Archives

GO HARD OR DON’T BOTHER

board-2161880_640People will try to box into a corner because they don’t see your potential. Some will label you based on who they think they know you to be or who they think your existence depends on. I laugh and pray for people that seem surprised that I’m confident and successful. No one will ever know what we’ve had to endure to arrive at the place where we are. They don’t see the tears and the pain. They are not around for the hours and days of praying. They will never know the cost you’ve paid yet they will want to decide your worth based on likes, posts and/or fake popularity. We cannot depend on the affirmation of this world for our motivation. We must be inspired by definitively knowing the reason why we are doing what we do. The why is our inspiration. The who can’t be our reason because their responses and lack of support or understanding will change with the weather. You have to believe in your purpose. You have to be your biggest cheerleader or no one can receive the real impact that is intended from your gifts. Pray hard for direction and clarity. And what I mean when I say pray hard is that we must pray consistently like our life depends upon it because frankly, it does.

ACTIVE FAITH NOT EMOTIONAL FAITH

active faith

There is something beautifully painful about growing through correction. Criticism is a necessary evil and the chastisement from a genuine place of unconditional affirming love is absolutely incredible. These last six months for me have been extremely powerful in the sense that a routine prayer that I have is being answered in ways that I never would have expected. I call it a routine prayer because it is one that I say often, and I offer it not out of repetition but out of respect and an earnest desire to want to grow spiritually. The prayer simple says, “Lord, convict me and chastisement so I can be the vessel that you need me to be. Show me the parts of Carlette that I have not given to you.”

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s nothing profound or earth shattering about the prayer, but thanks be unto God that he’s not looking for profound, HE just wants honesty. The ways in which he has released the many answers to this prayer over the last six months is pretty amazing. I call it amazing because the lessons that I learned all derived from a hurt place. Although most of us can admit, pain is our muse or that the thorn in our sides keep us grounded but this has been different. The hurt that I speak of was realized when I had to admit what I was purged of. I had to confess to Abba a lot of hard truths about who I am and how I’ve been treating HIM. These revelations aren’t about sin, yet they are about truth. These nuggets of wisdom are about opening my eyes and receiving a new level of understanding about work I need to do on me and how I can improve to bear more fruit for the kingdom.

I can’t share them all with you but one lesson that stands out to me the most is involving my faith. The circumstances of my life this year alone had caused my faith to be emotionally charged to a degree. When the Lord revealed this to me, I felt just terrible and I was downright embarrassed that a woman of my responsibility in the kingdom and exposure to the miraculous had failed miserably and that I had no idea! I got caught up in a rut of emotions. This is primarily because the people and circumstances that were used to test me during this timeframe are people and situations that I hold dear to my heart therefore, when things went left, they pulled on my heartstrings and caused me to have emotional faith instead of active faith!

My emotional faith didn’t cause me to curse God or to stop serving or to stop attending services. It didn’t even stop me from praying and studying the word. What this shrunken kind of faith did was neutralized me. It stopped me from moving in faith literally and spiritually. Several times over the last six months, I became completely stagnant – zombie like. Now that I can think back on these times, the symptoms are so evident but there were pretty much invisible at the time.

Symptoms included:

·         I became super serious while travailing as if my super serious demeanor was going to push God to move faster on my behalf (this cracks me up now that I can reflect)

·         I became “judgy”. I was making judgements of people in my head and didn’t see the harm in it because I wasn’t verbalizing it to anyone else

·         My spirit was depressed – (imagine a choppy wifi connections. Sometimes you’re connected and sometimes you’re not)

The only remedy for this dis-ease in my faith was to desperately cry out for help. I knew that I didn’t feel complete in my spirit and that I was tipping the scale towards giving up on everything. I may not have said it but I was sure thinking it…more often than not. I wasn’t doing enough to combat my wrong thinking and I hadn’t asked for the freedom that I so desperately needed. My heart was willing because I could no longer go on feeling like this. You would never know that I was feeling this way by looking at me or by speaking to me.

God used the most unsuspecting person who I know genuinely loves me to point out some things to me. Their observations were brought to my attention subtly and gently. I didn’t really HEAR them in my spirit when they were first mentioned. In fact, it took a couple of days for me to absorb what had been said. Once I processed the information, I took it to the Lord in prayer and through his grace and unfailing love, HE dealt with me right where I was. I was purged of all that was ailing me. I received my healing and deliverance. Much repentance and a great deal of worship fell from my lips with a pure heart and clean hands. I was able to literally feel the release. It was beautifully painful.

We must be careful not to fall into ruts of routine and pits of mediocracy. The LORD wants us to be alive and vibrant. Full of zeal and excitement. Our energy should be a result of who we know him to be and not based upon the limits that our emotions cause. There are blessing running over. There is healing bubbling up. There are gifts falling free, but our emotions put a cap on the pot and we stay on simmer. Let our faith be on fire as GOD arises so should we! As HIS enemies scatter so should our doubts, fears and anxieties. Confess your feelings. Do emotional and spiritual check ins with our creator. Our emotions must be handed over to the pilot before we can board. There is going to be turbulence and there will be wind, but God is in the control tower. We have nothing to fear. On the way to our destination we will travel through clouds that will test our strength. Be reminded today that we have explosive strength and power inside of us that cannot be put out. The flame is always burning inside of us. Do not become stagnant. Move as the Holy Spirit leads you. Move in expectation. Pack up your stuff, even if you don’t where or how you are moving. Like a pregnant women is an expectant mother, we must be expectant disciples with active faith! 

The Audacity to have Expectations!

I so love this time of the year when we get to share with family and friends all of the joys of moving forward as we ourselves or our children, grandchildren, spouses, siblings and/or friends graduate. I thoroughly enjoy scrolling through social media and taking in all of the memorable photos and videos. I can always feel the corner of my mouth turning upwards; smiling from the inside out. What a fantastic feeling of celebration that comes over us as the completion of a goal has come to pass! I remember receiving my graduate degree in 2013 and all of the emotions that consumed me on that day. I was full of excitement and great anticipation of what the future would hold. All of those long hours of studying and writing, meeting with project team members and grueling exams gave me the right to expect something in return. I expected to have more confidence and greater self-esteem. I expected my daughter to have another reason to look up to me and to know that she could accomplish this as well. I now expected to get a better job. I now expected a greater salary. I expected a return on my investment. The commitment, dedication and completion gave me the audacity to have expectations. Imagine that! I yielded some of these expectations right away and others I still had to work hard at achieving. Today, I am still striving at some of them. When I achieve one goal, I’m on to the next.

What I’ve concluded is that as children of the most high, we should never become satisfied with the mundane, low level, grasshopper accomplishments that even non-believers can achieve. Life as a co-heir with Jesus Christ gives me the bold audacity to always want more and to believe in dreams that I haven’t dreamed yet! I am a recipient of the investment that Jesus made on the cross. I have access to super natural achievements and miraculous success. The challenge in all of this is staying focused on the assignments and not to be overwhelmed by the processes. It’s going to take a lot of work at remaining to be a vessel that can be used. God does the work but we are the vessels that he uses to do the work. So just as academic matriculation requires studying, working on teams, being tested, learning, making mistakes etc. so does being a student of the gospel of Jesus Christ! There never has to be a stopping point and the results are much greater. The price has been paid, there won’t be any student loan debt and the final reward is eternal. To God be the glory! I have the audacity to have expectations!