The Power of Comparison

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I wish I had that. I wish I was that bold. I wish I was that talented. I want to be like her. I want to be approved by them. These are some of the many thoughts that would frequently flood my mind. The power of comparison can be a very dangerous thing. This kind of mindset does not bear any true fruit. It has the power to distract or derail one from their God given purpose and steal their joy and sense of gratitude. I was recently in a place where I constantly compared myself to everyone around me which led to feelings of insignificance and ungratefulness. I had slowly but surely begun to convince myself that the lies I had been telling myself were factual. One-day God had me sit down and make a list of the things in my life that I had been blessed with and He began to speak to me with each thing that I jotted down.

God pours abundant blessings on us daily but if we aren’t focused on Him we can easily become fixated on what we don’t have and compare our life to someone else’s. We then begin to worry and wonder does God truly hear my prayers or does He truly love me. The answers to both of those questions is yes! He hears each of our prayers no matter how big or small and He loves us with an unfailing love. God’s goodness in our lives isn’t only demonstrated in the things that we can see or receive. One of the most valuable things that I have learned as I journey in this life is that God only gives us what we prepare for. Many times, we aren’t truly prepared for what we are asking of Him or maybe He has even greater plans for us! We just can’t limit God through our thinking because He is bigger than our minds can fathom! When our focus is thwarted so is our life but when our focus is on God; He gives us discernment and direction so that we follow the appropriate path.

In order to intentionally focus on God, we should aim to follow Proverbs 4:23 which reads, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”. If we are constantly looking at our brother or sister and envying their life then that will be our focus. On the contrary, if we spend time thanking God for what we already have then we will have a sense of gratitude and see more of the abundant blessings that He gives us daily. One of the most common ways that the enemy will try to sneak in and tempt you to compare yourself is through social media. Maybe you feel behind because everyone you follow is either in a relationship, graduating, starting a family or something else that you may desire.  Better yet, maybe you had a milestone that you wished to have accomplished within a certain time frame but fell short of that goal and it seems as though others are progressing forward. Someone else’s success does not mean your failure just as someone else’s blessing does not equate your misfortune. Please don’t allow society to be your source of affirmation when it comes to where you go in life and how soon you get there. God’s plan for our life will always be greater. Maybe that set-back is an opportunity to refocus or your single season is a time to be pruned and get prepared. Focusing on God is the only surefire way to ensure that you live out your best life. The plans He has for you are great!

When I spoke to my mentor about this matter, one thing in particular truly stood out to me. She said, “You never know what that person may have gone through to get to there and that it might have almost taken them out to reach that point.”. That deeply resonated with me because we only see the finished product but we truly do not know the heights that a person had to climb while we are comparing ourselves to them. God has a uniquely beautiful purpose for us all! That doesn’t mean that we will not have hardships along the way but it does mean that we will arrive where we need to be just when we need to get there because He makes no mistakes! There may be times along the way in which you will have to encourage yourself as you find that your mind has wandered and that is ok. Remind yourself of what God says about you and that He will show you which path to take! As we step into this New Year, lets aim to intentionally make this a year of living out our best life by depending on God every step of the way!

 

Guard Your Treasure

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    I was hesitant to write this as I feel that this is very personal. However, I feel as though God has led me to write it in that it would encourage another and allow them to know that they are not alone. Typically, when we are told to guard our treasure we might automatically think that it means to protect your body, to dress modestly or refrain from sexual acts. While those are all great ideas, I want to talk about guarding your spiritual walk with Christ and the purpose for which you have been placed here. The enemy is constantly prowling around in attempt to discover ways to distract us from our purpose. He may try to distract us by use of anything that we hold in high regard or anything that we’ve dealt with or struggled with in the past.  If we do not pray for a discerning spirit and do not operate using the wisdom that God has given us, we may become vulnerable to the things of this world.

One area that I want to highlight especially is emotions. It is so important to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in the area of emotions. We all know that they may cause you to feel various things such as love, happiness, anger, frustration and so on. If we are not careful, we can be distracted by the emotions that we are feeling. For example, I was in a situation in which I was getting to know a guy for a brief period of time. It was the opportune time for the distraction to come as I was in the midst of a particular season. There were obvious red flags and my spirit was so restless while getting to know him. I knew he wasn’t a part of God’s plan for my life but yet I persisted. He would be the only person I had gotten to know since my last relationship and I felt as though I was ready. But again, there were obvious signs that he was not the one that God intended to be in my life. One of the most obvious signs were the fruit of his spirit. We were not equally yoked and did not have the same spiritual standards.

We have to be so careful to acknowledge what God shows us about an individual and to act appropriately in that. What God may reveal to you about a specific person does not necessarily mean that they are a bad person but it can however mean that they do not compliment your spiritual walk with Christ.  2 Corinthians 6:14-16 NLT reads, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols?”. That reading doesn’t imply to isolate yourself from those that have beliefs different than your own.  We are called to show the love of Christ to all people. However, we should still be cautious not to allow our spiritual walk or standards to be compromised at the expense of unintentional relationships. By that I mean relationships that clearly do not foster an atmosphere for God’s presence or are in no way conducive to one’s growth.

It is essential that we are spiritually led in this aspect of our life because whomever you choose to allow into your circle or life can either encourage your walk with Christ or hamper it.  In the same way, one cannot expect to effectively build a relationship with an individual whose spiritual standards or lifestyle is different than your own. In that situation, I couldn’t allow myself to become involved with that person as our life styles did not complement each other. Being that I am strong in my spiritual beliefs and desire to be more active in church, I couldn’t allow my growth in Christ to be hindered because of fleeting emotions. As daughters, our purpose in Christ is too valuable to be compromised by emotions or fleshly desires. Continuously pray for discernment and trust where God is leading you.

 

With Love,

She’s Rooted

The One Battling within Herself

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Two of the greatest tactics of the enemy are to cause us to doubt and shame ourselves. If you’re anything like I once was, you probably beat yourself up because of your lack of knowledge of a situation you’ve endured in the past. You may feel as though certain frustrations or pains could’ve been avoided or maybe the situation would’ve ended differently if you would’ve had the knowledge then that you have now. The truth is that yes, you may have been able to avoid that situation but our journeys are all uniquely different.  I have learned God still manages to work even the absolute worst of situations out for our good. Even the things that the enemy meant for our downfall have a purpose in God’s kingdom.

Sometimes we jump ahead of God into situations thinking that we know best. We may try to convince ourselves that a particular situation or relationship is good for us when in all actuality it may not be a part of God’s plan for that given time in our lives. What happens when our plans fail is that we sometimes go into this emotional box shutting God out and allow the enemy to fill our mind with lies.  He may try to convince you that you are a failure, not enough, purposeless, guilty, beyond repair, a disgrace and so many other devaluing things that are not true.

Once we begin to shut God out, the enemy has us right where he wants us. He was us to be confused and ashamed.  He wants us to doubt God’s plan for our lives. He doesn’t want us to know our identity in Christ. However, the truth of the matter is that he knows that those feelings of confusion and shamefulness are not conducive to our walk and growth in God. As long as we stay in that box and bask in our misfortune we are not allowing God to move on our behalf. Once I truly allowed God to have access pass the wall that I had built up, He began to prune or cut away they areas of my life that were not beneficial to my journey with Him.

The definition of pruning is “cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.” I began to notice that as God was pruning me that He was cutting off purposeless relationships, friendships, habits, desires and thought processes that were not conducive to the journey. I was at a conference last week called “MegaFest” which is put on by Bishop T.D. Jakes every year in Dallas, Texas. The conference overall was phenomenal but three of the most powerful messages that I received was that:

  • No one can steal what God has for you. It is already yours but you have to be willing to allow God to stretch you. Do not allow contention, worry or jealousy to take root in your heart.
  • In order to obtain what God has for you, you have to be willing to walk into an identity for which you have no background.
  • God is going to underwrite your vision from unexpected places.

These three messages deeply resonated with me because I realized that, that very thing was occurring in my life. Pruning may not always be easy. It can be very uncomfortable sometimes because you may feel out of your element, or at least I did. It’s natural to be hesitant to move from a comfortable place. However, that pruning is so necessary to your breakthrough in your journey with God.

In pruning you God is equipping you with the knowledge and discernment to go forth. God has never failed His children and He never will. I hope to encourage the woman reading this post to submit your hurt, uncertainty and past to God. You are the apple of His eye and He loves you dearly.  Allow Him to guide you through your struggles. God has a habit of making a platform out of the very things or situations that were intended to break you.

You don’t have to take this journey alone either. If necessary, get an accountability partner who will pray and intercede on your behalf.  God is not a God of confusion. He doesn’t desire for us to battle inside ourselves on our purpose, worth, identity, relationships or friendships. We are so much more than our past hindrances or situations and they will never define us.  2 Corinithians 5:17 NLT states “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”. When we live in Christ our sins are forgiven. He shows us grace and washes those things away. If He has forgiven us, then we should definitely show grace to ourselves. Again, I just want to encourage the woman reading this post that your purpose is bigger and greater than you could think. We are not tied to our past faults.  Allow Him to rewrite your story because there is so much beauty on the other side of our submission.

Romans 8:28 NLT

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”

Galatians 5:1 NLT

“So, Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”

Psalm 139:14 NIV

“I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

With Love,

She’s Rooted

Purpose of Pursing God During Your Singleness

Understanding my worth in Christ and practicing self-love were not concepts that I’ve always understood in the past. I sometimes found myself seeking relationships and friendships in search of validation and happiness but neither of these things were able to truly fill the void in my heart. When you don’t understand your worth in Christ, you will attempt to seek validation from various sources.

Many times, we tend to look to relationships, friendships, careers or various other things to validate us. Point blank period. Insecurities, rejection, abandonment and unforgiveness can be some of the reasons that we fall into this routine. Sometimes we tend to seek after relationships in hopes that they will bring us joy, happiness, healing (helping us get over a previous relationship) or (major one) cure our loneliness, you name it, there are numerous reasons.

Although a relationship may bring all of those things, they only provide a temporary mask if we do not allow God to heal, mold us and make us whole during our single season. Those relationships cannot provide the healing, love and restoration that your soul truly needs. However, if we are not careful, we can deceive ourselves into thinking that that all of our issues will be erased or solved by that relationship.

Now the desire to have and be in a relationship is not a bad thing so don’t feel guilty because of that desire. It is natural to desire love.  However, in Proverbs 4:23 we are instructed to “Guard our heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life”. If we do not allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in the decisions that we make we become vulnerable to the things of the world.

As women of God we must become rooted in His Word and whole before allowing ourselves to become involved in a relationship. In general, becoming whole means allowing yourself to become vulnerable before God by allowing Him to remove those skeletons that are hidden deep within us and becoming rooted in the Word. In becoming whole you begin to confidently walk in the purpose that He has for you.  Prematurely jumping into relationships without allowing God to do His work in us during our single season could cause us to miss out on what God has for us while pursuing the desires of our flesh. And again, if we are not careful we could end up in a situation God did not approve us to be in or possibly prematurely jump into or delay a relationship that was intended to bless us.

Can being single be uncomfortable? Yes, at times it can be. However, I truly believe that God uses that season to guide you closer to His intended path for you. Your single season does not have to be a bad thing, it’s not a dreaded curse. It is a great time to grow in your purpose, accomplish your goals, travel, build valuable friendships and to discover and learn more about yourself.  In pursuing God, you begin to understand and truly accept that the plans that He has for you are greater than the plans that you have for yourself.

You will also begin to see Him restore the things that you may have thought you lost! We operate in the now and only see a portion of the picture whereas God sees far beyond and has a greater plan.  Through spending time in God’s Word, He is healing and restoring my soul more than I could’ve ever imagined. He is even working in areas of my life that I didn’t even realize needed reconstruction. Your time of reconstructing is Him preparing you for what He has for you in your future! I write this to encourage all women that you do not have to seek after relationships or friendships in order to discover true happiness because God’s love provides exactly what we need and its easily accessible to us all, we just have to give Him access!

Daily Prayer:

“God, I ask that you would reposition my heart, mind and desires so that you may be glorified. Help me to surrender to you daily so that I may fulfill Your purpose for my life. In Jesus name, Amen.”

With love,

She’s Rooted