I’ll be honest— I’ve been a bit challenged this month.
Personal issues, trying to juggle caring for myself and a growing little boy that I just wish would be my sweet little newborn again, waking up early to get some things done, and being intentional about God and my personal growth…. man, it’s work and ya girl is tired.
To be even more honest, I’m experiencing a real struggle internally. I’m seeing that change is hard, growth is hard, obedience to God is hard and it seems like none of it is coming easy.
I’ve had to fight off some toxic thoughts and replace them with new and better ones. I’m trying to parent in a godly way (and boy oh boy is that not fun most days). I’m really trying to change.. A LOT.
If all of this is supposed to be for my good though, why am I feeling so sad?
Now don’t get me wrong. I love saying yes to God. I love loving Him and finding out who He is in His Word. I love that I’m getting to realize ways that He answers me or works things out for me and it makes me smile knowing He really does hear me and see me.
Because of Him, I’m changed.
Because of Him, the old me is dying.
Because of Him, I’m choosing to carry my cross and go where He leads.
But in a world of naysayers, believers that are kinda sorta all in with God, but kinda sorta all in with the world (and yes, this was me), non-believers, skeptics, and people that just don’t want no parts of God, it’s tough.
It’s tough when you’re trying to live holy, but the world is redefining holiness.
It’s hard to turn away from alcohol when all you want is a night of mental escape.
It’s tough to keep your thoughts pure when EVERYTHING you see on tv or hear on the radio is overtly sexual. (Shoot even just going to the gym be hard…why do dudes with beards and tattoos be flooded in that place??)
It’s tough to abstain from sex, when the world says to just do what feels good.
The world does an amazing job of selling you a lie.
The world does wonders in making sin look attractive.
But let me let you in on a little secret that the world and the devil doesn’t want you to know:
There is no freedom in having all the sex you want.
There is no freedom in thinking that as a woman (or man), you can do whatever the heck you want to please your body or have it pleasured.
There is no freedom in drinking alcohol until you can’t drink no more.
There is no freedom in anyone or anything, in any job title, money amount, person, place, thing, or idea (see how I threw the definition of a noun in there, lol). But seriously though, apart from Christ, you have no freedom. You’re just a slave out here in chains, pretending to be free, while everyone else looking at you sees that you’re enslaved.
That was most definitely me. I’m just trying not to go back to being that person anymore.
I have to lean on the Lord every. single. freakin’. day.
And every day is not the easiest in walking with Him and following His lead.
If anyone told you following Jesus means all problems evaporate, you’ll always have money, and your cares disappear, they lied.
Following Jesus is dying to yourself. Dying to yourself is not and will not ever be easy.
I hope no one takes this as a way of me trying to scare anyone off from following God. That will never ever be my intention. I just want my heart heard and the truth told that the phrase, “pick up your cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24) is not some cute Christian saying that should make you all warm & fuzzy inside.
If you think of Jesus and the cross He carried, did it appear easy?
I don’t know what ya’ll have been told, but this walk, this dying to self daily…it ain’t for the weak. It’s really for the strong.
Blocking people, I’ve done it. Changing habits, doing it constantly. Removing the wrong peeps from my life and removing myself from certain situations, done and done.
And just so I’m clear, when it comes to the whole sex thing–Sex was created by God, but in the context of how He created it. He created it for marriage between a man and a woman. He didn’t create it so that we can go out and have recreational sex. That may have been what I thought was cool or ok to do in the past, but I don’t think that way anymore.
Making a commitment to look at sex and life in general God’s way, I want to do it so bad. I wish I had no problems whatsoever doing it God’s way. But it’s no joke and it’s haaarrdd.
It’s hard being single & saved.
It’s hard being a godly mama.
It’s hard saying no to my flesh.
It’s hard fighting off bad thoughts!
I feel like the devil is constantly telling me that I can’t possibly do this and live this way every single day.
But you know what?
The devil can take his lies and put them where the sun doesn’t shine (where he is already). I know I can’t—but HE, my Lord Jesus, can.
I can and will do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
I will stand on the fact that when I am weak, then HE is strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
I am never EVER battling things alone because God goes before me and He is behind me (Psalm 139:5).
Do you see what I did there? Do you see why it’s important to get the Word of God deep down in your heart and to study it daily?
Because how can you ever fight those negative thoughts with an unloaded gun?
You can’t. So don’t even try.
Dust off that dang Bible, pick it up, and READ IT.
When you read it you’ll get free.
When you read it, your eyes will be opened to the truth.
When you read it, you’ll be looking around like, “why the heck are all y’all sleep, while I’m the one walking around here woke?!”
You’ll be saying that because the Word of God will wake you up from the world’s lying lullaby.
I don’t know about y’all, but I’m not going back to sleep.
I don’t know about y’all, but I’m saying RIP to that old Key.
My God, my Daddy, my Creator, my Everything— You and You alone hold me together. You’re so good to me that I can’t even put in words how good You are. You show me grace, You’ve blessed me with the best family, tribe, and church….MAN! You just bless me with so much of the best God. Following You is freedom. But it’s not always pleasant.
I feel this immense pressure…pressure that I’ll fail, I’ll backslide, I’ll have a weak moment that I just can’t get out of. I’m scared that I’ll stop wanting to live for You, even with the Holy Spirit’s help and I’ll just throw in the towel…
But I refuse to let up. I refuse to give up on my journey with You.
I can’t stop and won’t stop because every part of You makes every part of me better.
I know this journey will have its ups and downs, but as long as I’m in those ups and downs with You, that’s enough for me. So I’m telling myself the phrase my mom told me her pastor is known to say, “buckle up buttercup.” I’m in this ride with You for the long haul. And as long as You ain’t going anywhere, neither am I.
Where You lead, I’ll follow because I know wherever You take me will be worth it in the end.