It has now been seven years since I started this blog. How quickly time goes by! We are many members but we are one in the body of Christ. Therefore you do not journey alone! Hopefully through this site you will be encouraged by the fact that many things you are going through in your own walk, others are going through (or have gone through) as well. Sometimes we think we are "going through things alone." But we are not. God said that "He would Never Leave Nor Forsake Us." (Hebrews 13:5) and that "There is Nothing New Under The Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). No man is an island. It's easy to forget that. May the words in this blog help you to think, encourage you in whatever spiritual state you are in and may the Lord use them to help us to grow in Him! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!

I don’t want any readers to think that I am “promoting” being a prodigal. I definitely am not. But what I am hoping to do – is to encourage those of us who either have had or are currently experiencing a hard time in our walk to be honest about it. Personal conviction is a powerful thing, especially if you truly love the Lord. I think that sometimes the Body of Christ critiques and judges to the point where the person who is at the other end of that pointing finger feels ostracized, alienated and alone. I don't think that that is what Jesus intended. When I read through my Bible - I see a firm yet gentle restoration that Jesus ministered to those around Him. Look at John 21:15-19. When Peter who was at an all time low point in his walk - he was firmly, yet lovingly restored by Jesus. He didn't tear him down, or yell or make him feel any worse then he already did. He spoke to him lovingly and gently - and in doing so, Peter was able to repent and minister in a much more powerful, humble and confident way and it became one of the largest ministries ever.

Please note that I am only a vessel, my calling - to write. I dedicate this blog to the Lord and ask that He use it to reach out and touch whoever needs a special, loving, personal touch from Him. My hope is that the Holy Spirit allows you to see Him through the words (and not me). We go through things so that we can extend our right hand of fellowship behind us to assist and help someone else. Our Bible is the same today, as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (I am far from perfect and do not profess to have all the answers...) but the good news is - Our Heavenly Father does! His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy is real!Nothing you are experiencing in your walk comes as a surprise to Him! May He be glorified through this blog and may God bless you at whatever stage in your walk you are in!~

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with early stage triple negative breast cancer on June 24th, 2010 - I have been cancer free for 7 years now. It was only a chapter in my life - NOT my life, but the impact is one that has changed my life forever. Its important for women to know that 80% of the breast cancer diagnosis come from women who don't have a history of it in their family (My family didn't). Early detection is the key. For more information please click on the pink ribbon above. It could save your life.


May 18, 2015

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Are You? Do You Even Know?
Have you ever had an epiphany before?  You know, when you are in the middle of doing something and you have a realization that makes so much sense to you?  Maybe it's something about yourself or about a situation...  But it is what I call an "Oh Yes!" Moment.  A moment of realization.  A moment of understanding.  A moment of clarity.  An actual turning point.  Let me share because perhaps you can relate...  Actually I know you can - whoever you may be, reading this.
We are born - our lives are like blank sheets of paper.  I actually believe the writing occurs at our conception.  The beginning of my story, the beginning of  yours.  Like a pen dipped in fresh ink the writing begins.  It begins with every event that happens in our lives, creating the foundation of what we believe, who we become, how we perceive things, how we handle whatever comes our way; what we believe about others and more importantly about ourselves.  These perceptions become a part of who we are and goes with us through all the stages of our lives, right up to the very end.

What do you believe about yourself?  You know, the stuff you don't share with anyone (and maybe not even want to admit to yourself because some of it isn't so pretty).  Some of it is hard to accept.  When you look in the mirror at your reflection what and who do you see?

Maybe you might even want to try this - go ahead, walk away from this post for a moment, take a good look at yourself in the mirror.  What is the first thing that comes into your head?  Are you overly critical of you?  Is the first thing you see something about yourself that needs changing? Don't over think - what is the first thing that comes to your mind?  Whatever it is - it is part of the foundation of what made you you and sometimes whatever that is that you perceive to see - is wrong.

Our experiences and how we deal with them and how we view them are a big part of our lives.  I will get personal here, because I feel like God wants me to share this and it is hard for me to write because the epiphany is fresh in my head and I'm trying to digest it.  But I know that I'm not the only one who the epiphany is for, so let me share.

There have been many times when I have felt alone.  The beginning of my blog starts out with "it is easy for a person to feel alone in a room crowded with people."  There are significant times in my life especially during the period of my childhood where I felt alone.  The truth is, for the first 40 days of my life, I WAS alone. 

You see, I was born 3 months premature in a time when most hospitals did not have the knowledge or the know how in dealing with premature infants.  I weighed in at 3 lbs 4 oz. I was tiny.  They told my mother that the first 40 days of my life would be critical and that I would probably die...  Imagine that?  The first moments of my life and a declaration that I would probably die was verbalized and made.   This is where I want to stop for a moment, and I want to ask - is there someone reading this who has cancer or a life threatening illness?  Have you been told that you are (like it had been declared over me when I was an infant) "probably going to die?" Words are very powerful - they set a tone.  One can either believe them or not believe them.  Here is what I want you - if you are in that situation to know. GOD IS IN CONTROL OF YOUR DAYS.  Not a doctor, not a nurse, not a hospital, not a family member, but GOD. 

"I will fulfill the number of your days." (Exodus 23:26)

He is only the only one who determines when  you are born and when you  will die. NO ONE ELSE.  What you choose to believe about yourself and about what other people say to you is crucial and can make a big difference.  GOD IS IN CONTROL.  Even when it feels like He's not.  HE IS.

I had to stay without my parents in the hospital, alone for 40 days and 40 nights.  No bonding, just me and the medical staff, my first experience outside of the womb, the first pages of my life.  What did I get from that?  From a baby's perspective, I don't remember, I can't consciously recall. I do know that there have been studies done on babies with regards to how important touch and love and bonding are in the beginning stages of a child's life.  What I DO know now as  an adult,  is how that being alone affected me.  I know because I can see how it has played out in the ways I have handled or reacted to situations in my life.  I can tell that the first ink written on the pages of my life indicated that I felt VERY alone.

My mother named me, "Kelly" which means "fighter" because I had to fight to live.  And I did.  Hardly did I know 43 years later on as an adult, I would have to "fight to live" again.

What is written on the pages of your life sets the tone for how you internalize things.  How you associate with other people; how you view yourself and even what you become.  It's called "perception."  What do you believe about you?  Whatever you believe becomes who you are. It becomes a reality.

"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7)

Maybe its time you "rethink" you.  Maybe what you have believed has been a lie.  Maybe its time YOU reinvented yourself according to what God has said about you and not what has occurred in your life.  I know this, because I realized it about ME.

Growing up many of us  were taught a saying, "you are what you eat."  What beliefs about yourself have you been eating?  How has it affected your life?  Your relationships?  Your self image?

For me, I must have believed that I was alone.  That I could only rely upon myself.  That I couldn't be dependent upon anyone else. That people simply could not be relied upon.  I think I believed that "if you wanted to have something done right, you needed to do it yourself."  Which is crazy, because I am probably the most 1/2 cup full, sunshiney type of person you would ever meet!  I've never been pessimistic - always the optimist. But I think due to life situations that occurred within my childhood - the message of being alone (which began at birth) was reiterated over and over again and subconsciously I just got use to relying upon myself.  I didn't realize I had felt that way, until I grew up.  If there is something that is a negative message occurring in your head (or one of your first life experiences), you can bet that the enemy of your soul - ol' slewfoot is going to take it and run with it. And reconfirm it through life situations over and over again because he HATES you.  He doesn't want you to succeed in whatever it is that God has created you to become. He wants you to believe you have NO worth.  That you are no good, that God does not have a purpose for your life.  If he lied to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden back in the book of Genesis - what makes you think he won't lie to you???)

"Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." (John 10:10)

There is a spiritual realm, whether you believe it or not, it does exist; and there IS a war going on.  A war for your soul.  It doesn't matter whether or not  you choose to acknowledge it or believe it.  It is REAL.  So many people are walking around spiritually blinded and they don't even know that they are blind.  Hence, they don't even know that a war is raging on.  But just as the wars that rage around us now in different parts of the world are happening in the actual world, so is a spiritual battle (one that began at the beginning of time) taking place, viciously; and YOU are an active participant in that war - just because you were born, and what goes on supernaturally DOES affect your life.  Acknowledged or unacknowledged, it is the truth.  The only difference is that when you become a Christian, God opens your eyes to see things about yourself that needs changing and makes you aware that you are in the midst of a very serious, definite battle. 

My epiphany today happened in the middle of watching a movie.  How crazy is that?  God can use anything to show us what He wants to show us. It was a very simple realization, very basic, I realized that we are not called to be alone or to be an "island."  Even back in the beginning in the book of Genesis when God had created Adam, He said:

The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." (Genesis 2:18)

We were not made to be alone.  Honestly, there is nothing worse than feeling like you are alone.  And in the body of Christ - none of us were made by God to feel that way:

"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body--whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.  Now if the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body.  The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." (1 Corinthians 12:14-27)

It's not easy to open up yourself and be transparent or vulnerable before people.  Quite honestly, I have never really cared what people thought of me (although I have cared what God thought of me) so I never lived for people's approval before.  However, the fact is - we need each other and there is no shame or dishonor in admitting that.  I think it is one of the many lessons that God teaches us at some point in our walks.  And for me, it has been one of the hardest to accept.  Not the being around people or the socializing, but allowing people to be there for ME.  I am a "giver" and have had to learn how to be receptive and on the "receiving" end.  There is no shame in realizing that you need people. 

"We are many members, but we are one in the body of Christ." (Romans 12:5)

You were not meant to "feel" or be alone.  Truth be said, you are not alone.  Jesus said:

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)

What is the song of you that plays around and around in your head?  Maybe it is time to "change that song."  Maybe its time to re-invent your perception of who you are.  God has created you for a purpose.  A purpose that is just as special as your fingerprints, part of your life's journey is discovering what that purpose is.

"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity the one who falls who has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone? The one can be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Again I ask, how do you perceive yourself? What has your own life song been?  Compare that to what God says about you and see if the two are in harmony with each other.  If they aren't - it may be time for you to re-evaluate and see yourself as God sees you.  After all - HE is the One who created you in the first place, so He should know.  I say this not only to you blog reader - but to myself.  Stop listening to the lies of the enemy and listen to the truth of the Creator, for no one knows better than He - who YOU really are...

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." (Jeremiah 1:5)

"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, lean NOT to your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." (Proverbs 3:5)

"You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.  You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." (Psalm 139:1-12)

We can't re-write the pages of our lives, but we can think about what we choose to write on those future pages, no matter what life throws our way.  Only God knows the future, but He tells us:

 "For I know the plans I have for you, I have plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11).
If you don't know who you are, then isn't it time you discover who that is?  You just might be pleasantly surprised...

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