21 Days… Tuesday, Apr 19 2011 

March 28, 2011 – April 17, 2011

21 Days of fasting.  21 days of prayer.  21 days of self-discovery.

What began as a journey for the church family, became a journey that tested my faith, and led me to a destination of self-discovery.

My pastor asked that we write our prayers, the ones we most desired to seek answers for, on our hearts.

March 28th my fast began.  It began with “break” week.

Break to destroy the completeness of; to force one’s way out of; to put an end to; to become fractured or broken; to stop abruptly; to yield or submit to.

I, first, had to break down MY will, so that I could seek after HIS will.

I began to pray, “God you know what my will is.  You know what I hope for and what I desire, but my will matters NOTHING compared to YOUR will.  God, I seek YOUR will.”

As I began to break down, I also began to break in.  I had to allow myself to be adapted for HIS purpose…HIS will.  I had to become broken of all of me, so I could focus on HIM.

When I allowed myself to break in, it became possible for me to break out.  This means that I was “ready for action.”  I was ready for GOD to move in, as my flesh moved aside.

April 4th started “bring” week.

Bring – to carry to another place; to get the attention of.

I began to bring forward everything that I had written on my heart.  I began to present to GOD all of my concerns and all of the situations that have been burdening my heart.

I began to bring forth my prayers….prayers not for myself….but prayers for three people who I have had a burden for since the end of 2010.

During this week, the sacrifices that I chose began to take a toll on my body.  I started questioning, “Why am I even doing this?  Will anything even come out of this?”

My Faith had become tested.

When we fast, we exercise our faith.  Fasting strengthens and deepens our faith.

Fasting requires Faith.

Fasting is a test of faith.  Faith helps us take that step towards something that we cannot see.  At the end of the fast, maybe only one prayer will be answered; maybe none.

Even still, by Faith we believe.  By Faith, we sacrifice.  By Faith, we trust.

On April 10th, my Faith was strengthened.  One of my prayers had been answered.

The perfect example of Faith, in my life, was able to regain strength and share a seat next to her husband during the morning service.

To some, that may seem like nothing, but to me that was everything.  If no other prayer would be answered, the 14 days that I had already sacrificed was indeed worth it.

This lady of Christ, who has had EVERY opportunity to lose her Faith, has instead chosen to HOLD ON to it….through EVERY storm.

It was as if GOD was reminding me….

2 Corinthians 12:9 ~ My grace is sufficient for thee:  for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:10 ~ for when I am weak, then am I strong.

It was then and there that I decided, though I cannot see the end….I do not know that I will see any other prayers answered…..but I will continue…..I will complete this sacrifice.

April 10th began “break forth” week.

This was the week that all the prayers that had been brought forth, and all that had been sacrificed would stand revealed.

I began to thank HIM, to praise HIM, to glorify HIM for all HE had done, and all HE will continue to do.

Although my prayers were not for myself, through my sacrifice, things in my life, that I have struggled with, have begun to break.

Because these things have begun to break, I have discovered a new truth and a new acceptance of myself.

For years, I have lived with insecurities.

These insecurities have caused me to lose out on things that I truly desired.

These insecurities have caused pain.

 These insecurities have caused me to miss out on opportunities.

I have come to accept the fact that I am not perfect; BUT I am created in the image of GOD who is PERFECT.

GOD makes no mistakes.  I was created the person I am for a reason.

It does not matter what others think of me.

I am who I am.  I live how I live.  I love who I love. I pray how I pray.

They have not walked in my shoes.

It does not matter if I have been in love and lost.

To have been in love and to have lost is better than to have never truly been in love at all.

It does not matter what I choose to do.

It does not matter who or what I choose to become.

I am not perfect.  I am just me.

I am GOD’s creation.  HE loves me for me.

“I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

When all of a sudden I am unaware  of these afflictions,

eclipsed by glory and I realize how beautiful You are

and how Your affections are for me.”

The chains of insecurities, surrounding my life, are broken.

New doors, in my life, have begun to open.

I am being remade.

Is not this the fast that I have chosen?  to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? ~ Isaiah 58:6

Though these 21 days are gone, I will continue to cleave to Faith. I will continue to pray.

I will continue to trust in HIM.

“If my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear Your voice,
I hold onto what is true, though I cannot see.
If the storms of life they come, and the road ahead
gets steep, I will lift these hands in faith, I will believe.”

BREAK.  BRING.  BREAK FORTH.

 21 days of sacrifice.

One prayer answered.

Worth it all.

~Bek~

walk by FAITH….not by FEAR Wednesday, Jan 19 2011 

In life, we all face many uncertainties – those that require choices, chances, and changes.  At times, we become completely afraid….afraid of how our choices, chances, and changes we make will affect our future….and possibly the future of others.  In these moments, we struggle with doubt, with worry, with fear.  In these moments, we lose our faith.  We pray….we seek answers….but yet, we are walking by fear and not by faith.  Fear causes us to close the doors that have been opened for us, because we are too afraid to walk through them.  In order for us to move forward with our lives….in order for us to allow God to lead us….we must listen….we must follow….we must walk by FAITH.

“Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future, it’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.” ~ Joni Erickson Tada

We live in the season of uncertainty…. the season of questions….the season of doubt.  The Bible tells us to “fear not.”  In fact, Jesus told us to “FEAR NOT” 365 times throughout the Bible.  Three-hundred and sixty-five times!!  Because of that, His Words cover 365 days of each year.  That means that each day we wake up….we know that before we even begin our day….come what may…. God said “FEAR NOT!!”

The Bible specifically tells us that God is not the author of fear.  When God opens the door….when he gives you direction….hold on to your faith…it will get you through.  Doubt, worry, confusion, fear….these are not of Him.

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…  1 Corinthians 14:33

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

When we pray….when we seek God’s face….when we cry out to Him for answers…. when we ask for direction……. He will give us strength…. He will give us peace.  At times of peace, we still question…we still worry….we still doubt….though we shouldn’t…   BECAUSE as HE said…FEAR NOT!!!!!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

For we walk by Faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7

Faith means that we have to step out into the unknown…..holding fast and holding strong to the hand of GOD…..HE will lead and guide us….HE WILL catch us if we fall…

Feels like I’ve been here forever,

why can’t you just intervene?

Do you see the tears keep falling?

And I’m falling apart at the seams.

But you never said the road would be easy,

But you said that you would never leave.

And you never promised that this life wasn’t hard,

But you promised you’d take care of me…..

I’ll trust you God….

and believe you will have your way…

It’s time to take the step of FAITH………and FEAR NOT!!

 

~Bek~

 

“To get to the rainbow, you have to get through the rain.” Monday, Jan 10 2011 

Each day, I usually post one facebook status.  It always pertains to something that is occurring in my life…my thoughts…my feelings…or what I believe could “hit home” with someone else.  I do not anticipate my statuses to be read by many, nor do I expect them to be this life-changing message.  Most are not my own, but all correlate with me and my life.

Earlier this week, I posted a quote that I read somewhere.  It said:  “To get to the rainbow, you have to get through the rain.”

I do not know the dictator of this quote.  I do not know the mindset, nor the situation that this person may have been in, when this statement was quoted.  What I do know is what went through my mind, when I read it.

2010, for me, was a life-changing year.  The life I had been living for almost six years, was no longer existent.  Everything that I had known….Everything that I had become….Everything that I tried to make the best of through the struggles, fake smiles, and the little hope that was left in that life.  Thoughts of what ifs and regrets.  Worried that I would never make it on my own.  Worried that I would never find myself again, in a whole new world….a new life that was about to begin for me.  The stress of the change overwhelmed my mind and my body.  Struggling with major change in my home and life…..struggling with a tough semester of college….struggling with feelings of uncertainty….and struggling with not knowing how to find ME!!

I am 25 years old and I have been a legal adult for quite some time now.  I had made decisions and choices that were, what I thought at that time, hard.  But it wasn’t until I was faced with the “disassembling” of my life that I truly understood how hard adulthood, and the seriousness of the choices I would be forced to make, can be.  I had tried everything I could to KNOW the answers BEFORE making these decisions.  I did not want to be faced with uncertainty.  I wanted to know what my outcome would be.  I was wrong!!

Our lives are not meant to be lived on OUR terms.  They are meant to be lived on GOD’s terms!!  It was a life that I had chosen to live, but was now a life that I was completely unfamiliar with. My life had become just something that I woke up every morning to, knowing the routine I had to complete just to get through the each day.  I will never know why I began a journey just to watch it end.  Only MY GOD does.  He has a plan and a purpose in every person’s life.  Though we may never understand, we have to hold on to the knowledge that GOD is in control.  We just have to completely SURRENDER ourselves to HIM.  Once I realized that, I fell on my knees and cried out to Him.  I prayed that He would clear my mind from all the fear, all the uncertainty, all the what ifs that would be confronting me in this new chapter of my life.  I prayed for strength and determination.  I prayed that I would, again, find me….not just the me that I once was….but the me that wants more of HIM.  In that moment of tears, of prayers, of renewing my relationship with my Heavenly Father….I began to grow.

His Word says that He will never put more on us than we can bear.  I held on, and am still holding on to that Truth!!  I cannot see the destination that He has for me, but  I have begun my journey, into my new life, with my hand holding on tight to Christ’s.  I no longer want to try and make my life what I want it to be.  I only want God’s will in my life.  I want to follow Him and allow Him to lead me.  His plan, His purpose, is greater than anything that I could ever make for myself.  It is in Him where I find my strength, my hope, my faith; in Him is where I will find MYSELF!!

In 2010, my change…my new life…my journey began.  I have no regrets of the past.  It has helped me become who I am today.

I made it through the rain…..

At the end of 2010, I had the privilege of spending time with three of the most amazing women I know.  Each of these women, in one way or another, have suffered through pain, fear, acceptance, and heartache.  After the small amount of time I was able to share with them, listening to their stories, becoming immersed in their emotions, and witnessing their sweet spirits, filled with the presence of GOD…..I realized that through their pain, they gained strength; through their fear, they gained courage; through their struggle with acceptance, they held on to faith in what they could not see, and became true to themselves; and through their heartache, they truly learned to LOVE.

Their examples….their faith….their trust in GOD…..their lives……THEIR rainbows….    Those things and more, inspired and motivated my desire to be true to ME and follow after God….. and HIS plan for my life……

I closed a chapter of my life in 2010.  My new chapter…my “reconstruction” has begun in 2011.

…..I am chasing after my rainbow

~Bek~

 

2010’s song for my life….

 

The Uncertainties of Life Monday, Jan 10 2011 

A friend asked if I had made any New Years resolutions…to which, of course, I replied, “No.”  I haven’t made resolutions in quite a while.  (I have never really believed in them, because you don’t just change the way you are at the stroke of midnight.)  She then asked me what was the one thing that I would choose if I had to.  It really hit me.  What I want this year is to be completely true to myself and to who I am.  I no longer want to worry about how others perceive me.  I am an honest person, but I want to be a more open person to those I love and to those that I truly care about.  I have a problem sharing things vocally at times, usually worried that I will say the wrong things, or worried that I cannot accurately express myself.  I’m tired of living with regrets because of the things I have chosen not to say and/or do.  I do not know what lies ahead of me and this change in my outlook…and my desire to have more self-confidence in this new year.  It will be a challenge…but I will achieve it.

All this triggered my thought process…about change…uncertainties…and regrets.  Who is to know what the future holds?  Who is to know where each step we take will lead us?  But what opportunities will we miss out on if we do not choose to take those steps toward our future?

Life is full  of uncertainties – doubt, hesitancy, indeterminacy, unpredictability, indefiniteness.  We ask ourselves, “what if?”….   What if things never change?  What if they do and it is the wrong decision?  What if I regret taking a chance on something?  What if I don’t take that chance, will I regret never taking it? ….  What if!?  We can ask ourselves that question all day long, but if we wait to do everything until we know for sure that things are right, or certain, then we will never do much of anything.  We have to make choices, take chances, and at times make changes, in order to survive this crazy thing called life.  Uncertainty – worry, skepticism, concern, confusion, indecision.  What if!? …  If – a supposition; an uncertainty.  Asking the question, “what if,” will either make us step back and reevaluate, or make us lose out on greater possibilities.  How will we ever know what the future holds by always stopping and asking ourselves “what if”?  Life is full of regrets…but it’s not the things you do that you regret, it’s the things that you don’t do and wish you had that you regret the most.  No choice, chance, or change in life is ever perfect.  That is what makes life – our existence – so hard at times.  Our uncertainties can either develop us or damage us.  Change can be consumed with fear…fear of heartache or regret.  We have to stop and ask ourselves, what will we lose in this change; but we must also ask ourselves, is this fear of change really worth losing the possibility of gaining something greater?  Choice – selection; chance – possibility, or favorable opportunity; change – to transform, or to pass gradually into.  We cannot predict the future.  We cannot determine what will happen next in life.  All we can do is take baby steps into the next window of opportunity.  Though there are always consequences to every decision made, live in the moment and choose what will make you happy.  Growth does not happen without change.  Change does not happen without fear, pain, or loss.  Without pain, we have no growth.  Every decision can be made without regrets as long as you are able, in the end, to look in the mirror with a smile on your face and say, “life has its uncertainties and its what if’s, but I am determined to live it, knowing that I opened the door of change for greater possibilities.”  Life is full of uncertainties – we can either let them control us, or we can overcome them…we all have a choice…

I, for one, no longer want to live in fear of change and the things that I desire.  I am holding on to faith — the belief in what I cannot see, prove, or touch.  I am choosing to run, FULL-SPEED, into the unknown.

“Sometimes those things that scare us the most are also the ones that have the potential to make us the happiest.”

From this point on…I will learn to care less about what others think of me…and focus more on who I am…the person I am becoming…and my happiness.  I will surround myself with people who know that I make mistakes and still love me anyway.  I will always strive to do my best for others, but I am not perfect.

Take me as I am….or watch me as I go.

~Bek~