Speak Truth to Lies

Speak Truth to Lies BLOG rev2Day 16 of my COVID-19 quarantine.

I woke up this morning and processed my online grocery delivery order via a handy little app I was recently introduced to, only to find several items that I needed were unavailable, and I found myself wallowing in self-pity. At this point in the COVID-19 crisis we are all feeling a lot of emotions, and there is no doubt we are just beginning this marathon. If you are wrestling with anxiety through this crisis I know  you’ll be blessed by the tools I shared in my recent post 10 Tools to Win Your Battle with Anxiety.

I continued to meal prep, cutting up a bunch of veggies I had over bought in bulk and needed to cook before they go bad, listening to Mark chapter 13 on my Dwell Audio Bible app. As the words of Jesus rang through my smart phone, I felt Him tenderly nudge my heart toward truth.

The truth is that I am safe, sound, and have everything I need.

The truth is I enjoy the freedom and privilege of being a citizen in the wealthiest country in the world.

The truth is I am wealthier than 95% of the world’s population. A population that is also enduring this global pandemic without the luxuries of grocery delivery, access to exceptional medical care, the ability to video chat friends and family at whim, Amazon Prime, etc….

The truth is my loved ones are safe, abundantly provided for, and healthy.

The truth is I was born in the most technologically advanced era in human history, with entertainment, education, and connection literally at my fingertips 24 hours a day.

The truth is I lack nothing.

The truth is I am loved by God.

But Jen, if we are loved by God why would He allow something like this to happen to us. That’s an honest question that a few people have asked my husband and I recently. As I stood in my kitchen cooking up an amazing frittata and veggies that will top 3 different delicious homemade gluten free pizzas, I couldn’t help but wonder what God’s up to.

God never promised us a life without suffering, however Paul’s writing to the church in Rome in Romans 5:3b-5 demonstrate how God uses suffering in our lives. “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Speak Truth to Lies VERSE rev2As a Pastor’s wife I have a front row seat to what my husband calls the “Big C” church, that is, the people around the world that love and serve Jesus. Y’all it ain’t always pretty!

The truth is people who claim to love God often don’t live lives surrendered to Him.

The truth is the people of God have made soccer practice on Sundays, more important that gathering as a family in their local church.

The truth is many people who claim to love God haven’t talked to Him in years.

The truth is the average American family attends church 1x a month, which reflects its priority in their lives.

The truth is this generation is moving further and further away from God.

The truth is we’ve been sleeping, and we need a wakeup call.

In Mark 13: 32-36 Jesus is teaching his disciples about the end times and says, “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

COVID-19 has brought tremendous sorrow and tragedy, there is no doubt about that.

But could God be using this crisis to draw the hearts of His people back to Himself?

Could He use this crisis to reset families into healthy sustainable rhythms according to His original design?

Will this be a wakeup call for you and I?

I pray that now more than ever you and I will seek the face of God, surrender our lives to His perfect will, and trust Him. Friends, as fear rises in your heart over the next few weeks and months, speak truth to lies. Instead of spinning out in fear, take back control by sitting down and listing what is true about your actual reality, then read those truths out loud!! Ground yourself in truth, allowing God to use this circumstance to produce endurance, character, and to renew your hope.

Journal & Process

-Use this statement to identify what is true in your current circumstances: The truth is…..

-What do you need to surrender control of to God today?

-What lessons are you learning through this crisis that you will remember years from now?

10 Tools to Win Your Battle with Anxiety

10 Tools Anxiety BLOGThere is an epidemic of anxiety happening in our world. Almost daily friends reach out to us for prayer, desperate for support completely beaten up by anxiety. So, I am going to war! I am fighting for and with you friends and I want to share a few powerful tools that are currently being used by God to help many (including me) win the battle with anxiety.

Each tool that is linked below is a Christ centered resource to encourage you on your journey. I know when I am wrestling with anxiety I am not always in a place – mentally – to read. So, I’ve included a variety of types of resources: books, audio, music, podcasts, etc. I pray that each of these resources will point you to Jesus and given you the strength no matter what you’re facing to “cast all your cares on him, because he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 CSB

God’s Word

There is no greater tool against fear and anxiety than the truth of God’s word. Psalms 55:22 says “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” But it’s one thing to read a verse like that and it’s another thing to live it. Allow God’s word to become life to you, abide in it, and use it to combat every fear.

#1: Author & Bible teacher Rebekah Lyons has put together a list of 30 scriptures you can print, memorize, and soak in. Here is her FREE download:  30 VERSES ON ANXIETY

#2: I have been reading Rebekah’s new book: Rhythms of Renewal: Trading Stress and Anxiety for a Life of Peace and Purpose and it is fantastic! You can grab a copy HERE to dig in.

#3: Or if you’d rather just listen check out her & her husband’s podcast: Rhythms for Life by Rebekah Lyons & Gabe Lyons at this LINK

#4: I have recently fallen in love with God’s word all over again through the Dwell App. This app is an audio Bible that allows you to listen to the words of scripture. The calming music and amazing voices are uniquely and wonderfully different than any other audio Bible I’ve tried. You can access a portion of the content for free but like me I bet you’ll fall in love so quickly that you’ll be totally willing to pay the annual fee of $29.99 ((worth it!!)). I want God’s word to be the first & last thing I hear everyday and this has been a great tool to make that happen. Here is the LINK to the Dwell App.

Worship

“Worry and worship cannot exist in the same space. One always displaces the other. Choose worship.” — Louie Giglio

#5: Worship is a powerful tool to battle anxiety. I recently found out there are entire playlists on Spotify (and I’m sure other platforms) all dedicated to battling fear & anxiety. Check out this playlist or make your own. Here’s a link to my favorite “Fear is a Liar” Playlist on Spotify.

The Psalms of David were often songs filled with truth and powerful tools to fight anxiety. “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56:3-410 Tools Anxiety PS56Let Others Fight for You

There are times in the battle with anxiety that we need others to fight for us and with us. You are NOT alone, and you are deeply loved. If you need someone to fight for you in prayer please contact me, I’d be honored to fight for you! Here are some of my favorite Christian teachers that are fighting for you and me with powerful truth. Each of their own personal experiences with anxiety speak so vividly into our own circumstances. Check them out!

#6: Y’all Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants by Louie Giglio is a MUST READ!! My husband and I both read it last week and WOW! It was beyond fantastic with so many relatable and simple principles to apply. Get you a copy and thank me later! Here is the LINK.

#7: Next on my list to read is Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts by Jennie Allen. I had a chance to hear her testimony about overcoming toxic thoughts at a conference and it left me in tears. Here is a LINK to her book.

#8: Jennie also has an Anxious Thoughts Guide that is available for FREE on her website. I love that it not only provides scripture, but a few activities designed to help you process your thoughts and regain control. Here is the LINK to that resource.

#9: My favorite podcast right now is Jennie Allen’s Made for This podcast. Season 3 is all about her book (above) with some amazing guest speakers. It’s available on all the podcast apps, here is the link for Spotify: Made for This

Journal & Process

#10: Last but certainly not least is my 10/10/10 Exercise! We are seeing breakthrough in so many lives through this simple and effective tool. Print the template and sit with Jesus, allow Him to give you the strength to acknowledge 10 gratitudes, surrender 10 fears, and declare 10 truths. This process carried us through one of the scariest seasons in our lives. I pray it’s a blessing to you! Here is the LINK to my previous blog post with the 10/10/10 Exercise. 

I pray these tools are a blessing to you! Please share this post with a few friends and let’s fight this battle together by God’s grace and strength.

 

 

 

Dependence + Obedience

Dependence + ObedienceAs I look at the life and ministry of Jesus two of His most remarkable attributes are His dependence on and obedience to His Father. I shared a few weeks ago that I have been studying the life and leadership of Jesus in the New Testament since the beginning of the year. I am in awe as I read that repeatedly Jesus took time away to pray, recognizing His need and utter dependence on His Father. Think about it, this is Jesus, the God Man – fully God and fully Man, lives completely dependent. Not only is He dependent but He lives in intimate communion with the Father. It is through that communion and connectedness that obedience flourishes. Jesus lived in obedience to His Father’s will, always doing as the Father commanded Him (John 14:31). You guys, our Savior beautifully modeled perfect dependence and perfect obedience so that we might follow His example!

In my opinion there is no greater illustration of these attributes than Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane in Matthew 26:36-46. Here we get a tiny glimpse into the agony of Jesus’ life just hours before the cross. The incredible relationship Jesus has with his Father led Him to the garden to pray. He was sorrowful and troubled (vs. 37) when he prayed “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (vs. 39b). Yet in obedience, demonstrating his great love for us, He allows the guards to take him rather than calling down legions of angels to his defense (vs. 53). Christ’s obedience resulted in him being falsely accused, mocked, betrayed, beaten, and brutally killed in order that He might secure our salvation and bridge the gap caused by sin between God and man. Wow! How can we do anything but worship when we really think about what His obedience cost.

Dependence + Obedience MATT 26As modeled by Jesus, it is through our dependence (via communion and connectedness to Him) that our obedience grows and our lives flourish. Although the cost of our obedience isn’t usually death on a cross, there is a cost to walking in obedience to Jesus. Far too often we opt out of paying the cost. Independence and disobedience are costly. By choosing them we’re missing the beautiful communion and abundant blessings that come with being fully dependent and obedient on Jesus.

My writing this year is coming from a place of dependence and obedience. I have felt God tugging at my heart for quite some time to write consistently and have reasoned His voice away with busyness. I have been disobedient and really had to repent before Him. As I seek His face, “He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3b. I am so grateful for His merciful and consistent presence leading me back to His will in this one of many examples.

If you find yourself humbled by the awareness of your own disobedience, you are in good company. Be encouraged by this truth shared by Priscilla Shirer in Awaken: 90 Days with the God who Speaks:

“Even when we’ve chosen unwisely, even when we’ve relished our stubborn resistance, He remains eager to express these beautiful elements of His character to us. He longs to receive the rebellious back into His welcoming arms. He loves seeing His grace exalted and watching it change us into His image. Nothing we’ve done, no matter how devastating or devious, can push us too far out of His love to reach us, rescue us, and restore us. When we call to Him, He hears us.” (pg.135)

Call upon Him today, allow Him to restore your soul, to lead and guide as only He can!

Questions for reflection, prayer, & journaling

– What is one thing you feel God asking you to walk out in obedience?

– How does Jesus’ relationship with His Father inspire you?

– Are you willing to pay the cost to walk in obedience?

Distracted.

Distracted BLOGWe began the new year with 21 days of prayer and fasting with our church family. Daily I sat at the feet of Jesus with an open heart & open Bible longing for Him to speak. During those few weeks something changed in me. I could feel it, like a fire was lit from deep within. There is something about fasting that provides tremendous clarity and purpose. Years from now we’ll remember with awe and wonder how God transformed our lives during the prayer and fasting of 2020.

One of the areas God continually addressed throughout the fast was how distracted I have been. Distracted by the “good” but not the “best.” Distracted by the constant noise of a busy life. Distracted by my to-do list that I had consistently put as a priority over Jesus.

In the quiet of the fast, God spoke.

With great intention I began my days with 2 hours of silence, stillness, prayer, bible study, journaling, and reading. I kept my cell phone on the other side of the house determined to not let anything distract this sacred space. The adjustment to being without my phone was both brutal and revealing, wow I had given it so much power over me.

Halfway through the fast we traveled to Ohio for a family visit and attended Oasis Church in Norwalk. Pastor Vince Cooper spoke a timely word titled “It is Possible to have Clarity” about Mary & Martha in Luke chapter 10. Let’s take a look at the story…

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 ESV

I can relate to Martha, can’t you? She was focused on caring for her VIP guests, stressing over hospitality, while missing the opportunity to sit at Jesus’ feet. She was allowing her to-do list to rob her of the privilege of intimacy with the Master.

Here are some insights that Pastor Vince shared that were so powerful!

“Details are important, but they are not the most important.”

“Distraction disables relationship.”

“Martha not only missed what Jesus was saying, she was also trying to get others distracted.”

“Don’t be distracted & don’t be distracting.”

“You will always have distraction. You have to choose; will you be divided by the distractions or will you put them away?”

“What are you going to do when Jesus says, nope?”

Pastor Vince Quote BLOGY’all I’m all about the details, if you need details, I’m your girl! But my, oh my! I am learning that details are not more important than Jesus. If you’re a recovering Martha like me, let’s say that out loud together: details are NOT more important than Jesus.

I am learning that living a distracted life will disable my relationship with Him. I am learning to not live in such frantic constant movement that I am unable to hear His still small voice. I am convicted by the countless times I have been not only distracted but distracting to others. Oh Lord let this be a lesson that transforms my life forever.

One thing is necessary friends, one thing. Let’s sit at the feet of Jesus and not allow distraction to rob us from His very best.

Questions for reflection, prayer, & journaling
– When was the last time you sat quiet & alone at the feet of Jesus?
– What one distraction is God calling you to surrender today?
– How have you been both distracted & distracting?

Friends if my brief notes from this message ministered to you, I highly recommend checking out the replay from Oasis Church Facebook live at this LINK. Thank you to Pastor Vince Cooper for permission to share my take-aways from his message.

Fear Not

Fear Not blog (1)Last year I shared our journey through a particularly difficult season + a tool the Lord gave us to navigate that season. It was one of the most popular posts I’ve ever shared, if you missed it, check it out here. Throughout the journey and still today, fear often shows its ugly head in our lives. Don’t you wish these lessons were one and done? Anyone else find themselves circling the same mountains over & over again?

Apparently, I’m not alone as evidence by many popular worship songs, Spotify playlists, and books dedicated to the theme of overcoming fear. My favorite is the song “Fear Is A Liar” by Zach Williams. These lyrics absolutely nail the subtle, sneaky depth where fear takes hold, then battles those lies with bold truth. Fear IS a liar! Check out the chorus below…

“Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar”

I recently walked through the 10/10/10 Exercise and journaled my 10 gratitudes, fears, and truths. It was interesting that my fears were a spectrum of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It was so life giving & revealing to take pen to paper and write out my fears. I actually had to laugh out loud. Wow! The enemy had me walking in fear and believing all kinds of lies. If you’re feeling that way, you’re not alone!

The phrase “fear not” appears in the Bible 158 times (ESV, Bible Gateway). It is most often used by God (or angels) to console those being addressed and encourage them to trust in God’s plan no matter their current circumstances. Many times, this phrase is accompanied by humans falling on their faces in holy reverence before God or angels, which seems perfectly appropriate. Fear has often had me on my face before God.

“Fear not” is used three times as Jesus instructs his Apostles about ministry in Matthew 10: 26-31. Check out these verses:

“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10: 26-31

Fear Not Quote blog revDr. Tony Evans makes these observations on this passage, “What motivation does Jesus offer to enable them to become fearless? First, there is nothing hidden that won’t be made known (10:26). No persecution of God’s people, then, will remain secret forever. God will turn the tables. Second, there’s no need to fear those who have temporary power in history; believers rightly fear the one who has limitless power in eternity (10:28). Third, God the Father has great love for his children. He’s sovereign over the events of your life. Nothing comes to you that hasn’t first passed through his fingers. His children are valuable to Him (10:29-31).” (The Tony Evans Bible Commentary, page 882-883, emphasis added)

Let’s say that again: NOTHING comes to you that hasn’t first passed through his fingers. You & I are valuable to Him.

I am encouraged through this text to fear not: in the complex and in the daily grind of life. God cares. He sees all, knows all, and is in control of all. He cares so much about the details that He has given a number to each of the hairs on my (& your) head. He is a good, good Father and He is trustworthy. As I combat fear with truth I hold on to these verses for life.

Questions for reflection, prayer, & journaling
– What are your 10 gratitudes, 10 fears, & 10 truths?
– How does Matthew 10 encourage your walk of faith?
– What truths sustain you in difficult seasons?

Keeping Our Eyes On Jesus

Keeping our eyes on Jesus blogI have been studying the life & leadership of Jesus since the new year with a renewed sense of awe and wonder. Matthew chapter 14 particularly hit me as throughout several experiences Jesus models both perfect humanity and all-powerful deity.

As the chapter begins, we learn about the brutal, vicious, and horrific murder of John the Baptist. Jesus finds out what happened and is notably affected by this devastating loss. John the Baptist was not only His cousin but shared a significant space in God’s story (HIStory) with Jesus. John was God’s chosen messenger, preparing the way for Jesus (Matthew 11:10). Jesus desired to get away and be alone, so he departed by boat.

As always, people were in need all around Him, following Him by foot from town to town. So, his alone time was put on pause while He selflessly and compassionately heals all the sick. After abundantly providing lunch for 5K men (plus women and children) and simultaneously teaching his disciples an incredible leadership lesson, He still needs that time away. No doubt the loss of John the Baptist was heavy on His heart and the long days of ministry were exhausting. So, He puts His disciples on a boat, dismisses the well-fed crowd, and spends the night alone in prayer. Even the perfect Son of God required regular connection to the Father and self care.

Meanwhile a storm is brewing…

As we pick up the story in Matthew 14: 24 I love the response of the disciples! Keep in mind they have been with Jesus for quite awhile and have seen incredible miracles, but their minds are utterly blown when they see Jesus walking on water!! Like whattttt!!! Of course, Peter wants in on the action and is the first to jump at the chance to walk on water.

“And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those in the boat worshiped him and said, “Truly you are the Son of God.”” Matthew 14: 29b-33 CSB

When Peter takes his eyes off Jesus and looks at the wind, fear settles in his heart. He took steps forward and was doing fine, but as soon as he takes his gaze off Jesus and sees the strength of the wind Peter starts to sink. Isn’t that just like you & I? When we take our eyes off Jesus, focusing on the storms, stress, & struggles in our lives, we begin to sink too.

Peter was a fisherman with lots of experience in powerful storms. His experience no doubt informed his fear. Many times, in his past he witnessed the powerful destructive capabilities of wind, rain, & storms. In that moment he relied on his experience rather than his faith in Jesus.

Faith water blogFaith will take us out of the familiar every time.

It doesn’t matter how powerful the storm, or what our past experiences, abilities, or limitations are trying to take us under. God controls the storm! God can do anything, far beyond what we can even ask or think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Nothing is impossible to our God if we will keep our eyes on Him. (Luke 1:37)

I don’t know about you but verse 31 ministers so much grace to me. Even when Peter failed to keep his eyes on Jesus, Jesus still caught him. Thank you, Father, for being the type of loving, compassionate, and merciful Father than catches us when we fall.
Wherever you are today and whatever you are facing. Keep your eyes on Jesus! If you’ve fallen, reach for His hand and He will catch you. Nothing is impossible because He controls the storm.

Questions for reflection, prayer, & journaling
– Are the storms that you are facing more impossible than walking on water? (Hint: nope they’re not)
-What is Jesus calling you to in this season?
-How can you rely on His voice and step out in faith in this storm?

Transformation Tuesday featuring Monica Simpson

TT Monica BLOG

How many of you have been inspired and blessed by these amazing personal journey’s of transformation? I know I have!! Today’s Transformation Tuesday is featuring a beautiful friend of mine, Monica Simpson. Monica and I first met during our counseling internship many years ago. In this post she shares her incredible transformation journey to becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor. Enjoy!

************************************

My Journey to Becoming an LPC – Inspiration to Motivate and Give Hope

by Monica Simpson

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

I never saw myself as a risk taker. I never dreamed of running my own business. Speaking in front of people or even confidently helping people through their difficulties was not on my radar. In fact, I’ve played it safe for most of life; I followed the rules and did what others expected of me.

When I began college, I had a deep desire to break out of my self-imposed box and blossom into the person I felt God wanted me to be. Looking back, I can confidently say that this was the beginning of my journey. I didn’t know it would take me another 30 plus years before I truly felt that I was walking in my purpose…in my truth.

Blossom Quote BLOG rev

In those formative years I had glimpses of the woman inside of me waiting to blossom-a tight bud on the verge of blooming. After college graduation, and before international travel became mainstream, I worked in several different countries as a single woman, I started a small bookkeeping business, had two wonderfully strong and resilient daughters, and people came to me with their problems seeking advice or just a supportive ear.

But there were also years when I lost track of myself; I became pregnant while in college. I got married because I was afraid of being a single parent but became a single parent anyway for 17 years after our divorce. I stayed in unfulfilling jobs – too scared to leave for financial reasons, but also too unfulfilled to shine and progress in my field as an accountant.

I was discouraged and I knew God desired more of me, but I didn’t know what that looked like or what I was supposed to do. Four years after my divorce I took a leap of faith and decided to make a career change, which I knew would entail returning to school. My daughters were 5 and 15 – one ready to begin kindergarten and the other one entering high school.

I felt I had a natural talent of helping people – many of friends sought my insight. I returned to school to become a counselor with the vague idea of working for a company that helps people. Sounds good, right? I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had a business undergraduate degree. The only psych class I had taken was Psychology 101. Now I was surrounded by concepts that I had not been exposed to before. My learning curve was steep, but I was both confident and determined that I could be successful in all the arenas of my life: single-parent, full-time employee and master’s degree student.

Just when I felt I had it all figured out I was thrown a major curve ball. As part of the master’s program, students were required to complete 500 counseling hours prior to graduation. Where was I going to find time in my already stretched-thin schedule? How could I possibly do it all? I couldn’t see a way and knew that God would have to provide because I was all out of ideas. He blessed me in a way I never saw coming – I was laid off from my job, with full pay and benefits for 6 months. In one fell swoop, He afforded me the time and money to complete my degree. God was gracious and I had never felt more encouraged to finish the task before me.

I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southern Christian University (now Regents University), the same year my daughter graduated from high school. Pride welled up inside of me thinking of us, together, on the brink to our futures. I believed that all my career desires were at my fingertips. And I was reminded, once again, that God’s plans were way bigger than mine.

In order to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas, applicants are required to complete 3,000 supervised counseling hours. I was back to working full-time and as a single mom with a family to support I could not imagine taking a drastic pay cut in order to complete my hours. I was overwhelmed with the weight of discouragement. I added hours to my full time job and began seeing clients in the evenings after work and on weekends. I prayed for God’s intervention, but once again I was wanting God to follow my plan: I’ll get married, my husband would support me, and I could quit my day job or at the very least work part-time. I know now that I was leaning on my own understanding and ability and not God’s. I had learned, again, that His way is so much better than my way.

I didn’t get married. I didn’t quit my full-time job. I prayed and relied on God to show me how this obstacle would be overcome. I became discouraged as I saw some of my fellow interns complete their hours in as little as 20 months while I was still slogging through my journey with no foreseeable end in sight. I held on to the belief that God would not have brought me on this journey just for me to abandon my calling. The longer my journey lasted, the more convinced I became that something bigger was happening. My journey could not just be for my benefit.

Monica Quote BLOG

Five years, 70 months, later I finally completed 3,000 hours. Finally. During that time, while I worked feverishly to meet the deadline set before me, my prayer life and full surrender to God was the strongest it had ever been. That was 4 ½ years ago. Last year, I stepped out on faith and left my full-time corporate job to work in my very own private practice full-time. What a beautiful, perfectly packaged gift God has cushioned and prepared each step that I have taken. I thank Him for each new client that calls my office because I know this is the client that God has for me. I’m often amazed and grateful for all that He has done for me, the opportunities that have come my way.

I believe that had I not stepped out in faith and courage; I would not be where I am now. I’m living in my purpose, in my truth: to strengthen families by helping, exhorting, and encouraging individuals and couples.

Above all else, seek Him always.

************************************

Wow! Monica’s story is one of perseverance and hope. It encouraged me to never give up, keep holding onto Jesus, trust in His plan, and to not compare my journey to others. Thank you Monica for sharing your story with us today. Your transformation is truly inspiring!

Share in the comments what encouraged or challenged you the most for your own journey? How would trusting in God’s plan for your life change your current outlook or circumstances? What is holding you back from blossoming?

Anyone else struggle with selfcare? Join me next week as I share some powerful insights that have transformed my life!