pretty cool right?! I would encourage you to read it. As you read it you will see that God allows the brook that He provided for Elijah to dry up. Pastor Steven then says that  God allowed the brook to dry up because Elijah was obedient to what God had for him and it was time for God to move him to the next step. 

Anxiety: a feeling of worry, fear, nervousness. Anxiety is something that plagues so many people. It can come in small doses that most people can relate to or it can come in dooming mind sets that you can’t shake. Do you think people in the Bible dealt with anxiety? Fear?

Two chapters later we find Elijah in a very different light. 

So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.” Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” (‭1 Kings‬ ‭19‬:‭2-4‬ NLT)

What happened? What happened to the obedient prophet who saw God’s provision. I didn’t even mention but in chapter 18 we find Elijah totally obliterating the idols that the people were believing in. So he was victorious, saw God’s provision more than once but ran.  away. 

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭18‬ NLT)
Too often we lose sight of our sustainer. We forget that God is not a human and believe that He separates himself from us if a circumstance arises that is hard, challenging, or scary. We forget. We believe that because we can’t feel Him, He has separated himself from us, thus creating anxiety that we are alone, abandoned, neglected, punished. We believe the lies that tell us we are worthless, always a mess, too much to handle and God has punished us by separating His love from our hearts. 

But I found a truth that blew my mind. 

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭38-39‬ NLT)

I will end with this. In the book Breaking Free by Beth Moore she talks about how one of the definitions of God’s unfailing  love is a love that is evoked by small babies. She goes on to talk about how when she became a mother her children unlocked a love in her she never experienced. This next truth sealed the fact that I never have to be anxious about the one who loves me more than I will ever fully know will never abandon me. She says, “I once heard a Christian child psychologist explain then necessity of some conflict and power struggle with teenagers. He explained that a certain amount of difficulty most naturally arise as children began to become young adults and parents would never be able to help them out of the nest and onto independence. He commented if the bond we had with them as infants did not change we would never be able to let them go. All our lives God retains the strong feelings towards us that infant evoke and their parents because he never has to let us go! He’s not rearing us to leave home! God is ruining us to come home!”

This journey of choosing to see ourselves the way God does has already proven to be hard but when we choose to align our minds with the truth that He will not leave us we no longer have to believe that from punishment separation will come. We can believe that He is with us every step of the way. 

Dear sojourners,

Don’t give up. You are great. You are loved. You are worth it. Simply because you are alive and breathing. That means there’s still a good purpose for you here on the Earth and God is with you. He wants you to accomplish all that He has for you so that you can finally go home and be with Him. What a beautiful picture of our amazing Daddy. 

Keep traveling friends 

Mo Go

Unexpected Turns

Life has a way of surprising you with unexpected events. Currently if you could see me life you would find me sitting at our local park while my mom and dog, Finley, are finishing their last obedience school day. I just closed the book “Breaking Free” after it led me to tears. Tears of hope. Tears that physically explain all that I want.

In the last few weeks God has shaken my world. He has closed a season of my life where I have worked my dream job in ministry. He has taken me out of a season where trusting Him in provision financially has gone from down right scary to comfortable. Where I worked along side several of my favorite people daily. He has taken what I’ve believed is my calling and is asking me to once again trust Him. He hasn’t done this out of intentions that are any less than the best for me. To get out of the “boo box” or the box of fear that I’m not great. Not great at loving people. Not great at vulnerability. Not great unless I’m with great people. Sadly for too long I’ve chosen this mindset. I’ve chosen to allow fear and accusations to keep me bound to the lies that I’m not good.

As I sit here with the sun setting I feel compelled to answer the question, “what do you want out of life?” The answer has gone from a healthy marriage a good family and to live comfortably with some spontaneously planned adventure. Yeah I’m that person.

I found my want. I want to reach 90 years old and realize that none of my worst fears have over taken me. That I’ve stared fear in the face and have chosen to still know my name. To know that I am a daughter of the most high king. To know that I am loved by Him therefore I’m a beloved one. To know that the things I feared and some I may have to face never over took me because the one that is in me is so much greater than the taunting enemy in the world. I’m reminded that the end goal isn’t a marriage. It’s not to come out of the world with no scars or hurts. It’s not to be comfortable with my job.  But the end goal for my life is to stand before my Heavenly Father and be able to say that I loved in times of hurt, happiness, sadness, hopefulness, wander, pain, joy, adventure and misery. That I showed people Jesus because Jesus showed me who I am. To be 90 or how ever old I am when this world and look back on life knowing that I enjoyed it learned to lean on my beloved and loved people in times that were less than stellar.

No matter how unexpected the turns are in your life will you partner with me and allow this to be your prayer?

One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4

Keep traveling dear friends,

Mo Go

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I Prayed for You 

They say that life comes in seasons. There are times of long joyful sunny days that fade into perfect nights like summer and times of incredible growth and warmth like spring.  These are the seasons where God is everywhere. When singing and thanking Him is inevitable. When we dance before Him and go to sleep with a smile on our faces. 

If there are great seasons then there must also be not so great seasons. You know those seasons where you find yourself doubting more than thanking. Those seasons when you don’t know what’s going on but the growth is slower and the fruit starts dying. Fall isn’t that bad but things just seem off. It’s the calm before the winter  strom.  

I’ve tried to write this blog several times in the last month and a half. To say that these last two months have been hard would be an understatement. From coming home from traveling for most of the month of March I was excited to be back home and have some family time but right when things seemed to slow down is the right time for a spiritual earthquake to happen. 

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,” 

 Winter comes when family members make choices that devastate you, close ones are dying, you’re forgetting who you are and Who God is. No matter what  seeds you plant it feels like something  everything is preventing them from growing. Life then throws fears, circumstances, waves of anxiety, and you find yourself waking up in knots of dread and despair. You question your very identity. You wonder what’s wrong. God’s voice isn’t as loud as it’s been previously. You feel like you’re coming undone or worse being sifted. 

Sifted: v. to go through especially to sort out what is useful or valuable. 

The last two months I’ve felt sifted. I’ve found myself question of my God is really as good as He says? Yes. He is. But maybe it’s me. I’ve done something to take away value so now he’s sifting me, removing me from those that are more valuable. I’ve felt doomed. Seeing people I love and respect go down paths they never wanted to left me feeling like I was doomed to become someone I didn’t want to be. Like I would wake up one day a bad person. That it was fate, inevitable. I was born to be doomed. There are other people that just weren’t born with the same doom destination as I was but I just had to accept the sifting … Ever been there? 

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,” 

As much as these thoughts swirled screamed and demanded my attention there was another thought.

Hope. 

At the beginning of this year I felt that God was going to take me through this journey of reclaiming ground that I once surrendered to the enemy. This reminder sparked something that fueled me to start fighting. I realized that in these moments I believed that God was the loving Father and everything else the Bible says he is, to everyone else but he wasn’t that to me. I had believed lies for so long that God just had bad things for me because that’s what I deserved. My heart broke when I realized that when I agreed with these lies I was calling the only one who has been pure truth, love, satisfaction in my life a liar. To believe that he wanted me sifted because he was done, fed up, tired of me was to believe that everything he has ever said was a lie. I was done with self pity. So I stood up and started fighting, believing that Jesus was fighting with me. 

When you fight you have to have a weapon, not just protection

About a week ago I was walking in target with my mom and I just started crying. I remember telling my mom that through everything that has been going on, I’ve seen my greatest dream fade to my greatest fear. I found myself being afraid of something that I had desired for so long because I didn’t want to mess it up. I was once again scared that I was doomed in everything that I would try. Afraid that God wasn’t on my side. That’s when I remembered Simon. 

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” (‭Luke‬ ‭22‬:‭31-32‬ NLT)

It’s so true, satan asks to do things to us to prove to God that we are not as faithful, loving, pure, righteous, etc. he demands to have us. Too often this is at the forefront of our mind. We worry that God has lifted his hand and given us over to satan’s tactics forever. We forget that 1. satan has to ask permission from God. We see this repeatedly in the Bible. Look at Job: Satan went to God first before he took Job’s possessions and struck him with sickness. Even in Revelation 12 we see that the accuser of our brothers (satan) accuses us day and night before our God. 2. Jesus prays for us! Oh the comfort and joy found in the simple words, “I have prayed for you”. Not only do we have a Holy Spirit inside of us who knows what we need in the moments that we don’t even know but we have a savior who takes time to pray for us. How can I continue to believe that I am doomed and God is done when Jesus took time to pray for me? 

What do you need to reclaim? What are you choosing to believe about God that is not in His character? How are you choosing to fight for a new perspective? Choose to believe that God loves you so much that he sent his son to save you, give you grace, and pray for you. God loves you so much that he gave you his spirit to guide you and know you better than yourself so that he too could pray for you. You are in good hands. Your name is on the most important prayer list. Regardless of the past or the present you will thrive because though the enemy has demanded you, Jesus has prayed for you so that your faith will not fail and once you turn back to him you will strengthen those around you. 

  
Check out Revelation 12, Luke 22, John 17