Growing in Grace: The Journey of Healing through Rejection, Abandonment, Disappointment and Unmet Expectations

This has probably been one of the hardest blogs I’ve decided to write, partly because I rationalized with myself for the longest on how I would write it and whether it was even worth writing. Truthfully, I wrestled with God and myself because I didn’t think I would have the strength or emotional ability to write this. But then, God got me together real quick and made me realize that this life is so much greater than me,  and my feelings but it’s about helping others through their journeys, especially when I’ve been in that place myself and am still here to tell the story to someone else.

This journey doesn’t really have a beginning, middle, or end and that is mainly because emotional healing doesn’t have a definitive end or beginning. Only the person experiencing those emotions can say when they are ready to transition from the very things, people, places, and experiences that caused them pain. But here I am and here we go.

Describing this particular place in my life, a scripture and quote come to mind and proved to be the very writings on my own personal wall of life experiences.

Proverbs 27:6 NLT

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

“In the end we will remember, not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

This became painfully relevant for me as of the last couple of months. I greatly value my spiritual relationship and have been making a concerted effort to cultivate a very intimate and personal relationship with God. I had finally reached a place in my faith and within my faith community that I was open, loving, ready to spread goodness and joy to others. I was experiencing the fullness of life that I had heard so much from others, was the foundation of their burgeoning relationship with God.  Life was far from perfect in my own assertion,  but I was confident and ready to face it with my faith guiding me every step of the way.

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Photo Credit: Thelmathinks.com

 

Then life came at me head on. Unexpectedly. Without warning. Ripping away everything that I had considered a constant and something or someone I could depend on. I felt burdened by the weight of my own expectations for myself and what life was currently producing for me.  Although I understood that God still remained supreme in my life and was in control, I was just trying to make sense of things spinning relentlessly out of control.  While I understood his will and purpose for my life,  I struggled with him about some of the events I was experiencing, and if they were actually turning out for my good. There were few people who could empathize with the sense of failure that created in my head, and my steady push to do better for myself. Those who could empathize were out of physical reach and supported me emotionally.  But it still was a tough period to travel through, especially with what felt like uncertainty hanging over my head daily, and weighing on my heart even more intensely.

In addition to dealing with my own issues, and doing my best to stay positive and keep going, keeping the faith, and believing the best, my grandmother passed. Anyone who knows me knows that my grandmother and my maternal grandparents were near and dear to my heart. In the midst of  trying to hold it together for my mother and help her remain strong, I started looking to something that helped me keep going in the toughest of times: my faith and my faith community.

God NEVER FAILED ME. NOT ONCE.  I began to understand, appreciate, expand and look at our relationship in a new light. I began to see him as the loving, faithful, merciful, gracious, good Father that I had read that he could be in my Bible.

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Photo Credit: Kirzart.com

However, much to my surprise, my faith community much like all human beings will do from time to time, left me with a mix of varying emotions, all with some degree of pain attached to them. The long and short of it is that I felt that after hours of spending time together, discussing faith concepts, praying for one another, breaking bread with, feeling loved, and what I believed at the time was acceptance. Then this eerie shift happened.

I suddenly felt nothing but rejection, abandonment, disappointment, and unmet expectations in a time that I really wanted, needed, and hoped for more but got less than I ever could have expected. I expected and waited carefully and  quite patiently for someone to show something more than a shallow expression of forced concern but it never came.   It was like a dagger was driven into my heart. I didn’t quite understand why people who claimed to love me never asked,  “How are you? Do you need something, anything? Are you mentally holding up? How can I be there and walk through this with you?”  It hurt me, in ways that I never imagined that I could hurt. I was so confused because while all the interactions felt real in the midst of doing life with my community, my recent reality had me questioning whether I was tripping, whether I imagined it, or if it was all fake.  A mere mirage. Smoke and mirrors.

It was so lonely, heart wrenching, and heart breaking, just because I had so many unanswered questions. I didn’t understand why a community that I had given myself tirelessly to, took a position of indifference and a laissez faire demeanor towards me. I kept racking my brain to figure out where the breakdown happened, and what I could have done differently.  And I allowed myself to feel this hurt and walk through these emotions. But after feeling terribly, I decided to not unpack and live there. In the midst of all this, I learned and discovered a few wonderful things.

  1. I learned a new level of compassion I probably wouldn’t have realized for others going through difficult times
  2. I realized who was in my corner and fostered a new level of respect and  gratitude for them. I even fostered some new unexpected relationships with people who stepped up and filled the gap in ways that I never could have anticipated during this difficult time.
  3. I began to look at my relationship with God in a new light and realized that he was not like people and still wanted me to spread his love, compassion, concern, and joy as well as,  message of redemption to others.
  4. Everyone has a different capacity to love and to not hold others accountable and feel like there is a fault in you, because others can not meet the level of love you expect from them. Let God’s love be the cup that you receive from and then pour into others.
  5. Don’t create expectations for others until they have demonstrated that they are actually capable of achieving them. Unmet expectations can breed frustration and therefore you can break your own heart.
  6. In difficult times, cling to God like crazy and he will fulfill your needs and give you the strength to endure and heal your broken heart.
  7. Learn to forgive yourself and others, especially with the apologies that you often times will never receive. It’s more for you, than it is for them.
  8. Keep trying and keep going. Everyone isn’t going to hurt you. Even those who hurt you may not be doing it out of malicious intent but just out of an inability to emote in an appropriate way that you need them to, so accept that and release it.
  9. The pain will stop, you will get past this moment, and you will be able to assist someone else and let them know that they will get through this as well and reassure them that they are not alone.

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While I am not 100% assured of where this leaves me at this time, I can say that I am learning to walk with God through this period and allow him to lead me to a place of full restoration and finality surrounding this situation.  I pray that God helps those who feel like a man or woman without a country due to not having a reliable faith community to turn to, and that God mends those broken relationships.  I pray he also continues to turn the hearts of his people towards true brotherhood and sisterhood to their fellow brothers and sisters, both in good and tumultuous times.

I pray this ministers to someone who is going through a difficult period and feels alone. I pray that God covers you in his unconditional love and that you remember and are reassured that God is close to the broken hearted and crushed in spirit. I believe that by making myself vulnerable and transparent someone can be guided from the pain of darkness and into the beauty of light.

I would love to hear from you and hear your comments or thoughts so please feel free to comment or leave me a message below!

How spiritual obedience is the key to your “manifest destiny” and higher self

 

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Photo Credit: alfa-img.com

 

 

So lately God has been dealing with me about spiritual obedience and how it basically is the key to  the abundant life that God has promised . Imagine that faith is the gatekeeper to an enhanced relationship with God. Well guess what? To access what lies beyond that gate it takes a yielded obedience to get that key in the lock and the door to open to what God has in store for you next. This is by no means endorsing the idea of a works based faith because honestly there will never be enough that anyone could truly do enough to “earn God”, get ” Christian brownie points”,  or any of those sorts of philosophies or ideals that have been created to paint Christianity as a faith for those that are perfect, or have “arrived” per se. The key to our salvation indeed comes by God’s gift to us through Jesus Christ and redemption of our sins. (Ephesians 2:8)

Rather what I mean is that before God ever breathed life into our forms he envisioned an amazing life for us complete with all the plans we were to carry out and the lives we were supposed to touch. Does this mean we won’t encounter troubles or trials? Far from it my loves. (John 16:33) Our very own Prince of Peace encountered and suffered many trials but gained victory over all of them  in the end. But our posture, focus, countenance and attitude towards those things will be different and we will be the light in a dark world that our Father has commissioned us to be. (Matthew 5:14-16)  And in spite of all that if we remain yielded to the Father ready to do his will and honor HIM in whatever ways that we can, he blesses that.

I believe there is a misconstrued vision of how beautiful obedience is. Obedience isn’t God barking orders at you, with the expectation that you will fulfill. God is quite the gentleman and gives you the free will to say no or choose a different route at any time. However,  I think that each time we yield to the Lord and give up another area of our lives bit by bit, he enables us to walk more into the calling he has over our lives because we are trusting in HIM completely and not in ourselves and truly activating our faith walk. We give up the control we feel we need to craft the life we desire and allow the perfect CREATOR to assist us with the masterpiece that blows our little imaginations out of the water.  When we give over to God the cares, concerns, and beliefs of what we feel our lives should look like he honors that. Because we are believing that the TRUE LIFE we find in Christ is our real life anyway. (Matthew 10:39)

I am learning that obedience and faith go hand in hand and you truly cannot have one without the other. You may not always know what’s up ahead, it may not make sense to you, you may feel FEAR, DOUBT, AND UNCERTAINTY in your heart but never allow that to deter you from doing what God has called you to do . Even if you do turn away from the path of obedience, God is always there to find you and lead you back into his loving kindness and plans for you. But I’ve found in my faith walk, I desire God’s best for my life far more than I desire the best I can create. This is far from being a destination I reached over night and I still daily have to yield my will over to HIS. But each step in obedience leads me closer and closer to God’s presence and his wholeness, which far surpasses anything I can concoct on this Earth to fulfill a void reserved for HIM.

This mere blog and being consistent and open to HIS WILL is the ultimate test of obedience but I am trusting that there is something HE is doing in the PROCESS. I challenge you to yield yourself to HIS WILL, be obedient to the things He shares with you, step out on faith, and jump head first into HIS PLAN for your life.

Moses, Abraham, and Noah showed us profound examples of obedience and faith as REAL people with a charge from God. Imagine the beauty of what God may have in store for you and how many lives can be changed or led to salvation if you open your spirit, heart, and mind to the process of obedience, faith, trust, and the journey to getting to your manifest destiny and higher self.

Growing from Faith to Faith

I can honestly say that growing from faith to faith has been one of the most amazing experiences that I’ve had since #adulting. And believe me when I say that I haven’t arrived or even made it a little bit. But it’s also an intentional daily choice to deny my lower self and acknowledge the thoughts of God and my higher self. It’s a choice to believe that all things truly work out for the best for those who believe in God (paraphrasing Romans 8:28)

And that is the hard part. Because it requires nurturing of your soul. Making choices that divert from the beaten path and choosing the road less traveled. The uncertainty. The moments of anxiety and denying the inner desire to control ALL of your outcomes. But I often hear the saying when you want to change you have to leave some things behind that don’t match or won’t fit your new destiny. Essentially new levels in anything require that YOU LEVEL UP and become a newer, more refined version of your former self. You see each of us receives a measure of faith from God (Romans 12:3-8) But we have to constantly be “leveling up” and feeding our spirit as well as acting as co-curator with God to get to that next level and throwing aside anything that keeps you from truly believing and seeking God.

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And with any new voyage you are sure to uncover unchartered lands.  But that means God is going to birth a new boldness, grace, and level of faith as you place your hand in His, and trust that he is greater than whatever you face. One thing I I’ve also noticed is the spiritual warfare and shift will be indescribable. But this will require you to put extra effort to be sensitive to guarding your heart, exercising your prayer life like never before, fasting, and growing from the milk of the word to the meat of the word and maturing in your faith to truly be effective and carry out the purpose that God put you on this Earth for. (Hebrews 5:12 and 1 Peter 2:2) Most of all, it requires a level of trust that you never knew you had to ignore what you see and remain focused on things that are unseen. The very foundation upon which is faith is built off after all.

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As a familiar saying goes ” Faith doesn’t make sense, and sense doesn’t make faith”

So keep pushing, believing, and relying on God for your daily bread all the way up to your wildest dreams. He far surpasses expectations and you are growing every day, so keep putting in good seeds and allowing God to mature your spiritual fruit and be prepared for an amazing manifestation and even more intimate relationship with God!

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Walking by Faith NOT Fear

WALKING BY FAITH NOT FEAR 

The sinking pit in your stomach. The feeling that at any given moment it all could go wrong. The overanalyzing/overthinking, the calculation, recalculation and plans A-Z if 1, 2, or 3 were to happen. These are all common things that I must admit at various times I’ve experienced and struggled with. Stating with my mouth that I am going to believe but doing everything in the books to work against myself and my beliefs and what I was trusting God for.

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via Shades of Yoga.com

A constant spiritual and emotional battle fighting against feelings of inadequacy, doubt, hopelessness, insecurities, and in general paralysis that keeps you from moving forward into the best version of yourself and reaching those goals you’ve been longing to reach.

 

BUT…… What if we were to replace all those negative feelings with positive feelings, affirmation, and faith? What if you took a deep inventory and began to understand what prevents you from tapping into your higher calling and authority in God? What if instead of anticipating all the ways that you believed that you would fail you just walked into the victory of being confident, persistent, tenacious and focused? Don’t you realize there are people connected to your goals, vision, purpose, and life? I often sit and wonder for all those times I allowed fear to keep me from pursuing an opportunity or acting in alignment with my best self what calling from God did I miss? What opportunity to be a blessing or receive a blessing did I allow fear to steal from me? How could I have grown had I just stretched myself a little further outside of my comfort zone? Am I really going to let uncertainty rob me of the chance to go higher and reach new depths?

What I’ve learned and what God has been showing me over the past couple of months is faith has to BE ACTIVATED. It’s great to SAY you believe but that belief becomes real when you get the opportunity to doubt, worry, or just act in unbelief and you choose to believe that as Romans 8:28 tells us God works everything out for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. NOTHING IS WASTED. No time period, experience, event, interaction is wasted. It’s all a part of your unique blueprint for the story that is being divinely created for the manifestation of your destiny and HIS glory.

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via Istockphoto.com

You see fear is a natural human response but it shouldn’t stop you from pursuing the calling of God on your life nor keep you from enjoying life. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has not given us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Thus, divinely to reach your highest potential you need to activate your power, walk and allow all your acts to radiate love and keep a clarity of mind about you despite what your feelings may be telling you or your eyes may be seeing. Faith isn’t logical, but neither are some of your biggest dreams and goals. Every day you are going to come to a cross roads, giving into your fears and staying stagnant or letting go and applying faith and expecting the best outcomes and doing the work internally, personally, professionally, romantically,  whatever capacity desired by working with God to reach them.

The beautiful thing that I have observed about children is that they know no fear. If they are fearful, it is only because it has been learned or told to them. Quick story: I was about 11 years old and was still playing with Barbies. Nickelodeon had this drawing for a Barbie and a Barbie tour bus. I entered into the contest expecting to win. I prayed about it (my parents always instilled the importance of a prayer life in me) and forgot about it. About a month later, what showed up on my door step but a Barbie and a Barbie tour bus. I didn’t obsess over it, I didn’t worry myself into a frenzy, I didn’t doubt, I just did the work, planted my seed of faith and believed the rest would work itself out on its own. I think thats definitely a vital lesson that can be emulated from children.

So I challenge you and myself today to continuously and unwaveringly  walk by FAITH, set your fears aside, do the work, and watch God work.

How do you do that? Well I am glad you asked.

  1. Commune with God about His will for your life.
  2. Meditate on the purpose and will and be open and obedient to how God may cause it to come to pass in your life. There is no formula, just a process of being obedient, faithful, faith filled, and a willing vessel.
  3. Guard your heart from anything that may cause distractions, unbelief, doubt or triggers that will cause you to be deterred from the work God is trying to do in you and through you.
  4. Be vigilant about protecting your faith because you are going to have opportunities for people, places, events, circumstances etc to poke holes in it or fill you with doubt.
  5. Be expectant for something AMAZING to happen that more than surpasses your expectations and blows your mind. Faith has a way of being chock full of opportunity for miracles and for God to show up, show out, and show his people and their doubters he is SUPER FAITHFUL and sovereign.
  6. Last but not least show gratitude for where you are going and respect your journey. Each step you make to walk by faith and every day that you wake up putting one foot in front of the other is a step in the right direction.

Never give up, never stop believing, don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s and never forget you are fearfully fashioned and treasured.

XOXOXO

Jazz

What does it mean to be fearfully and wonderfully made?

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Perfection seems to be the very standard by which many of us in today’s age measure everything we do. From perfect careers, to significant others, perfect vacations, perfect Instagram and Facebook posts complete with pictures that have been filtered and formatted to set us in just the right image. Hair, nails, outfits, partners, everything has to be just so. No one can ever think or perceive that what we do, say or think isn’t straight out of a picture book or that everything in our life isn’t all that it we post or as it appears.

BUT what if I told you that you were already PERFECT without feeling any added pressure to make yourself that way and that you could walk day to day and JUST RELAX? I don’t know about you but I would be souped for that level of good news. GUESS WHAT? You already are! How awesome is that?!?! You see your perfection is not through anything that you have done but EVERYTHING that has been done before the formation of the Earth FOR YOU and IN YOU.  I didn’t collaborate with God by happenstance to name this blog fearfully fashioned, I truly believe because I am a child of the MOST HIGH and HIS word speaks to such I don’t have any more good sense and faith but to believe EXACTLY THAT.

Let’s take a further look at this:

Psalms 139:14-18 (NIV)

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast are the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand- when I awake I am still with you.

Gosh! How beautiful is that? To have the absolute confidence that before your parents and anyone else knew you God did and that all your quirks, beautiful parts, everything he designed, he designed specifically with you in mind? He knew your days before they unfolded and all his thoughts are thoughts of lovingkindness and good thoughts towards you? TALK ABOUT MIND BLOWN!

If you need a little more proof head over to Jeremiah 1:5 and Jeremiah 29:11. LIFE CHANGERS.

If I can be super transparent for a second, this BLOG itself is waaaayyyyy out of my element. While, I am a huge people person when I do things I like to be in the background and allow other people to be the spokesperson or mouthpiece and I like to see other people in action and just be the contributor and catalyst to that action. I struggled with the Holy Spirit for A LONNNNGGGG time about this blog. I was like Lord no one really cares what I have to say, no one will read it, and many other thoughts that pointed to doubt and unbelief. Then I got heavily convicted and God explained to me anything he asks me to do he will give me the grace and capacity to do so and just GET STARTED. And he also affirmed to me that I need to show and share with people that no one is perfect outside of the WILL and covering of God. Then he sweetly reminded me that I love to encourage people, I love sharing my thoughts, heart’s desires and HIS WORD and what better way to do it than through this avenue?

So I say all that to say this I am in no way PERFECT and will not be until the day I am perfected in HEAVEN. But I do love God, I am on a life journey to walk out my soul salvation, and whether you are a Christian or not I pray that you come here and this blog blesses your soul and makes this journey here a little bit easier for you.

No matter shape, size, color, hair texture  etc. I truly believe and stand in faith with you that God has something super special planned for your life and a beautiful purpose for you to carry out on this Earth. He loves you and so do I. And guess what? He made you fearfully and wonderfully without spot or blemish. So that blog you’ve been waiting to write? Write it! That business you’ve been waiting to start? Start it! Whatever has been purposed in your heart to do, DO IT! Don’t ever allow fear, doubt, unbelief, insecurities or whatever to hold you back. You were fearfully and wonderfully made and you have everything you need right inside of you to carry out the plan God has for you. Walk in that authority and do it fearlessly knowing God’s spirit is with you and will never leave or forsake you. There are no perfect people, just a perfect God working tirelessly on our behalf and in our lives. And that is what it TRULY means to be fearfully and wonderfully made.

Never give up, never stop believing, don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s and never forget you are fearfully fashioned and treasured.

XOXOXO

Jazz