People for Encouragement

God, thank you for providing me with godly loving people in my life. Thank you for allowing my strengths to help them in times of weakness. & thank you for supplying me with those people that can help me in any area that I am not strong in. I pray that you will continue to provide me with people who will encourage me to grow in my faith & into who you want me to be.

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints.”

Colossians 1:3-4 EVS

Lifting Up Goals to God

God,

I’m so excited to focus on you & my goals. I can’t wait to become a therapist and aid people in overcoming life’s most challenging obstacles while encouraging them to become their best self. I can’t wait to learn about all of the ways I can make this a reality in school. With you by my side & your unfailing strength I can tackle graduate school.

I would love to work in private practice because it would allow me to personalize the population I could work with which would be specifically with children. I would like to further my education after getting my master’s degree in order to be up to date with new knowledge and become the best professional possible for my clients.

I would like to write books in order to help people that I can’t reach personally feel like they aren’t alone in their circumstances. Overall I would love to accomplish all of these career goals in my lifetime. But, I only want to do this if you are at the center of these goals and you see that they honor you. I will work hard. I will become my most exceptional self. I will become a true follower of you. & I will strive for that to be reflected in everything and anything I do. I want to become who you want me to be.

I will grow spiritually by enhancing my relationship with you and project it unto other people. I will not give up. I will look to you in times of weakness. I will look to you in times of strength. I want to please you. I don’t want to be full of resentment and bitterness but be full of love, patience, kindness & humbleness.

God, you have given me so many wonderful things to be thankful for including who you made me to be. I feel like I have the ability to make a difference in this world in some way even if it’s small. I want to do what I have been put on this earth to endure and succeed with the plan you have for me. I want to grow into who I am. You put me here with so much purpose, not to just to develop my character thoroughly but to help others do the same. My hardships have only made me stronger. My love for you and others has only grown. Help me to follow you and continue on this wonderful path through this extraordinary life you have given me.

AMEN

This is a prayer that I wrote out the other day. I challenge you to write out one of your biggest goals you have and lift it up to God.  You are not alone in accomplishing this even if it seems next to impossible. God is there to strengthen and direct you when you need it!

P.S. These are just my career goals. I have other life goals as well. It is also important to note that goals do change over time & that is okay. There are a variety of goals can you have whether it be fitness related, in your career or any other aspect of your life. We need each other & God to help guide us to achieve our goals! Ask for help & set a goal that resonates with you.

1 Chronicles 16:11

“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”

 

What Doesn’t Kill You Strengthens You

On a dark gloomy day a part of me was taken away. Who I was to the core was shaken because someone believed that what they wanted was far superior than my own choice. Didn’t you lead him on? You already had sex with him what is the big deal? I can hear all of the voices entering my mind all at once. They soon begin to alter my perspective on the situation. Maybe it really was my fault. Maybe I am to blame.

I felt like this person cared about me and respected me enough that when I had said “no” countless times that the answer was simply no. I had made up my mind before the night began and stood by my decision as it ended. I was drinking but I was still repeating the word over & over again. He said he understood my answer. He got upset that I kept having to remind him. But, he waited for the opportunity when “no” had stopped being uttered as frequently and took it as a “yes.” Pure shock entered my body. I don’t remember how long it took to get him off of me. All I know is that the memory faded as soon as it began. Although, I vaguely recall him say “I’m sorry.”

All I could think was sorry? SORRY? I can’t believe this, my heart was beating so fast I don’t even remember what happened next and then I woke up the next day. I got enough courage to look him in the face and tell him to leave. He tried to apologize again. He tried to reach out but he was also blaming me for the encounter. It was my fault? How could’ve I made myself more clear? He just wanted me he had said. He just wanted to be with me.

No. You never truly know how little sorry means until someone hurts you to the center of your being. When all you want to do is shout out “NO YOU ARE NOT!” People think sorry will fix things or make you feel better when clearly what they did was beyond wrong. That was the first time in my life when I didn’t want an apology. I wanted more. I wanted him in all honestly to rewind time and take it all back. I wanted to forget that it happened and be able to forget him and move on with my life. Life doesn’t just go on when you want it to and the past can’t be erased or redone.

After months of trying to process this I knew I had to forgive. Forgive? I mean come on God there has to be another way. How could I forgive someone who knew the kind of pain I was already going through and decided to add on to it? The bottom line is that forgiving him wasn’t about him. It wasn’t about his actions or words being my definition of okay. It was about me. It was about being free from living through it again and again. Forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight and it might take longer than expected. But, forgiving him fully without resentment was what ultimately relieved the pain and sorrow associated with him and that night.

This was a blessing in disguise. This was what made me fully commit to wait until marriage until I slept with someone else. It was the pain that unraveled inside me that has made me grow into the person for the right man. & most importantly it brought me closer to God’s plan for me.

I dodged a bullet. I learned a lesson. & it has made me stronger. It has made me wiser. Pain is never meant to be wasted. It is meant to be exposed and when doing so you will walk away with much more than anything you could’ve ever got.

Matthew 5:44

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

Begin Again

It’s okay to start over. It’s okay to not want the things you once did. It’s okay to not know exactly what you want in life. It’s okay to live your life the way you want to. It’s okay because this is your life. You don’t want to go back & see all the decisions you should’ve made or all of the things you could’ve done. You will want to reflect back upon your life & be proud of the choices you made.

The way you feel matters. The way you think matters. Who you are matters. Don’t get caught up in what should be or what could be, but look at who you are now. Concentrate on the person you have become, the way life is going in this moment & on the person God is transforming you to be. & if you don’t like who you are or don’t like what you are doing then begin a new you. Be more grateful, travel more & or do something you wouldn’t usually do. Live your life to its fullest ability. Do not be scared to start a brand new chapter with a different outlook on life. If you don’t decide now, you may never will.

Job 8:7

“Though your beginning was insignificant, yet your end will increase greatly.”

 

Consume Information for Growth

Life as we know it is passing us by. We consume information day in & day out about the world around us. We often see the world through our eyes and perceive it just as we would like to. What we read and listen to can provide us room to grow or it can slowly tear a part who we are meant to be.

I talk a lot about the person we are meant to be because each and every one of us are here for a purpose. Now, just think about that for a minute….purpose. We are on this earth and were created for purpose. No matter how small, purpose is purpose. Just because not all of us will be lawyers, doctors or have some extravagant career does not diminish our purpose here on earth. Contrary to popular belief, our careers & upbringings do not define who we are or supply us with our entire purpose. Those things may bring us on our purpose driven path but in no way do they determine our purpose.

Do purpose and what we consume correlate?

In my opinion, yes. What our purpose is and what we put into our every day lives most certainly correlates. If all you are consuming is rap music and movies with heavy sexual content and language you are in a way changing your outlook on life. Okay, don’t get me wrong I do enjoy some rap music and some movies I want to see do have explicit graphics and or language.

But, let me tell you one thing; as soon as I started reading or listening to the Bible and books about spiritual or personal growth and integrating what I learned into my life did I finally see the growth in my character that I was longing for. When I stopped consuming so much television & social media and took time to read, self-reflect and journal did I actually start on what I believe is my purpose. Everyone has their own theory on how they can become their best self. But, why not take time to invest in yourself? One thing I invested in is spending long car rides to work or the store with something as simple as audiobooks. I promise you, the right audiobooks for personal and or spiritual growth will allow you to look at life from a whole new outlook and or be inspired in a new way.

My suggestion: To be more mindful of what you choose to consume. It doesn’t have to be a lot of your time but incorporating information for growth and diminishing time on social media and or television will provide you a better sense of purpose and self.

 

Choose Love

Loving your significant other, family and friends is important. It is not the only love that should be deeply considered in life. It is critical to love everyone. Okay, so loving people is hard, am I right? If you really think about it though, loving people is such an easy thing to do and brings some incredible happiness along with it.

When you love instead of hate you are able to let go of pain and resentment more easily that might be holding you back from truly moving forward in life. Someone may have really hurt you or completely broke your heart. Why not love them anyway? Love them because they too have been hurt and their heart will surely break in the future. Love people because loving takes less effort, brings more joy and expresses who you are. It isn’t about liking everyone you meet or staying in close connections with everyone you have completely been in love with. Love is caring and thoroughly acknowledges the existence of other people.

Everyone has their battle wounds. Everyone goes through pain. Everyone has a unique story to tell. So, love them for that. Love people because they are someone special to someone else. They are someone else’s reason to smile. Let the bitterness diminish and the love overflow.

John 13:34

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

 

 

 

 

Influential Relationships

The relationships in your life can either draw you closer to your full potential or pull you farther from it. & sometimes it is hard to separate ourselves from toxic people or people that may not be necessarily toxic but aren’t good for us. It is often difficult to see someone for who they are. It is beneficial for your well-being & your future self to invest in good healthy relationships with other people.

The people you surround yourself with will be a factor in shaping you into who you will become. That it is why it is vital to incorporate the right people in your life. People who will expand your knowledge on an array of subjects. People who will enhance your spirituality. People who will push you outside of your comfort zone and force you to be a better version of yourself. You need these kind of people. & it will be in your best interest to strive to have relationships with people who only do one or more of the above. Choose to live a life with people who will offer you both joy and growth.

A Selfless Life

The first few years of life people live selfishly. Not knowing the difference of course, but the motives of an infant and of a small child is for oneself. Most of the thoughts that surround our actions are how they will benefit our own well-being. However, as we grow up we can either adopt selfish behavior as part of our character or learn to gradually diminish the character trait entirely. Being selfish is not something most people aspire to be. We were not created to be selfish and to live life for our own pleasure.

Don’t get me wrong, being selfish can have “benefits.” You can choose to spend money on new clothes instead of on a present for someone else. Or you can choose to not spend time with a loved one in order to do something more enjoyable for yourself. The fact is that doing selfish acts will never be truly satisfying.  Giving someone your time or a small gift of love and appreciation will always bring far more happiness than what you could’ve done for yourself. God made us with the longing to love and give to others. And that is why it is so often a far more positive and gratifying experience to grant someone else your time or possessions.

Philippians 2:4

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

God’s Plan

I feel like everyone has this idea in their mind about the life they want to live and the kind of person they want to become. Sometimes our life becomes blurred with trials, twists & turns. & we lose sight of who we are and what we need. God wants us to have everything He has promised to us. & that is why it is essential for God’s plan to be followed.

For me, I have always believed and valued God’s word. However, I didn’t live through it, I didn’t allow it to be the foundation of my life.  I could tell that I wasn’t as happy as I could be. & I was looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. I was building an unhealthy attachment to people, places and things. I was seeking something I would never find in any of those aspects of life. But, I should’ve been seeking God and what he has in store for me.

I have been reluctant in the past to take on His path because that would require me to listen to all of His word not just the bits and pieces that align with what I want. I have learned over time that what I need is far more vital than what I want. Life isn’t meant to be lived to please ourselves. There is so much more to life than that. It is far more critical to look deeper and seek your spirituality and begin to recollect the person that God made you to be and the person you are suppose to become.

God’s plan may not be the plan you have for yourself. I know there are things I want that I may never receive because it is not what I need. & what I need is God & direction towards a brighter future through Him. His timing is the best timing. & not everything will always be good. But, I am willing to continue on His path & commit to follow His plan.

Love vs. Lust

In today’s society love and lust are easily interchangeable. There is a reason why people typically seem to “fall in love” faster than ever before. It could also be because of the way media perceives love.

Usually it goes like this: Boy meets girl. Boy and girl sleep together. Now, the next part can go one of three ways. The boy and girl could pursue something more, continue just casually sleeping together or cut off contact altogether. & then something confusing happens if the boy & girl continue to sleep together. Most likely they will start to develop feelings. It is easier for the girl to become attached during this time. Even if the guy isn’t good for her the girl will convince herself based on what she feels in her heart instead of listening to her mind.

Sex clouds judgement. It makes people think that this person is “the one” because of the sexual compatibility. However, sex can make us overlook certain aspects of a person. Sex is the most intimate connection to gain with someone. & therefore, it is what can make us stay blindly in a relationship not good for us.

Lust is wanting to be intimate with someone constantly. Love is wanting to be with someone constantly. Love is sharing experiences. Lust is sharing the bed. Love is caring and selfless. Lust is selfish and carefree. Love is patient and kind. Lust is what gives us false hope for the future. Love is what makes us believe in a future.

This is why sex is suppose to be saved for marriage. Couples who wait until they are married are way less likely to become divorced. Sex is what connects people. If you aren’t the kind of person who can abstain from sex. It is critical to at least really take time to know someone before moving forward to the intimate relationship you want. Sex can make you settle, rob you of happiness and prevent you from finding true love. It is vital to wait for someone that is deserving of your heart, mind, body & soul. Anyone can be sexually compatible. It is the way we are made. However, not everyone is emotionally and spiritually compatible for you. It is important to fight the urge and wait for as long as you can to make the decision. It will be in your heart’s best interest. & will save you a lot of heartbreak down the road.

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