Entries in spirit (24)
For many years my relationship with God was like my relationship with health and fitness. I would be doing great for 3 or 4 weeks and then one day I would fall off. Falling off in my spiritual walk meant: not praying for weeks sometimes months, not seeking God at all much less on Sunday and filing my daily life with reckless debauchery. I would live like this for months. Then I would go to church and have a spiritual meltdown and try to be good all over again. Just like failing continually on a diet, my spiritual life was exhausting. Guilt was my best friend. The only time I really talked to God was when I needed a clear conscious before a plane ride, driving in bad road conditions or when I really did something unsavory. For a few years I was outright running away from God. As soon as I heard a gospel song I would turn it off or if a minister would come on TV I would switch the channel immediately. It’s like when someone puts a really healthy salad on a plate filled with Macaroni and Cheese, biscuits and crispy fried chicken; you are not thinking about that salad!
My continual health failures mirrored the mounting guilt I had toward God. I was trying so hard to be good but it just wasn’t working. God has a way of putting the breaks on us in due time. This moment happened to me when everything in my life crumbled. I had no job, no home, no relationship and no money. I could have let this moment pass me by like all the other crisis moments in my life but I was tired of the running, the guilt and the frustration; and so I surrendered.
However, surrendering is sometimes the easy part. It is easy after not being able to fit into any of your clothes and devouring a whole pizza to realize something needs to change, it is the steps that you take afterward that change your life. I didn’t realize it then but I took my first steps toward building a consistent relationship with God that was unlike anything I had done before. For this to work I had to do things I enjoyed (just like working out). I found a ministry that taught the word the way I needed to hear it, I found a Bible that I could actually comprehend (no words like: thou, shalt, lo and thee), I started to volunteer with the less fortunate and I began to pray as if I was having conversation with a friend. The awesome thing about God is that once I did my part he more than did his. All the things I once struggled with just melted away; no guilt, no trying to be good I just LIVED.
The point is that I struggled so much before because I was trying to change myself; instead of letting God and the power of Christ change me. The only way you can see the change is by taking the steps to build the relationship daily. Not once a week on Sunday mornings but every day; praying, reading, fasting and seeking. Just how our bodies will reflect hard work and clean eating; our life will reflect the closeness of our relationship with God.
If you want that life than pray this prayer, pick up the word and start. There is no right or wrong way to have a relationship with God. Sometimes I just sit and think, I write to him in my journal, I sing to him while I am running, I sit and study for hours or I go on a juice fast. It is through relationship that brings about the change.
Do you feel like you are letting God down? Have you been struggling for years to have a spiritual walk? Are you running from God? Do you constantly feel guilty? Share your thoughts and comments.
The biggest enemy is not your haters, your naysayers or your rivals it is the enemy living within you. Yes! I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. In our ego driven society we are so used to striking a pose and flaunting our attractiveness all over social media that we build this false sense of self-confidence. Yes, we think we look great but do we truly love ourselves or know our worth? As someone who has battled with my own self-worth, I know that there is lingering self-doubt that is not fixed by being an instagram model. Some of the worse things that are said about us are not even from the people that “hate” us but it comes from within.
I have talked myself in and out of reaching goals. I have doubted my talents on so many occasions, that I can’t even count. I have told myself that I was not ready, not smart enough, not thin enough and not experienced enough. I have said things to myself that I would KILL the next person for saying to my face. Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we beat ourselves down? I believe that we are this way because instead of focusing on God, our own lives and dreams we focus on the world around us. We are focused on celebrities who have more success, money and resources than we do. We focus on friends and acquaintances that appear to have more than we have. Through various media outlets we are always up to date on the latest that is happening in someone else’s life. Media outlets are not even giving us an accurate representation of the people we follow, because it doesn’t show the hurt, hardships and trials that are faced on a daily basis. Mentally we begin to view our own lives through these false lenses of perfection and berate ourselves, talk down to ourselves and stop ourselves from being who we are meant to be.
STOP. YOU ARE AMAZING! Stop letting that inner voice inside keep you from fulfilling your purpose. Sometime I just need to step away from observing everyone else’s life and observe my own. The word of God says we are beautifully and wonderfully made; with a pre-destined purpose (psalm 139:13-17). So if God thinks so highly of us why do we think so lowly of ourselves? This is a constant battle for me. Daily I have to pray for focus and strength but it is possible to truly be delivered from self loathe. I know for a fact.
Take your eyes off the world around you and fix them on God. Fix them on finding your purpose and making your life an inspiration for others to follow. Our time on earth is so limited; so spend it loving who you truly are and speaking life to yourself.
Do you battle with your “inner-me”? What are some of the negative thoughts you have conquered? What do you believe is the reason we are so hard on ourselves? What is your advice to someone struggling with this? Share your thoughts and comments.
Yay! Today I step into a new age. I feel super blessed to be able to see another year. At some point I should start feeling anxiety about getting older but I don’t. Aging is awesome. I am so much wiser than I was before. I look and feel better than I did when I was younger. More importantly I LOVE the woman who I am today. I am not perfect but I am more “me” than I was a year ago. At every age we think that we know everything there is to know about life. It’s hard for me to imagine that I will be even wiser and smarter than I am today. Having the humility to understand our own limitations is what makes aging so beautiful. I’ve gone from a thick headed 18-year old to a peaceful 28-year old. I am so blessed to have realized that change is constant that I am an ever evolving being. I understand that I am better today than I was yesterday and it will only keep getting better. So here are the top things I have learned over this past year:
I have issues. Everyone says they have issues and just accepts them; but I acknowledge my issues and try to be better. This year has shed plenty of light on the fact that I am far from perfect. I believe the daily reminders serve to keep me humble. I am on a quest to be the best me I can be before I die.
When you get what you want, it won’t always look like what you asked for. Last year I was praying and pleading with God for my own apartment and a new amazing job so that I could move. Well I didn’t realize till a few days ago that God gave me what I wanted it just wasn’t as fabulous as I had imagined but it’s what I needed now. Learning this truth is so helpful.
The best investment you can make is in yourself. I spent even more time this year investing in the betterment of my life. From developing a rich spiritual life, starting a garden, training for a marathon and volunteering for causes I support I have grown leaps and bounds. My peace and love is on a thousand million. It’s all because daily I take the time to invest in me.
You reap what you sow. I always looked at that statement from a negative aspect but this year I used this logic for the power of good. The more good I sow the more good will come back to me, in some form or another. I live by this now.
Crying is healing. I joke with my best friend because I will literally plan time to have a cry party. Crying is often seen as a weakness. However, I believe this release of emotions leads to a more balanced life. Management of your emotions is key to a successful life and if you suppress your feelings they are bound to come out one way or another. I cry when I am happy, upset or I just don’t know the right words to say. My tears are healing.
I love Jesus. I have to be honest and vulnerable for a moment. Some people have noticed my evolution on social media over the past year and think I have just become “more religious.” But the truth is I have always been this way, I just stopped caring what others were thinking. The truth is 2 years ago when I was 65 pounds overweight, heartbroken, alone and suicidal the only thing that saved my life was Jesus. He has been there since March 30, 1997 when I got saved. Knowing that Jesus wants to have a deep meaningful relationship with me, that his love is never ending and that I am made stronger through the power of God has changed my life completely. I now KNOW for myself. His love and power is available to anyone, you just have to have faith. Salvation Prayer.
Well Happy Birthday to me!!! I am so thankful to all of you who are reading this and for supporting my dream. I hope I can continue to live and inspire for many years to come.
PS- If you are feeling generous please scroll to the top and make a donation toward expanding Paparoxi.com and bringing you even better content. THANK YOU!
Does your hard work go unnoticed? I used to feel like the Little Red Hen working and working relentlessly without proper recognition. This used to bother me severely. I was not the type of person to need reciprocity when I did good things, but I needed gratitude. We are all motivated by different things and I am motivated by praise. However, when you seek to become better daily God will reveal all your little character flaws that he wants to fix. I learned that all the glory and praise should go to the Most High not to me. If I wait for people to give me “appropriate” gratitude for the good things I do then I will be waiting for a long time because it will never be enough and I will never be satisfied. Instead, I realized that what is done in the dark will be brought to the light. All the things that I do good and bad are like seeds being sown in my life, it takes time to harvest the really good fruit. Therefore, instead of looking for instant praise I need to realize that gratitude will manifest itself at some future point. I am learning to become the silent sower quietly doing good without seeking any gratitude. I am humbled by each opportunity I have to bless someone. Now I experience less impulsive emotional moments and more fulfilled wise moments.
"That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly" - Mathew 6:4
I hope this encourages someone who feels they are going unnoticed. Your good work and right heart will pay off eventually; God sees all things.