That One Topic We Love To Avoid.

 

It’s been over a month since I last posted and in this last month every time I started up a post, I would delete it in fear of exposing my feelings. I’ve gone through a mix of emotions from feeling encouraged by friends; to continue pushing through life, to a sadness that felt like depression; where I didn’t even want to get out of bed and face the day being I felt like it was just going to be another day of disappointment. To publicly admit that in its self is hard. I choose to be vulnerable today and speak out on this because although many don’t want to face the fact that it is completely normal to be down sometimes. Depression is something I feel like most people don’t speak up about because it’s seen as an illness that continues to bring a person down by negative thoughts built up. This feeling of being alone is so tough that often times you don’t even want to talk about it when the symptoms are so clear because of the ridicule you can face by publicly allowing others to know that you are in this deep emotional state.

In the last week, I have come to learn how deeply I can be affected by my own emotions because they can make you extremely fragile, but it is in that reality that I discovered how God is the only solution to bring me peace. It isn’t until you realize that there’s nothing you can do to qualify or disqualify you from the love of God that you really experience his love and learn to love yourself.  Even in the midst of the dark times when it hurts like hell and not even the words your friends say can console you, God is there. My hardest battle in this time was to remain in faith and stay positive but I have learned that the even in my little efforts, God is beside me. What seems like failed attempts to me is what He finds joy in because of the continuous effort to better my walk.

Funny enough last week in the midst of a rough day I decided to clean my room and blast my music. The first song that played was the song “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer. The lyrics of the song goes, “I’m seeing all the angles, starts to get tangled/ I start to compromise/ My life and the purpose/ Is it all worth it, Am I gonna turn out fine?/ Oh, you’ll turn out fine/ Fine, oh, you’ll turn out fine/But you gotta keep your head up, oh/ And you can let your hair down, eh/You gotta keep your head up” I couldn’t help but laugh at how yet again I was reminded that I will be fine. God may fail our expectations sometimes, but he never fails us.

So to whoever you are, whatever you’re battling, today I want to remind you that is you are not alone, I am here with you. I know it’s not easy. I know that there are times when you just want to give up and stop trying, today I want you to be reminded that sometimes it isn’t about trying,  it’s about trusting.

Keep your head up, and when times get hard, talk to God.

-J

When One Door Closes, Another Will Open

 

For the last 4 months, I have been extremely hopeful, believing that if I waited patiently enough the door was going to open and it would be the job I been praying for at a hospital I fell in love with since the moment I heard about it. Although I applied to numerous jobs at other hospitals and health centers in my current location and cities near me, I had all my hopes invested in this opportunity opening up with this position I felt was mine.
Today, however, I found out that the position was not mine. From the moment I got the news, I tried my best to stay positive but I could not help but feel disqualified and defeated all over again. I was under the impression for months that God had been crafting me for this job, so why didn’t it work out?! I spent a good portion of my day crying and talking to some amazing people God planted in my life, and they provided me with their best advice and encouragement and although I wanted to believe it, I still was upset. To make the day worse, after beginning to feel better after a while, I got an email from another job I applied for saying they decided to go with another candidate. I opened the email and laughed, but then the laughing became a ugly cry of frustration.
I decided I needed to just talk to God and let him know my frustration and as I spent time in his presence, he decided to give me a wake-up call. I’m a strong believer that God has a reason for everything and although I am unaware of why this didn’t work I think this closed door is prepping me to step toward the path leading to the right door, the one God has intended to open for me. This job was something  I wanted, but the true perfect spot for me isn’t what I want, its what GOD wants for me.
God is never going to fail me, His promise over my life still stands. He told me that He is about to open doors in my life in November and the thing is, I was believing that was with the job position. But today, I’m realizing maybe the doors he is opening starts with me allowing Him to completely take control of my life first. Less of me and more of Him.
My friend, Lyndsey, sent me this song, “Do It Again – Elevation Worship” (click title to listen) a month ago but tonight when I spent time in worship I listened to the lyrics, and it was just so fitting to my current day.

“Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet

I’ve seen You move, You move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again”

 
Tonight, I was forced to question myself with the most important question, ‘Am I putting God first?‘ My promise verse last year was one that I took with me until I graduated, I even wrote it on my graduation cap, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”- Proverbs 3:5-6 See, I was trusting God but my problem was I was leaning on my own understanding, in what I WANTED, I wasn’t putting God first to take control. God needs to be my number one priority, not the last person I go to with my problem.

This week I’m challenging you with the same challenge I am giving myself, spend more time with God. That means not trying to work Him into my schedule but waking up and praying; talking to Him before I check the notifications on my phone. It means talking and listening to Him between my day. The truth is, when we trust in God and spend our day with Him being first, we are given a peaceful spirit.  Prayer does not have to be this overly crafted thing with all the perfect words to impress God, trust me, He isn’t grading your prayers and critiquing them like your English professor. It’s connecting with Him, coming as we are, desperate, and finding restoration in His presence. Talk to Him, He can’t wait to hear from you.

love Him as He loves You,
-J

You’re the God of Miracles

 

Since I started this blog this year I have been pretty good about posting timely but recently I took a break as some of you may have noticed (shout out to my faithful readers, asking why I haven’t written..you guys encourage me! <3)  for two weeks and to be completely honest  it’s because I just felt like nothing I had to share would beneficial to anyone due to my negative, defeated, depressed attitude with my life. This attitude continued until sometime last week when my Sprinkles of Jesus app sent me a reminder with the verse: “The pain you’ve been feeling can’t compare to the joy that is coming.”- Romans 8:18 Now I’ve read this verse a good amount of times in my life but this time reading this verse I felt like God was really trying to grab my attention using the one thing I’m constantly checking, my phone. There is so much power in this verse, guys.

There is JOY that is coming, regardless of the current pain you are experiencing! Whether it’s a financial burden, a health issue, a broken heart, of for me personally, not knowing what’s next, this pain won’t last forever. Be patient, God wouldn’t put you through all this to give you less than what you had before. It’s coming, just be patient.

This past week I have been listening to the song Miracles on repeat and as I listened to a cover of the song sung by Amanda Cook & Bethel Music tonight, I  closed my eyes and decided to just listen to the lyrics…

The One who made the blind to see
Is moving here in front of me, moving here in front of me
The One who made the deaf to hear
Is silencing my every fear, silencing my every fear

[Chorus:]
I believe in You, I believe in You
You’re the God of miracles
I believe in You, I believe in You
You’re the God of miracles

The One who does impossible is
Reaching out to make me whole
Reaching out to make me whole
The One who put death in its place
His life is flowing through my veins
His life is flowing through my veins

[Chorus x2:]
I believe in You, I believe in You
You’re the God of miracles
I believe in You, I believe in You
You’re the God of miracles

The God who was and is to come
The power of the Risen One
The God who brings the dead to life
You’re the God of miracles!
You’re the God of miracles!



It is so easy to sing these lyrics but when you really read these words and think about it..man, we serve an amazing God! I don’t know about you, but for me to think about this father who literally gave someone who lived in a world where he could only hear about the blue skies and beauty of nature, the sight to see them? How are you not amazed?! Not only that but, that same God gave life back to someone who the world believed was dead! If that doesn’t do it..get this, that SAME God has His life is flowing through my veins!! Makes me just feel so shocked honestly, in awe of his wonder. If God can do all that, of course, God is going to bring joy into my life. But, in order for that to happen, I MUST believe in Him.

Tonight, I ask you this, what is stopping you from believing in the miracle worker we have guiding us through each step in our life?

“Do not lose your courage, then, because it brings with it a great reward. You need to be patient, in order to do the will of God and receive what he promises.” -Hebrews 10:35-36(GNT)

don’t stop believin’
-J

Waiting for the Lord

 

Lately, I been in a place of feeling defeated and battling a overwhelming feeling of doubt. These feelings although are quite normal, have had me feeling ashamed to even express to my friends and family who are always ready to be my support group in times of need. I realized when I finally did vent to a friend however, that I wasn’t alone and in that, I found peace.
Why don’t people who are going through the scary, painful and ugly period of waiting not talk about it?  Maybe it’s because we live in this world where we rather display all the accomplishments and speak about the miracles we experience. I guess, personally, it’s hard to talk about this time because you don’t want others to see you when you are defeated and know about this time of depression or hardship you experience. I started this blog this year, because I wanted to express myself, and as weeks go on, I have come to realize, me being raw is needed. I guess as scary as it is to be vulnerable and share about what I struggle with, there is a reason God put it on my heart to start this, because there is someone out there that needs to know, they’re not alone.

You see, as I continue on in this season of waiting, I have talked to multiple people who have been where I was before, that continue to remind me of the same message, “This is the time where you’re suppose to wait, don’t rush this time, enjoy it..Once you get a job, you’re gonna be wishing you had this free time again.” Although it is so encouraging to hear and be reminded to enjoy this free time, which I can truly say I have been, it doesn’t make it much easier. Especially in my Indian community where EVERY time I meet someone new or talk to an adult, I am asked what I’m doing with my life. I was talking to a friend this week who happens to be in my boat about how we hated these dreaded conversations and questions we get every week and how to answer it properly without sounding like we are being bums and receiving concerned looks. She told me she’s been using the answer of “I’m waiting for the Lord.” because not only is it true but once she said that, people kind of just stop the questions and tell her they’d keep her in prayer. I laughed when she told me this..I mean, wow, what an easy way to just get out the conversation you want to avoid! But then I realized it’s the truth in that statement. I don’t have my life together because I am waiting on the Lord to give me the next move. I’ve done all that I can do, and now it’s in His hands. God is a funny God..all my life I have always had a hard time with being patient, and I think currently God is teaching me through this struggle the true test of patience. This is the stage in life when I just get to figure out who I am in God and I think I lost sight of that.

I truly  believe we go through seasons to learn how to grow stronger. You all have heard the saying “April showers bring May flowers.” You don’t see these seasons change over night. For a flower to blossom, a seed must expand its roots in the fertile, be watered daily, and then begin to blossom to bloom into a flower. I guess currently my roots are being expanded. As I grow deeper in my walk with God, I know even in this time where I feel alone and defeated, God is watering me, so that I will be prepared to blossom into a beautiful flower.

Romans 8:24-28 says : For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

seek Him and He will provide you with peace.

-J

The Unequipped to Call

 

 

When I left for college I remember feeling scared but overall excited for this new freedom I didn’t have growing up. You see, I picked a college that was 3.5 hours away from my family and the Indian community I grew up in. I grew up spending all of my free time at church so I was excited to finally experience this world that all my school friends raved about that I never knew. I remember after my first month of college feeling incomplete without a church and a community. So I reached out to a friend in my dorm and decided to start going to church with her. That church became my ‘home away from home’ church for the next 4 years. But as college went on, I fell into a new lifestyle which consisted of going out weekly and becoming this person I didn’t like. I remember one day in my sophomore year just coming to a point where I felt like I was doing everything I saw around me that made others happy but yet I was coming short from the happiness that I saw around me. I was at a point where I felt like God wasn’t so present. I  began to think that God was unhappy with me because I wasn’t leading my life the way I was raised so I just ran from Him.
I went home that summer and fell back into the routine of church weekly and one weekend in June my church had a youth conference. I still remember this night so clearly. The speaker talked about how there was so many people that didn’t even know God and his love and its our job as Christians to go on our campus and share, it starts with you! That night my mentor came over to where I was sitting and prayed over me and then said: ‘Let go of the pain your feeling and the things that hurt you.The past does not define you.’ She had no idea what was going in my life but she told me God had led her to pray over me. I came home that night and wrote these words in my journal, and told myself that I would do what God wanted from me.
That August I returned to my college campus for my junior year. As each week went by, I was trying to figure out how I would go about this change. I was involved in a church but there wasn’t really something I felt like fit for me from God. That September, my youth leader told me about how he joined a college ministry, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and he was starting it off on my campus and wanted me to be involved. I decided to attend the meetings they had weekly but still wasn’t sure if this was for me. Until I attended the Fall Conference with this ministry that October and God just broke my heart. That following week the Staff Leader of IV asked to meet me for coffee. I met with her and she told me that she wanted me to become a leader of a small group and to join the ministry. I began to think of every excuse to say no.. I told her how I wasn’t good for this..  I couldn’t possibly be a leader when I used to party every weekend.. I told her that she should ask someone else. She left me that day with some verses, and told me to pray about it. So I did and shortly after praying for a week, I remember hearing that message in my head from the summer, “It starts with you.” I was unequipped, how was I suppose to bring others to Christ when I wasn’t a perfect example of a Christian?
As weeks passed, I felt like God kept bringing me back to this idea of joining leadership for this ministry and so as time went by I finally listened and agreed. I co-lead a bible study with a good friend and then after a semester God lead me to lead an all girls bible study. Through this experience I got to meet so many college students, who like me, moved away from home, who were struggling in their christian walk while being a normal college student. It was crazy how my life experiences shortly became to be a light to others but that was the glory in it all.
I share this with you readers to remind you to not be ashamed to stand out. God calls the unequipped. Where you feel like others might judge, might also lead people to seek Christ because they see where your life changed. Sure, some of you might read this post and know me for who I was three years ago think “oh, where does she come off speaking about God?” but I am no longer ashamed of the girl I was once. My past doesn’t define me. I see my early college years now as a stage in my life where I didn’t know who I was and I searched all over, only to realize I had ran from the one who knew my heart all along. God was always present, in my good days and bad days. Yes, my life took a change but you knew whats the beauty in it all?  Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom for us to realize that God is the rock at the bottom of all things!

so who ever you are, I remind you of this, you are more than others may say you are, you, my sweet friend, are who God says you are. You’re being crafted into a beautiful masterpiece..that’s one thing I’m sure of, God does not just settle for average!

chin up, beloved.

-J

Darling, don’t you know you’re Beautiful?

 

This might not be my typical blog post but it’s been one I had to speak on. For the last few weeks I feel like I have been trying to figure out how to word this post but I struggled with how to form the words, so this might just be a scatterbrained post but bear with me.

As most of my readers know, I recently graduated college and in my free time being home, waiting for whats next in life, I have been trying to spend my time catching up with friends. Being someone who has lived in six different cities who is extremely social, this list of friendship go from Seattle to New York but I can honestly say I love each friendship I have. Taking this free time to really just devote to my friendships and soak up in each relationships in my life has been so great, so quick shout out to all of you out there blessing me with your presence in my life. Among doing this I have come to know that a lot of my friends are struggling with the same issue, loving themselves. I know I myself struggle with this. *cues Julia Michaels singing Issues*
I know as a woman, I look in the mirror and I find my flaws: acne scars, dark circles under my eyes, crazy curly hair, no thigh gap, the list can go on… These are just a few of the things that make me feel like I am not good or pretty enough cause what its not what is praised in the world we live in. Living in a world where being skinny, having flawless light skin and straight hair is seen as beautiful, it’s hard for girls like me: the curvy, dark skinned, curly hair girl. It wasn’t until a good three years ago where I started to see that in order to be truly happy, I had to love myself first. This starts with learning to love these parts of me that I wasn’t happy with; the flaws, the insecurities, the things that weigh down my self esteem.
For me, this is still a process. It meant reminding myself that although I am not a fair skin Indian girl like the rest of my community, I am beautiful in my milk chocolate complexion no matter the ridicule I’ve heard growing up because of my skin tone. It means embracing my curly hair that I grew up hating because every other girl I knew had gorgeous straight hair and I had hair that was so hard to tame. It took me looking at myself everyday and saying “I am beautiful, just the way I am” for me to start allowing a change to take place.
You see, I have come to this point of understanding that there is power in my thoughts and my words. I guess my point in writing tonight, is to simply say that your thoughts about yourself, the things you allow yourself to believe that you are not good enough will only continue to weigh you down so you must change that attitude. Happiness means loving yourself, because self love is the most important thing in order to grow.

Love those curves, love your skin no matter the shade, love your hair; curly or straight, love your smile, and most of all, love yourself.

-J

p.s. you’re not alone! 🙂

Beauty in the Pain

 

 

So a week ago I posted about trusting the process and can I just say how great and fast God works when you really cry out to Him! You see after I posted that blog, that night I spent in prayer just asking God to allow me to hear back about this position I been praying for, if it His will. The next afternoon I checked my email, and there was a email from the hospital I been waiting to hear from about scheduling a interview with me for this position. I screamed with excitement!  LIKE WOW, MY GOD IS SO GREAT! So I responded to the email and set up a date and time for my interview: Tuesday at 1pm.

Fast forward to last night: Monday, 9pm.

I spent my entire day learning all there is to prepare for this interview. I watched videos, read a whole list of interview tips and reviewed my knowledge of the hospital but i still felt this overwhelming fear. I decided it was time to spend before God, but in the middle of my time to pray I kept getting distracted! I had my phone on do not disturb, in my bedroom alone, I thought I was just going to spend my one on one time with God but nope, my head was EVERYWHERE but God. I began to just become angry with myself. Why is it that I was lacking the passion to devote my full focus on God, in prayer? I started to cry because I just couldn’t understand how I could do this.. so I decided to call up my good friend, Karen. She listened to me cry and vent about all my frustrations and then she said something so funny but yet so real that I can’t help but share with you all.

“This time you’re experiencing is like having a baby..When you are in labor, you continue to push because you know the ending will be beautiful but it’s painful! But you got to refuse to settle and take the epidural, because in order for you to experience the beauty in the end, you have to go through the pain of the push! Your child is your future and in this current process it’s so hard but you have to push through it in order to receive the beautiful gift in the end. There is beauty in the pain.”

As silly of an analogy that statement is, it really made complete sense to me. I began to cry because in that moment I realized how great God’s love is for me. We ended our conversation with a prayer, and I cried even more. I was a bit emotional-but sometimes God really just really breaks your heart. She just happened to speak into everything i was feeling as if God was telling her the words to just impact me. I felt this overwhelming sense of peace just all over my body in that moment. It was like God just took over.

‘Cast all your anxiety on Him because He care for you.’ -1 Peter 5:7

I ended my night stumbling upon the song “Shepherd” by Amanda Cook and I felt like God was continuing to just remind me that he hasn’t forsaken me in this time. God is continually by my side, and has never left my side! I realized it just took time in His presence to actually listen and hear him out for me to reach the sense of peace.

This morning, The day of my interview, I woke up at ease. I believe that the peace I was feeling was only through God. I decided to listen to a sermon and just pray before I answered the call for my interview. I believe that God was truly with me in my words. It was like He just placed this confidence in my spirits.

I don’t know if I made the cut, I don’t know if I will hear back for the second round of interviews, but I do know that God is in control.  It is all up to Him and if it is His plan, I hope that I hear back.  Something I learned today from the sermon was that I needed to fix my focus, its not about the findings, its the becoming!  The word of God says “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”(Matthew 6:34)  I can’t just allow myself to sit here and worry about whats ahead, I need to shift my focus onto bettering myself each day and magnifying God in order to receive the ultimate joy.

I ask you continue to keep me in your prayers as I strive on, but also to just remind yourself that there is beauty in the pain you’re going through. Shift your focus to seeing the end goal rather than the current hardship.

stay strong in faith,

J

 

Trust His Promises

 

Have you ever been told no and just wondered why you weren’t able to have what you want, when you feel you deserve it?
Lately, I’ve found myself wanting what others around me have and wondering why I haven’t received my blessings yet. Whether it’s a job, getting into a dream school, true love or financial stability. When we look at the scripture, Mark 11:24 says “Whatever you ask in prayer,  believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
So what if you spend day and night praying and still you don’t receive it.. then what? I guess this is where I am now. In a moment of questioning God..I been in this constant battle for the last two months. You see two months ago, November 5th, 2016 to be exact, the spirit of the Lord spoke to me through a man of God, and he TOLD me that He was about to open doors in my life that I would see my prayers being answers.  I remember that evening so vividly, the presences of His spirit around me, it brought me to chills. I came home that night and even texted a friend just so happy about what I heard from God, I remember saying that this night wasn’t a revival, it was a reminder of God promises.
But here’s the thing, God love is not selfish, He won’t give us his love in pieces so why is it I find myself questioning and doubting God?

“When God is in it..it flows. When the flesh is in it..it is forced. If He is in it, it’s remarkable how approval will be granted, how a growing interest will percolate, and how the timing will fall right into place. It will come together almost in spite of you.” -Charles R. Swindell 

I must place all my trust in God in order for his work to be done. I know I’m not the only one in this same spot of worry and even discomfort. It so hard to constantly get your mind out of the doubts and thoughts that God’s plan isn’t going to happen. This is the time for a practice of patience. It’s a waiting game, where God is teaching you so many life lessons. This is the part where we must really just rely on God and TRUST Him, I mean He is the creator of the universe, He knows every path and details of your life.

I was reading through blogs I follow recently and I came across this quote that worded it so perfectly..
“God’s promises are funny. Sometimes He shows us what He has for us and then He invites us in to the refining place of waiting and contending — not because we need to earn something but because He wants to stamp us with His image in those places. There’s a piece of His heart to be found in the waiting.

This journey is the hardest thing for me. I feel like every day I’m having conversations with God just unsure of why I’m not ready for the next piece of my puzzle.. but His word reminds me that He makes all things work together for the greater good.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens“- Ecclesiastes 3:1

Stay strong my friends, always remember when you face difficult times, that that challenges are not sent to destroy you. They’re sent to strengthen you.

Trust the process.

-J

2017


Father God,
allow me to cry for the broken hearts,
listen for the heavy hearted.
love for the ones without it. impact all, and share your word.
teach me to live kingdom minded, strengthened in your word.
teach me to remain faithful and live to fulfill your plans.
allow me to be a light in the darkness, remind me daily of your sovereign grace.
change my heart and mind from focusing on things that are not from you.
fix my brokenness, that I no longer hold onto hurt from people around me.
Father, take away any stubbornness, anger, or anxiety that I hold.
speak to me this year..
give me clarity for the things I’m lost in,
open my eyes to see what is needed for change so I may grow in your presence.
allow me to be selfless to what you have in store.
less of me, and more of you, Father God.
Amen.

let this be my hearts cry for year 2017.

-J

The Unknown

Three weeks ago, I became a college graduate..and the questions began..

“So now that you’re done with school, are you looking to get married? What’s next for you? Do you have plans to return to school? A job lined up yet?”

So many questions that have been asked and I’ve been stuck in the emotional mess of overwhelming fear and uncertainty. But I’ve come to realize that not knowing what’s next isn’t exactly wrong.

It’s okay, actually. My cousin said something to me on graduation night that really stuck with me, “Always have the mindset that the older you get, the more little you know. There is always room for improvements.” He was so right. I’m still young…The world is so big, and I’m just a small fish in it.

The unknown of what’s next is scary, but God reminds me that He will direct my future..

There is a calm in the unknown. It’s the realization that although as a planner, this is difficult, this is needed.

The unknown is for growth, to keep me on my feet.

The unknown is living in the moment; taking it all in and enjoying life.

The unknown is relief in knowing your problems are being placed in Gods hands.

The bible says ‘Fear Not’ 365 times, one for each day of the year. He didn’t intend for us to spend our days preoccupied with anxiety.

Maybe this unknown is meant for a change in heart rather than the situations.

There is a sense of peace in the unknown..

believe in His plan.

-J