testimony time pt. II

People who know me KNOW that the car struggle has been REAL for the last few years!!!

I’ve been using my roommate’s car, but this past week, the topic of a new car kept coming up in prayer, and I just decided to trust God and take a leap of faith. I decided to go with a specific lender, and I knew to go to a certain dealership, but for whatever reason I also felt a very specific pull towards a KIA. I was so confused because I wasn’t being led to a KIA dealership, but the Lord kept giving me a very specific word, “I’ve gone before you and made the crooked places straight.” My best friend and I went to the dealership yesterday morning, and while our sales rep was showing us cars, we round a corner and see a KIA Sportage. I automatically knew that it was the car I wanted! There were a few main specifics I had: 1. I wanted no down payment 2. I didn’t want a janky car! I’ve had enough to know a lemon! 3. I wanted affordable car payments!

The sales rep was so great, and he was able to get no money down but unfortunately, my payments would still be too high. So, I decided to leave. I left a tad bit baffled because I KNEW finding that KIA was no coincidence. I felt like Holy Spirit told me that although I couldn’t see it, I needed to be at that dealership for everything else to work out. I called my roommate (who works for GM), and she joined in the car buying process and even encouraged me to go to another dealership (which I usually would have been against). We went to look at one dealership, but ultimately I couldn’t stop thinking about that Kia Sportage. So, my roommate asked if I wanted to go to a KIA dealership.

We hit Trussville to go to Serra KIA. I got there, and the staff was great! I was told that because I didn’t want to do a down payment, that I would need to finance a new car so that rebates could be used as down payment. The manager came in and asked me what type of deal the previous dealership had offered. I told him, and he actually knew the sales rep who’d helped me before. We went through a few options of cars that were in my price budget (& a few hours), and after a while I was feeling so overwhelmed that I just wanted to leave. I didn’t feel defeated, just tired. That night before, I’d settled that regardless of how the day went, that I was a daughter & that I was loved, and that not getting a car didn’t mean that I was being punished by God.

I decided to leave the KIA dealership a little overwhelmed and with no car, but encouraged that I’d learned so much that day. As Lay and I are getting in the car, the sales manager comes out the front door to catch us and says, “Wait! I have a pre-owned Kia Sportage out front!” Lol! I was NOT trying to hear it, though! I was hungry and REH TA GO, but Lay was game! She slammed the car door, and went back in the dealership like she was buying a car! 😭😂😭😂 After a lot of swindling and dealing, it ended with $0 down, and payments that are affordable for me!

Y’all, how good is the Lord? He prepared EVERYTHING for me. He went before me and made the crooked places straight for ya girl!

– The night before He sent in people who told me the right questions to ask, and had them pray for me and check on me throughout the day.

– He told me to ask a friend to go with me. The SAME friend who spotted the Sportage when we got there and kept pushing for it. The SAME friend who went back when in the dealership when I was suffering from hanger and was reh ta go!

– My roommate (who is super knowledgeable in cars) was off of work early and was available to be there to help in moments when it could have gone bad!

– The manager of the Kia dealership knew the last sales rep who’d offered me $0 down, and I truly believe that that opened the door for me to have favor there.

– Our sales rep at KIA was SO fantastic! He was the sweetest man, and he just kept us entertained the entire time!

– Lastly, a small desire of my heart was that I always wanted a car that had a color that stood out among the crowd, and I got it (I’m an individual and so is my car! 😭😂)!

“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy,” (Rev. 19:10. If He did it for ya girl, He’ll do it for you too! I haven’t had a GOOD car in…. well, EVER! He’s restoring, Saints!

P.S. This was the EXACT car I wanted at the first dealership, color and all.

testimony time

In May, I felt an urge to move home. I was confused because for months prior, I’d been in a process of the Lord prepping me to move to a part-time job. So, two months into my new job, I turned in a two weeks notice and moved home. I knew that the Lord really needed me to rest, and to take my hands off of a lot, but I was disappointed to be in a place where nothing made sense again. I kept thinking that I thought I was supposed to be in Birmingham, but I finally settled that if I were to be in Huntsville for the next few years to come, then I would do it with joy. As soon as I got to that place, the Lord started speaking to me about moving back…. (Really, I don’t think He ever stopped talking about Birmingham, but I probably needed to be at rest to hear Him above my need for control). 

At this point, my lease in Birmingham was up, my car still had no power steering (so I’m car-less), and I’d found my own replacement before leaving Birmingham so I also had no job. I told the Lord that I would move back, but I would need those three things: a car, a job, and a place to live. (I truly believe that we talk to the Holy Spirit as our friend, and it doesn’t come off as demands or ultimatums. He loves our levels of faith, and that we’ll believe Him for the impossible). I was sitting at my desk, and heard Him say said, “You will have everything you need before you move in.” I was scheduled to go on a mission trip, and I felt the Lord say that I wasn’t to come back home after my mission trip. Outside of coming back to get my stuff, I was to stay in Birmingham. In July, I went to Birmingham to visit & I went by my old job to see how they were. While I was there, the conversation came up of me moving back, and I was offered a full-time position. At first, I wanted to be excited, but I didn’t have a car or anywhere to live. But, I was appalled that I was offered a job, period! Especially since I’d just been praying about what I needed! I hadn’t even considered going back to my old job because I thought that that was done when I moved! That same week, I received two offers for a place to live. 

A week before my mission trip, the one I’d chosen fell through (which turned out to be a blessing because He needed to stretch me in the area of faith in my finances). I didn’t know what to do because the second option seemed too expensive for me. I remember thinking that I didn’t know if I could afford the rent because I wasn’t used to paying so much. I spoke with Jasmine (whose role I was taking), and she was amazing in assuring me that she knew how much I’d make and that I would be fine. I met my new roommate before going to Japan, and I said, “Okay, God! Let’s do this!” Idk what I thought was going to happen over the course of my mission trip, but I did not come home to a new car. I remember coming back and being so stressed. I was scheduled to go in for training the day after I got back, and I remember feeling so defeated. “Am I really moving to back to Birmingham? Nothing is lining up. God, am I sure I heard you correctly?” Mind you, at this point, Corporate still had not given me an official offer or an interview, for that matter, for my position. I am taking over a lease with no definite job, and I have no way to even get to and from the job I don’t have! The day after I returned from my trip, I went in for training. I remember thinking I was crazy because I still hadn’t spoken with anyone, let alone been hired! I also remember being extremely sleepy from jet lag, but while I was sitting in training, I received an email with an offer letter (whew! 😓Praise God!). I sat up from my half-sleep stupor and was suddenly WIDE AWAKE when I saw how much I was being offered in pay. I literally had to rub my eyes because I thought I was tripping! I’d already been told how much my pay was, but my offer letter was exceedingly, abundantly above that! 

That weekend, I went home & was even tempted to go back to my summer job (as a server) for a little extra money before moving, but I KEPT feeling in my Spirit to protect the promise. Don’t do anything that would partner with fear. So, without a lot of money, my mom and I packed her car and drive down to Birmingham. Lol! I knew she was worried about how stressed I was about not having a car! I was holding on to the last bit of faith I had because I didn’t know where this car was coming from… plus, we were already on the way! Too late to turn back now. 

We got to Birmingham, and somehow there was a hold up with my roommate meeting us at the apartment. So, my mom and I had to wait… lol! Which only made the reality sink in that maybe this was a crazy idea! 😭😂 “God, maybe it’s not too late! Maybe I can go home!” But He kept meeting me with, “Don’t partner with fear. You’ll have everything you need.” 

My roommate gets there and is telling us how she had been delayed at a dealership. I was confused because the car out front was definitely the same car she’d had when I met her before. She says, “Oh! Didn’t I tell you? I got a new job, and they’re giving me a company car! Oh, wait! You need a car, don’t you? You can just use mine.” 😫😫😫😫 (Haha! When I got a moment to myself, I definitely cried! 😭😂) I had everything I needed before we ever lifted a single finger to move in. (Also, rent has not been as issue, at all! Praise GOD!)

So, in whatever season of life you’re in, we can be those people who live from radical faith. God is faithful to confirm what He’s saying. Keep going! You’ve got this, and God’s got you! I pray that the Lord brings people & the right words across your path that will continue to encourage you in every area needed, that He silences the voices of opposition and that eyes are open to see people & things that aren’t good for you during this time! I also pray that He heals the place that fears the rug being pulled from under you (that place is hard.. trust me, I know). 

He’s FAITHFUL!!! He’s proven that time and time again! Be encouraged! 

YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN.

Holy Spirit

For the past few weeks, I’ve been listening to the same podcast by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser called “Leaning into the Holy Spirit” (which I will happily put the link in my bio for anyone who wants to hear how glorious it is! It is SO GOOD!) Really, I love the way Melissa speaks about the Holy Spirit. I won’t give away too much, but I loved these two things she speaks about:

1. The tone of the Holy Spirit. Whenever people speak to her, she listens for the tone of the Father. A lot of times people project what they think God wants to say in a moment, but instead of it sounding like the Father, it sounds like pressure.

2. The importance of backing into Him. She tells a story of homeschooling her daughter & her daughter having an issue with phonics. Melissa suggests that they ask Holy Spirit for help, but her daughter says no. Melissa presses for a little while, but realizes that she’s getting nowhere. So, she does what she knows to do: She asks Holy Spirit for help, takes a few steps back and backs into Him while He says, “Wait.” A few moments later, her daughter starts crying, saying that she does need the Holy Spirit. All is well, and she zooms through the rest of her phonics lesson!

I truly believe that the most radical thing that we can do as Christians is to live all-in in fellowship with Holy Spirit. All of the giant leaps of faith are just byproducts of that relationship. Giant leaps of faith/big ministries/heavy followings with a poor attitude towards the Beatitudes indicates that we may desire the fame of being close to the Holy Spirit more than we actually desire being with the Holy Spirit.

We don’t have to live lives where we’re always afraid of the next step God is going to ask us to take. Friendship with the Holy Spirit always prepares us for the big steps. His friendship is not one sided, only getting to know Him. As much as He desires for us to know His heart, He wants to know ours. He wants to hear us express what we like. He wants to watch an episode of your favorite show with you. Invite Him into your real life.

This is the type of fellowship + Christian life that we’re called to.

Book Testimony

Daddy can be so cool sometimes with His intentionality.

This summer I wanted to read “The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears” by Mark Batterson. I didn’t have a copy of it but I did manage to get a hold of the audiobook and started listening to it. However, while it was awesome to be able to listen to the book, I kept having to replay chapters because I would tend to zone out. I finally determined within myself that I would HAVE to just buy the book.

Last week, Books-A-Million had their Penny-A-Page promotion, and a friend and I stood in line for three hours so we could get the books we wanted. While in line, I noticed “Boundaries” by John Townsend and picked it up, as well! I was so excited about both of these books because I’d been wanting them for so long! Unfortunately, after three and a half hours of standing in line, I had to face the sad truth that those books were not going to be bought. My friend and I had somewhere else to be, and the line was moving too slowly. I decided against buying either book.

BUT Because I have a GREAT dad who cares about the things that I care about….

This past Sunday I decided I would just break down, spend the money and buy “The Circle Maker” full price. To my surprise, when I went online to buy it, it was on sale for $5!! Plus, because Lifeway Christian Bookstore price matches, I didn’t have to wait on it to come in the mail. So, just in time for 21 Days of Prayer at church, I finally got my hands on a physical copy of “The Circle Maker.”

A few weeks later, I was in a thrift store with my mom, and found a brand new copy of “Boundaries” for $0.49!

Want to know the coolest part? Although BAM had an AMAZING sale that day, had I bought both of those books at the BAM sale, it would have been $6.10, but finding them separately, I paid $5.98 for both! So, I still managed to even save a little!

Even in the small things, He’s SO GOOD!

Seasons & Comparison.

SEASONS & COMPARISON// I was talking to a friend this morning & we were speaking about how God is moving. As we were talking, it kept coming up that comparison & wrong influence have settled on the hearts of believers, and that God really wants each of us to understand & embrace the seasons of life that we’re each in.

Ecclesiastes 3:1,2b tells us that, “there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…. a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.” You may have a friend that’s in a highly prophetic season & they’re getting rhema words left & right. While you may be in a much more quiet season where the Lord is teaching His heart, and the confirming words are few and far between. Sometimes those quiet seasons are a little harder & the enemy will try to convince you don’t hear from God, and that you aren’t as significant. But we know that He’s the father of lies & that there is no truth in Him. (John 8:44) boy, BYE! 👋🏾!

The quiet season where the Lord is ministering to the heart is no less powerful than the one where someone’s getting prophetic words left & right. You may be in a season where He needs to teach the Father’s heart. They may be in a season where He needs to show the Father’s hand. Neither season is more important than the other. In fact, it helps to balance the other out. However, in a quiet season, if I’m looking at Sally’s life & how the Lord is speaking to her through dreams and visions, I’m going to miss Him speaking in that still, small voice.

So, you’re in a quiet, powerful season? Cool. Embrace it. Embrace the answers that are found when you seek His face & heart. You’re in a louder, prophetic season? Cool! Embrace it! Regardless, KNOW WHERE YOU ARE so that YOU KNOW when He speaks, & you’re in line & can move when He says to move.

a plain & simple life.

“… a plain and simple life is a full life,” (Proverbs 13: 7b)

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I recently moved home, and the best way that I can describe it is that everything is slow

…but, it’s not a bad thing. I enjoy slow.

I like the quiet of the mornings, and the afternoons kissed by dazzling sunsets.

I like the feeling of having something to do, but having nowhere to go where I have to rush.

That’s what it is! I like that I don’t have to rush. I feel like rest is attainable now.

It’s funny. Although I do not have kids, I do live with one (she’s 9), and I’m understanding the significance of small victories. I used to read captions about parents who were excited that their child only cried for 45 minutes instead of an hour, and wouldn’t stop to think twice about it. Although my sister never really cries, I now understand the significance in small victories.

It’s getting excited because there’s been a compromise in family conversations on what to buy at the grocery store.

It’s a clean room.

It’s getting to sleep in past 7 AM.

It’s monkey bread and orange juice at a neighbor’s for small group on Wednesday mornings.

It’s having the strength to pray.

It’s a renewed mind and the small moments of growth that shock even me.

While I do miss the “city” life of Birmingham, I want to soak up as much of the slower pace as possible before going back.

Pain Is Not Your Portion

Erika is one of the most genuine people I know… like, genuine to her core. Everything in her screams “real.” I asked her to write for me because I’ve seen her up close, and I love her love for the Lord. I remember going through a really tough season where I was very ugly, very hard to love, and I really needed a friend. Erika was that friend for me. She never ceased in praying for me, and she was so honest, constantly encouraging me. She still challenges me in the things that she writes and isn’t shy to confront things that need to be addressed. She is an AMAZING person, and I love this post! Enjoy!!

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Picture this… one of your friends has been locked away in prison because of what someone else has done. Everyone knows that your friend may have been associated with the person who committed the crime, but everyone also knows that your friend is completely innocent and has been wrongfully convicted of a crime that they didn’t commit. Now imagine that in the midst of all of this chaos and confusion, you go to visit your friend in their captivity. You walk up to the jail cell, and one of the first things you notice is a key sticking out of their pocket. Your question is, “What is that key sticking out of your pocket used for?” Imagine they respond, “It’s to the jail cell, but I’m not ready to come out.”

This story may sound a little silly, but at some point in our lives, we have all been the friend in the jail cell. At one point or another, we have all been locked away in a prison of pain whether it be physically, emotionally, or mentally, and many times the pain we feel may not even be our fault. Unfortunately, so many of us have been taught to bury the pain and act like it’s not there, or that it’s “not that big of a deal,” but that was never God’s intention for us. For me personally, I was never taught how to deal with and process the pain in my life, and it nearly destroyed me. Over the years I’ve applied what I am about to share with you and it has been revolutionary to my life! One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned is that we are not equipped to carry pain, and we cannot afford to play house in these prison cells that hold us captive.

God’s original design for man was a pain-free life. The Garden was a safe place emotionally, spiritually, and physically, but because Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, (and chose their selfish desires over God’s love and His best for their lives) pain entered the Garden. Although we live in a fallen world, see and feel the effects of Adam and Eve’s choices (and our own), because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we have an open invitation to rise above and overcome the pain in our lives. Jesus is our pain-free, safe place.

As believers, it is vital that we recognize the power of the cross and the reality that Jesus didn’t just die to restore our relationship with our heavenly Father. Because of His sacrifice, He has made a way for us to live healed and whole lives on the earth. Although Jesus is in heaven, we have His Holy Spirit here on the earth as our Comforter, Counselor, and Healer. Our Christianity is not only for salvation but also for our liberation.

I don’t know if you know this, but you have permission to fully feel whatever you’re battling without any shame. The beauty of the Gospel is that because Jesus was a man, he can relate to our humanity and everything that we go through. Jesus wants your transparency and vulnerability, that is the place where healing happens. He doesn’t want the fake, cleaned up version of yourself. Jesus is after your whole heart, the raw, real, messiest pieces of your heart that you don’t want anyone to see. He already sees it and isn’t moved by it! As sons and daughters we can completely trust Him, knowing that He would never turn away in disgust, but instead, embraces us just as we are and makes every area of dysfunction and brokenness more beautiful than we could ever imagine.

You see, the reality is that we all have the power of choice.

Surrender is a choice.

Taking the key out of our pocket and using it is a choice

Our ultimate victory and freedom is our choice.

No one can unlock your prison cell for you. 

In the midst of our pain and our struggles, we can either choose to stay where we are, or we can take the necessary steps toward healing and wholeness. I don’t know what you’ve been through and I may not be able to relate, but regardless, I know that God’s plan for your life is full of victory in every, single circumstance. I know that His Will for you is a Will of complete freedom and that He has a plan to see you through whatever may be hindering your life. I also know that He designed you with a specific purpose in mind and that he has created you to be an overcomer by the power of the Holy Spirit.

My heart in writing this is to encourage you and challenge you to at least pray and ask God for the courage to take the key out of your pocket. You cannot do this on your own. You weren’t created to. God created you to rely on Him. You can’t do anything without Him, but when you partner with Him, all things are possible! The world needs you to be the best version of yourself and I know with my whole heart, that if you ask Him, Jesus will give you the resources, plans, and people that you need to live a life of victory over pain. He will give you the grace that you need to forgive yourself, and those who have hurt you (there is no freedom without complete forgiveness). He will give you the courage you need to take the steps necessary, and He will walk hand in hand with you as you go, reassuring you and comforting you with His peace and His presence. I pray that as you begin to walk out of the prisons of pain in your life, and live a life of purpose and freedom, that you will help others to recognize the key in their own pockets.

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Morning Devotion 5.5.18

This morning in Saturday Morning Prayer, Pastor Matt spoke from John 4 & it was a good reminder to check my perspective.

This morning when I got up, I felt Holy Spirit prompt me to talk about the things that were on my heart, and I think I realized that I was disappointed. Immediately, He reminded me of Kari Jobe. The Lord once told her, “You know that I can handle your disappointment, right?” I started sharing what I was disappointed over, and immediately he met me with love and  reminded me of Jeremiah 31:3, “… I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that in the midst of believing for something, I HAVE to stay in constant “check my heart” mode because I tend to get so wrapped up in praying for the need, or making sure that my level of faith is through the roof (or whatever) that I’m focused on the promise more than the One who promises.

Pastor Matt said it great concerning the father in John 4 coming on behalf of his sick son. The father believed that Jesus could heal his son, but the father didn’t [intimately] know Jesus. Sometimes we can be like that, as well. Not on purpose, but sometimes we can be so focused on what we’re believing for that we take out the intimate factor with our Father. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and they ALWAYS talk about the same thing? You’re just over there like, “Helloooo? Do you even notice that I’m here?” God wants to walk through the circumstance and build deeper relationship with us, but we have to stop looking to the circumstance, and to the One who controls it.

So, I repented of magnifying my need so much to where I couldn’t see Him. Yes, the Lord can do all of the miracles that we need, but the greatest miracle he can do is to change a heart in the middle of a circumstance. Sometimes our circumstances may not change, but our proximity to our Father will.