Dear Sister, You Are Loved

Dear Sister…

You are loved.

I know that may not be exciting news; nothing you haven’t heard before, but it’s true. Originally I wanted to write a letter to you about trust issues because that is my struggle with God right now. After growing up without a Father due to drugs, being let down time after time, and heartbreaks from men I’ve allowed in my life, it wasn’t hard for me to put God in the same box as I placed them. For years I’ve been running between “Yes God I trust You”, and “back in the box You go.”

But I know I can trust God.

Since I know that, I’m determined to trust Him. I’ve looked up many scriptures over the years and found them all very helpful. But tonight the Holy Spirit showed me something in Ephesians 1, 2, and 3. The first two chapters started to look like two long list of God’s love for me. Not just saying He loves me, but they show me how. To name a few off the list:

  • He adopted us
  • Brought peace to us
  • Showered His kindness on us
  • Gave us life
  • Sent His Son for us! My favorite!!

And so much more that I didn’t name. I saw that none of the ways He loves us is repeated in the two chapters because people need to be loved differently. Someone who does not have parents may need to be loved by knowing they have been adopted. Someone that grew up being mistreated may need to be loved by being showered with God’s kindness. Even if you feel like these aren’t areas you “need love” in, our Father gives you all these and more because in all honesty – you do.

Was Paul trying to build our trust in God with these two chapters? Think about it, when someone can love you the way you want to be loved AND MORE!! Being the emotional creatures that we are, we melt like ice cream on a hot day. We will trust that person with our LIFE!!! And with no doubt in sight. So now it all makes sense when in chapter 3:17-18 he says,

Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.

Could it be that he waited to put that in the letter after he has already wooed you with God’s love FOR YOU?! Maybe. Maybe not. But I do know that at the root of our ‘trust issues’ is fear. The fear of being let down, hurt again and any other reason we can think to have fear. Then I’m reminded of 1 John 4:18,

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out [all] fear.

So my prayer for you is Ephesians 3:16-18. May it touch you in the deepest part of your heart that is too fragile to be touched by anyone else but the One Who Is Love. Because my dear sister,

You are loved.

XOXO,

Shantae

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Dear Sister, I’m Human

Dear Sister,

Today I feel…numb. There are a lot of promises I’m waiting on from God. I know they are going to happen. I know God never lies. I trust Him with everything I can. Today I’m just tired.

The wait is long. The frustration rises up frequently. Some days I want to quit. But I can’t. God won’t let me quit. If I quit on God, what’s left?

If I quit, I have nothing to stand on.

No hope.

If I quit, I become a meaningless empty vessel.

If I faint not, at least I have a promise from a faithful God to stand on – something to hope for. At least I have a faith that guarantees me a victory. So I’ll keep waiting, because I have no other option that guarantees me victory. 

Are you waiting on a promise? Are you tired of people telling you to hold on? Faith a little faint? Feeling a little weary?

Yea, me neither…

Galatians 6:9 (KJV)

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Love,

Armeka

Dear Sister, We Win.

Dear Sister,

Today I felt inadequate, and I think it’s due to my independence. Actually, God is showing me that’s what the issue is. I’m independent. Always have been. My mom raised my sister and I by herself, my grandmother raised my mother and her siblings by herself (and though my great grandmother was once married, I heard she too ended up being an independent woman who raised children on her own). So independence was instilled in me from my youth.

However, I learned this weekend while attending the #WeWin Women’s Conference that though we can RELY on humans, we DEPEND on GOD. All this time I have been depending on myself and relying on God. Take note of the difference…

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I’ve been depending on (or being controlled by) my wit, talent, beauty, education, articulation, charm, career and titles; and relying on (or being confident of) God’s use of what I can give to make something happen…this is SO WRONG! Essentially I’ve been saying, “God here’s what I’m working with, let me know what you can do with it, and if you need some help I can tell you exactly how to make it work.”

 

This weekend in a room full of beautiful, educated, talented, successful women I actually felt small – a first for me. Ask any of my friends and family; I am first very confident, secondly I am a major advocate for celebrating women. I’m that person that compliments and praises other women so much that people may or may not question my sexuality. I love God’s daughters! So I’m more of a celebrate than hate kind of girl.

I felt as if all the attributes I had been working with couldn’t compare to half the women I watched and listened to. I gleaned from them and even got some much needed deliverance and spiritual healing! But in envy I thought, “I could never do that. I don’t have the education, title, success, influence, articulation, money, or connection that these women have.”

Well God so kindly reminded me that the connection they had was Him! I had all I needed to make a difference for His kingdom just like they did, but because of my independent spirit, I had the formula written out all wrong!

 

My Formula: Depend on Self (my talent, beauty, education, social connections)  + Rely on God = My destiny, heart’s desires, and success

 

GOD’s Formula: Depend on God + Rely on the attributes He’s blessed me with = My Destiny, heart’s desires, and things so great my finite brain can’t even think                                       to ask for them

My pastor once said that people who operate without the anointing stick out like sore thumbs to people who really know God. He would rather listen to a person who can barely hold a note sing with the anointing than listen to a powerful vocalist sing without it. How many of us have the anointing, and yet choose to operate without it sometimes?

**Raises hand**

I have foolishly prayed, fasted, and sat at my Father’s feet, day in and day out allowing his anointing to be deposited in me, but I banked it like some emergency savings fund. However, I’ve been spending my human attributes like they are a Visa black card, forgetting that these kind of funds eventually deplete, but the anointing is a well that never runs dry.

Sister, are you depending on your own strength while relying on God? Or are you depending on the God who gave you that strength? I had it all wrong up until this weekend. Thank God He let feelings of insecurity and inadequacy overtake me, or I would have never realized just how foolish I have been to depend on me.

I am exactly who God wants me to be, just like you are exactly who God made you to be, but we must be dependent upon Him to truly be ourselves. I’ll leave you with this excerpt from You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide by Holley Gerth.

“Discovering who God made us to be is a lifelong process, and every step of the way we’ll be tempted to be like someone else. Why? Because the enemy of our souls wants us to be like anyone but Jesus. We are closest to and most like Jesus when we are fully being who he created us to be.

You will not thrive, fulfill your God-given purpose, or offer what only you can if you don’t know who you are. And I’m confident you can do this. You’re a warrior and overcomer. You have more strength than it may seem like right now. And you serve a God bigger than you can see.”

 

Be You Sister, but be a You that COMPLETELY depends on HIM.

 

Love,

Armeka

 

P.S. Christ paid a huge price for your life…appreciate it.