Dear Sister, Don’t Get Robbed

Dear Sister,

“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:27 NLT

The answer to Matthew’s question is, “NO!” Worries cannot add a single moment to your life, but it can certainly rob you of many (also worry equals stress and stress can actually kill you, so yea…that’s a thing). I was smacked with this reality as I sat down to talk to God about finances, and he quickly reminded me of his instruction in the sixth chapter of Matthew.

You see, I can be a bit of a worrier when it comes to finances. I want to be a good steward. I want to get out of debt. I want to create a savings account that I’m not depleting when a check doesn’t stretch far enough to reach the next pay day. I want financial freedom and peace! Sadly, I always revert back to doing something about it on my own. I mull over what I can do to make things different, and I obsessively plan more ways to cut back or conjure up methods to make more money.

God had to remind me that none of that is the answer.

He says, “Seek my kingdom above all else, and live righteously, and I will give you everything you need.”

And I’m over here like, “Yea God that’s nice, but uuuuum I’m praying, fasting, tithing, attending church twice a week, and haven’t cussed today and you STILL haven’t miraculously erased this student loan debt. AND I had to use my credit card for emergency purposes after paying it off, Bruh! How righteous do I need to get?”

[Insert God facepalming himself after speaking with me]

After a few minutes of frustration, I decided to switch gears and start thanking Him. I thanked Him for employment and the resources given to me. I thanked him for my husband embarking on a new career move (after being unemployed and freelancing for a year and a half)! I thanked him that we have a savings account to turn to at all, even if it has to be pinched sometimes – at least it’s there when needed! I thanked him for being healthy, never hungry, and certainly not homeless…and then peace came over me. A peace I can’t buy. A peace that no amount of money in the bank can provide. A peace that trumps even the greatest financial peace! You know the kind that Paul said would pass all understanding. God spoke to my heart letting me know that as long as I did my best to be a good steward, the only other thing I have to do is trust and rest in Him.

Our job is to seek His kingdom, pay our tithes, and be responsible with the resources He provides. In His time the debt will be paid off and the savings account will grow. Tomorrow is already secured, BUT ONLY THROUGH HIM. God makes it possible to prepare for tomorrow with wisdom, without worrying about tomorrow.

So why let our preparations for a better tomorrow rob us of today’s moments?

Think about it…

Love,

Armeka

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Dear Sister, Stay True

 

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.” Philippians 4:1

Dear Sister,

Life happens. Faith is tested. God is questioned. Faith waivers. Isn’t it amazing that we are told to stay true to the Lord?

The reality is… we expect God to stay true to us all the time, but we put conditions on us staying true to Him. Things don’t go as WE plan and all of a sudden the Lord’s ways and character are questioned.

Staying true to the Lord means keeping our eyes on Christ. Even in the midst of “I didn’t get the promotion I wanted; No one will hire me; I’m in my mid 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and still don’t see my life partner in sight; I want to move out of mom’s house and have my own, but my finances are a whole different story! My financial situation is just a mess.” Stay true to the Lord.

Staying true to the Lord starts with our perspective. Colossians 3 tells us to set and keep our eyes on the things of heaven, where Christ sits, and not the things of earth. There is something unexplainable that happens when we focus on God and not our current frustrations or disbeliefs; things start to shift. Ok, you didn’t get the promotion you were seeking, but you can praise God for the job you have! You’re struggling financially and moved back with mom and dad or with a relative, but you’re not on the street. Maybe you lost your car, well thank God for Uber!…just a little bit of serious humor for you.

It’s amazing how grateful you get when your eyes are locked on God’s goodness. One of my favorite hymns says “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

My prayer for you: Father, thank you for the beautiful soul that is reading this. Whatever “life happens” moment that they are in, I ask for a steady heart. May they have a new hunger for Your Word and a transformed perspective because of Your glorious light that shines from within it. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Love,

Shantae

Dear Sister, I’m Married, Now What?

Dear Sister,

I’m married.

After a five-year relationship that ended in a failed two-year engagement.

After spending another few years chasing after everything but God.

After ceasing to run and actually letting God change me.

After waiting and watching others move on to become wives and mothers, and learning to celebrate them instead of being envious.

I’m FINALLY married… now what?

Well, I adore my husband, but life does not begin or end with him. It STILL begins and ends with God, and it always will.

I wish I could tell the me from years ago to let go and enjoy life, because the desires of my heart are God’s responsibilities and not mine. That just because I have a warm body in my bed at night, doesn’t mean I’ll never feel lonely again. That just because I married the man of my dreams doesn’t mean I’ll never feel unfulfilled again. That just because I have someone cheering me on everyday, doesn’t mean I’ll never doubt myself again.

I once made the mistake of thinking that life would be “fixed” once I met my soulmate. Thankfully, God took me through a solid season of singleness to prove that life was already fixed. Today I am absolutely grateful that God took me through that season. I’m reminded of that season when my husband has to work out of town for days at a time, leaving me in a new city to fend for myself. Or when he wants to do something manly that I have absolutely no interest in. Or when I want to do something girly that he has absolutely no interest in. Or when I have to step out and befriend others, because I just want to fellowship with someone other than him.

If you are currently waiting on God for your spouse, I challenge you to relax. Because, once you get married there will be new challenges, new desires, new goals and the method will be the same: TRUSTING GOD. Sure, you’ll have a husband to achieve those with, but you won’t want to make the mistake of thinking that he is the source of your joy.

Learn to live now without a husband, so you can truly know how to live with him. Learn how to appreciate moments alone as much as you desire to enjoy moments with your future husband. Learn how to enjoy life with just you and God, so you don’t wake up after “I do” thinking, “Now what?”

Love,

Armeka

Dear Sister, Be Honest

Dear Sister,

When was the last time you were honest with God? I’m talking brutal, vulnerable, ugly truth, maybe even angry honest.

We all want to be intimate with God. We want to walk closely with him, we want that “God is my best friend” relationship. Right? Well, what if I told you intimacy requires complete honesty. Even when it’s the ugly truth kind of honesty, because God enjoys phony relationships just as much as you do.

I stumbled upon this gift as I walk through a very hard season. A disappointing, discouraging, faith bruising season. But I’ve become so free, and so close to God by pouring out my honest feelings.

I’ve been really angry with God. Disappointed with Him. Pissed if you will. But I didn’t find any freedom until I opened my mouth and told Him. One trial and disappointment after another, and here I am trying to be a good daughter that doesn’t complain (because you know complaining isn’t cool). But I’m learning that sharing your true feelings with God and asking Him to tend to your brokenness is not complaining – it’s honesty. It’s intimacy. The kind of intimacy David experienced with God, because He wasn’t afraid to tell the Lord how he truly felt (see Psalm 77).

I had a friend that wrestled with thoughts for days; concerns just burning her brain up. When she called me for a vent and prayer session, I let her say all she needed to say. As she spoke, The Holy Spirit whispered to me, “She wants XYZ, and she’s afraid I am not going to give it to her. She’s afraid I will disappoint her, but she won’t tell me.” So I told her what He said, and her response was, “I don’t want to seem like I’m ungrateful or complaining.”

Aha! Sister, we’ve been given the “children of Israel” warning so often, that we think our honesty is complaining. But if you read the Psalms, you’ll see that even the man after God’s own heart just had to tell it like it was some days. The difference is this: complaining is whining consistently about your circumstance, honesty is telling God how you feel and then leaving it on the altar. He heard you, He knows, and He’s going to fix it; no need to whine about it anymore.

Honesty brings peace. David must have figured out early on that you can’t really be comfortable in God’s presence, praising and worshipping Him when you have undisclosed thoughts and feelings about Him or anything else for that matter. So you might as well just tell Him how you feel, because He already knows, but He’s not going to intrude.

Disappointed? Frustrated? Concerned? Tell Him, and watch Him fix you and then fix the very thing you were brave enough to be honest about.

Here’s my honesty…

 

After weeks of crap, I finally said, “Okay, enough with the good daughter act. God I am disappointed! You told me I am blessed, and I feel not so blessed. You told me this was a new season, and things got worse, not better. You promised me a lot of things that appear to move farther away from me day by day. And lastly I feel like you lied, like you didn’t keep your word. And you know that cuts deep, because you gave me an earthly father that rarely kept his word through my childhood and I am still being healed of those issues.”

When I verbally vomited all that crap out, peace came over me. There, I said it! Now the elephant in the room of my heart can be addressed. God can finally step in and minister to my spirit, and that’s exactly what He did! He reminded me of His Word. He reminded me of His love (a love so crazy that He let His son die a gruesome death to prove). He reminded me that He NEVER lies and NEVER breaks promises. So I know those feelings were bogus, and that the enemy needed to be rebuked. He promised me that He always finishes what He starts. He reminded me that I was blessed, despite my feelings. He even showed me some things from my childhood that I needed to let go of. So I asked Him to help me, and He lovingly obliged.

You see Sister, He’s a gentleman. He respects our free will, and He’s not going to just barge in and fix you up. He wants you to give Him permission. He wants you to tell Him how you really feel, even if they aren’t happy feelings. And then He wants to fix you… often before He fixes the situation, but that’s cool (lol).

John 8:32

“… and the truth will set you free.”

Love,

Armeka

 

P.S. This letter has a part two 🙂

Dear Sister, Be Iron.

Dear Sister,

It’s been a while since I’ve written you, and I’ve gone through fifty shades of hell since my last letter. Somewhere along the way I must have pissed satan off, because I’ve been crushed on every side. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 has never been so real.

My character has been questioned, I’ve been attacked financially, emotionally, mentally, and even physically (hello CT scan). I’ve taken blow after blow and finally broke down and cried out in anger, “God, what’s the deal?”

For the record, God can handle your anger. It’s okay, and it’s actually a part of intimacy. So I yelled at the one person who can pull my plug if He wanted to. But I needed to be honest – brutally honest! And that honesty brought me peace, and allowed Him to address everything that was on my angry heart. It was the invitation for healing.

A few days ago the straw that broke the camel’s back finally landed. Anger and frustration were the only emotions I could muster up. My mom’s response was, “You’re frustrated and tense, and you need to relax.” As she began to remind me of the Word, I abruptly stopped her speech and said, “Ma, I know the scriptures, and I don’t want to hear your scriptures. Right now I don’t want to hear anything about God’s Word, because I’ve been quoting it for years, and here I stand disappointed (again). Save your scriptures.”

After a 12-hour work day and a car out of commission, my little sister offered me a ride home and told me I needed to vent …and then maybe we could pray.

Pray? Ha! I had been trying to pray for two days, and all I could get out was tears and the words, “God I don’t want to talk to you. I have nothing to say.”

I agreed to let my sister pick me up. On the ride home she told me, “Girl I saw your face when your mama told you to relax, and I was scared for her. You looked like you wanted to go through her.”

Cue Laughter.

“But I understand how you feel,” she said. “Some days are so hard, the last thing you want to hear is a scripture, because it feels like they don’t apply to you. Like you’re left out. I’ve felt that way before.”

Empathy.

I told my sister everything that I was holding inside. I cussed. I cried. I shook my fists and held my head in my hands until my brows burned from the friction of my palms anxiously rubbing across them. She chimed in every now and then, agreeing with points I made and sharing that she had dealt with some of the same emotions. Then she said, “Okay, let’s pray.”

Ministry.

She prayed, and when it was my turn I let tears and words flow out to God like a seven-year-old telling their dad about a bad day at school. When I was finished, she said, “Your prayers are always so beautiful. Even your angry ones.”

Peace.

Romans 12:15 instructs us to weep with those who weep, but some of us are so saved we just throw scriptures at those who weep as if empathy is unbiblical.

BREAKING NEWS: EMPATHY IS THE PERFECT VEHICLE TO MINISTRY!

When you weep with those who weep, what you will find on the other end is a heart ready to receive ministry. I think those who weep with others are the perfect vessels of iron. Their words comfort and cut you at the same time, but you don’t mind, because true friends are iron sent by God to sharpen you. My sister sharpened me that night.

The following night I had dinner with a girlfriend who is filled with 51 years of God’s wisdom and love. Every conversation I have with her sharpens me. She thinks she’s normal, I think she’s an angel on earth. Life wasn’t easy for her, so she understands my story. She empathizes when we talk about my childhood, my desires, my struggles. She reminded me to correct my thinking. She reminded me of God’s faithfulness. After a rough childhood, a disloyal husband, abortion, single parenthood, and breast cancer, she still boasts of God’s faithfulness. Her testimony and love for God won my friendship. Her empathy sealed the deal. So when she challenges me to correct my thinking and points me back to God’s word, I listen.

Sister, I challenge you to be iron. Weep with those who weep. Rejoice with those who rejoice. And when you need sharpening, God will send iron.

Love,

Armeka

 

Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Dear Sister, It’s Just Around The Bend

“I’m. Frustrated. Like, I want to crawl in bed, cry and eat ice cream, frustrated.”

Those are the words I typed in my notes on my phone on April 29, 2016 as I sat in my car during my lunch break. My day started out pretty good; I’ve recently been promoted on the job and I adjusted pretty nicely to the workload and the new coworkers… Or so I thought. To make the long story short I have that one coworker who wants to make me feel left out. For the whole two weeks I’ve been in my new position I’ve heard, “Oh I forgot about her,” “Oh I forgot about you. Sorry.” Every single day. I never really noticed it until that day and for whatever reason, it hit me hard. Like a ton of bricks. Not to mention, it was on my mind so much that I hit my car on the wall in the parking garage on my way to get my lunch (hence the note in my phone).

And of course the enemy, not being someone who plays fair, took the opportunity to pounce on my emotions. It started with my coworker’s words repeating in my head, because growing up I’ve felt abandoned and forgotten about. The next day satan kept feeding me more lies. So not only was I forgotten about, but I was also going to be lonely for a long time and probably wouldn’t get married until I’m 40. I haven’t had a boyfriend since high school, just guys with no real commitment, because who would commit to someone like me? I stayed up late playing these thoughts in my head until I finally broke down and talked to God and eventually cried myself to sleep. Sunday unfortunately was no better; the enemy then pulled the regret card. I was flooded with negative thoughts about how I haven’t really experienced life like others around me. Some of the regrets that came to mind were:

  • I didn’t attend my ring dance or prom because of my insecurities
  • I’ve never been in a real relationship (and wishing I was or at least had one from the past to talk about during girls night)
  • I’ve never experienced the college life

So I’m sure you see by Monday I was emotionally drained. I was ready for work to be over with as soon as I woke up, staying in the bed felt better than getting up and facing another long day. But I got up and pressed on. Once I got to work I received a text from a friend who wanted to go to soaking prayer at my church. I definitely didn’t feel like doing that, but something in me couldn’t deny that I needed to go. That whole day at work I filled my spirit with uplifting music and sermons from the Elevation church app (check it out sisters, my most used app). And to be completely honest, I was still in a bad mood but I was fighting it the best way I could. Finally I got off work and was about to tell my friend I was just going to head home, but I couldn’t because I knew she really wanted to go. Once I got in the church I made up in my mind that I wasn’t going to waste my time while I was there. I kicked off my shoes and laid on the altar steps.

“Help me God, I’m so desperate. I don’t know what to say or do anymore. But I know I need You. Help me Father. I need You. I hate feeling like this, and I hate feeling like it’s so hard to reach You.”

In that moment I just pushed my way into praising Him and using the authority He has given me as His child to come against satan and his lies. I really had to fight. I finally got through sisters, and God’s peace came over me. When I went back to my seat, three women came and prayed over me, two I’ve never met and one I’ve come to know as a sister in Christ. I remember hearing words like “Struggle. Peace. You are not alone. God is moving in you right now.” We all broke out in tongues and I felt even more weight leave me.

Once we were done the woman I knew asked how I was doing. I shared my regrets and the attack on my emotions. She said some things that will stick with me forever…

  • I have to FIGHT

When satan feeds you lies and attacks your emotions, he’s trying to get you to back away from God. By questioning God and giving up. Which means you’re backing away from the promises of God. Girl! Flip it on him and feed him with the Word of God. He’ll go running! But not without a fight.

 Therefore submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

  • The enemy is a sheepdog

You read it right. A sheepdog! God is our Shepherd, meaning we are His sheep. And guess what, the sheepdog works for the Shepherd. The only job of a sheepdog is to get the sheep to go where the Shepherd wants them to go. In this case he is chasing us right toward our promises.

  • When satan fights hard, your promises are just around the bend

Papa knows our hearts desires sisters. And as long as they are pure and in His will, He will give us those things. The enemy knows that and because of his jealously towards us, he doesn’t want us to have them. So as we get closer and closer to that bend that leads to our promises, he attacks with all he can to get you to back away from God with thoughts of wanting to quit and ‘how long do I have to go through this?!’

These encouraging words from my sister have given me the fire I need! I was also reminded that the things God has for me in the future will be so mind blowing I’ll forget my regrets of the past. So what I didn’t go to ring dance or prom, imagine what my wedding will be like! So what I didn’t experience the college life, I’ve been promoted to a job that requires a degree that I don’t have.

Sisters, I’m still fighting this battle, my situation has not changed. However, my mindset has.

Romans 12:2 Tells us to renew (re-establish; give fresh life or strength to) our minds every day!!

So I’ll let that little sheepdog chase me towards the bend that leads to the promises that my Father has for me. And I’ll kick him with my legs (the Word) when he gets too close so he knows to back off. And I’m not running because I’m afraid, I’m running because I know great things are waiting for me. Now that all that is out in the open, here are some kicks!!

Luke 10:19

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over ALL power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 

Deuteronomy 31:8

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

 

These are just a few, the Word is full of what we need to stay strong in these battles against the enemy. Keep running sisters, at just the right time you will reap a harvest of blessings if you don’t give up!!

 

Xoxo,

Shantae

 

 

Dear Sister, Your Grass Is Green

I asked my mom for tennis shoes my 7th grade year, and I was expecting a pair of Nikes or Jordans like the other kids. I didn’t realize my mom couldn’t afford them. My mom’s solution – a pair of Avias. She assured me that it was a legit name brand because they (whoever “they” are) used to wear them when she was growing up. I failed to remember my mom grew up in the backwoods of North Carolina, so what “they” wore back then was probably less than popular. Needless to say I was teased for my choice of footwear, and then it dawned on me…I had less than what the other kids had. The absence of the things I wanted and my mom’s inability to purchase them became more apparent – and then the emotions followed. Jealousy, sadness, and anger rolled together and left me feeling “left out.”

Fast-forward years later and I feel like I’ve had front row seats to everyone else’s celebrations. Engagements, marriages, babies, home purchases, jobs with salaries that make you want to slap your boss. Am I happy for these people? Of course! Yet, there are still days that I am left asking, “God, what about me?” I go back to that little girl in the 7th grade wishing my life was as good as the other kids. I’ll admit that some days I remind Him of all the fasting, praying, seeking, and working I’ve been doing (just in case He forgot), only to hear Him say, “Armeka, if you are doing these things just to get something out of me, then you shouldn’t do it at all.”

[Pause]

 Attitude check…

 Do I do these things to have my wishes granted, or because God is a loving, faithful, sacrificing Father and Friend?

 I do it because He loved me first. And He sent Jesus to die a gruesome death so this little brat named Armeka could have eternal life.

 [Now that that’s cleared up]

 

So in frustration I cry out, “Well God when does abundant living kick in!? Why do I feel like I am picking up the crumbs of abundance while everyone else is riding off into the abundant sunset with their awesome jobs, nice homes, and adorable families?!”

 

And then He begins to remind me that my grass is green. Though it may look greener in the yards next to me, my grass is GREEN! Not brown, not that ugly, withering, yellowish color that dry weather sometimes brings, but GREEN!

 

So I have to make it a point to apply Philippians 4:6-9 to my perspective:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.

 My mom couldn’t give me tennis shoes and other material things, but she taught me how to pray and seek counsel from the Holy Spirit. She introduced me to a loving God and a personal Savior who owns it ALL! All these things will last me longer than the most expensive pair of tennis shoes in the world – in fact, GOD could GIVE ME ALL the tennis shoes in THE WORLD if He wanted to (but I don’t like tennis shoes anymore).

Sister, your grass is GREEN. If ever you forget that, I implore you to make a list of reasons to be thankful and thank God for those things every time you feel less than blessed. Here are a few items from my list:

  • My relationship with God
  • An awesome Mom and sister
  • My small circle of TRUE friends
  • A healthy and able body
  • A sound mind

My list continues to grow; and as I think more on these things, I think less of the things I want but don’t yet have. Being a good steward includes being thankful.

Remember that God delights in adding to thankful hearts. Thankfulness is water for your grass.

 

Love,

Armeka

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

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.