Hello, everyone! Gee, it has been a while since I have had time to post on here. So much has been happening in my life recently, and I can’t wait to share my heart’s thoughts with you now!
Last September, I wrote a post called “What if I Show Myself Love”. In that post, I shared that I was starting to discover the power of loving myself. But I also very readily admitted that this was a struggle for me. Since that time, I have continued to struggle with it – all the while seeking to gain ground in this area. Well, a few weeks ago, something marvelous happened. The truths that I had known all my life FINALLY sank into me. (Hey, it takes some of us longer than it does others.) I was driving one day, and I started praying, “God, thank You that I am not enough, but You are more than enough! Thank You that my righteousness is as filthy rags, but I am clothed in Your righteousness! Thank You that I can do nothing on my own, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Thank You that I am more than a conqueror through You.” I kept praying and claiming the promises that God gave me in His Word. I claimed my identity in Christ. Since that time, I continue to do this. To choose to view myself as God sees me – not as I see myself. Not to say that I always do this, or that I always get it right. But by claiming my identity in Christ, I am suddenly able to love myself in a way that I never have before.
You might ask why I am thankful for and embracing my weaknesses. The answer is quite simple. 2 Corinthians 12:9. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” What I learn from this verse is that my weaknesses are just an opportunity for God to show how powerful He is! I CANNOT do it on my own. But I don’t have to! Nor should I! By acknowledging my weaknesses, I am giving God the room to show how mighty He is. And now I get to operate through His strength!
At the beginning of the year, I gave myself some life goals.
- Draw closer to God. This is something that I will work on every day for the rest of my life. But I do feel that I have entered into a whole new stage in my walk with Him. (And in case you didn’t know, walking in close fellowship with God is THE BEST.)
- Attain weight loss goal. Eh… I’m afraid I still have a lot of work to do here, but I WILL get there!
- Get a job. Move out. Since the beginning of the year, I have made some strides in this direction. I went to a staffing agency, seeking employment in an office type position. There were none available at the moment, so I went another route. I started working as a substitute parapro in the local school system. I was blessed to land a long-term job immediately, so I had steady employment for several weeks. During that time period, I took the GACE test to become qualified as a Paraprofessional – and I passed! Although I don’t think working in the school system is my calling, I love knowing that I was capable of passing the test. Whether or not I use it, I now have that qualification under my belt – and on my resume. Since I completed the long-term position, my employment has been sporadic (since I am only a sub). I will continue to pray and look into things and take steps that I feel the Lord guiding me to take. I can’t wait to see where He leads me!
- Become healthier emotionally and mentally. It is obvious from the first part of this post that I am making progress in this area as well! I am so very thankful to be discovering the power of claiming my identity in Christ! I have also been taking vitamins that are supposed to help with hormone disorders – and I can see that they are helping as well. It is definitely true that your emotional and physical and spiritual health are all linked together!
- Continue writing and publishing. This one is huge for me. But I am extremely excited to report that I have finally completed a rough draft of the sequel to my published novel! This is the first book I have ever completed on my own, so this is a major accomplishment for me! The first book in this series, Love in the Rain, is available on Amazon. It was cowritten with my dear, talented friend Cleopatra Thomas, who recently released her first solo-project, Christmas with Cocoa. (Spoiler – Christmas with Cocoa is really good!) It took forever for me to get this sequel going in the direction I wanted it to go. But the first draft is now completed and being read by my beta readers, and then will begin the fun of rewrites. Hopefully, someday soon I will be able to announce the release of Love Grows. The completion of this project is not the end of my writing career though. I look forward to continuing to share my stories with the world!
Although not in my listed goals for the year, another of my passions which I am continuing to pursue this year is my singing. For a short time in 2018, I took vocal lessons. I gave them up, however, realizing that this teacher – although greatly talented – was not a right fit for me. I have continued to work on my singing on my own – recording myself and listening to the playback and finding flaws and singing the same song over and over and over again. I am also very grateful to have the opportunity to continue to sing in the praise and worship band at my church.
I say all that to get to this point.
Yesterday, I spent a good deal of time singing along to karaoke on YouTube. I made several recordings, which helped me discover something about my voice… my voice is far too sweet to pull off Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough.” I sent that voice clip to a friend, laughing at my “lullaby voice” singing this stand-strong song. My friend immediately asked if it was me singing in the clip, and I confirmed that it was. She said “Wow I hope you don’t take this in a bad way but your voice has improved so much!! Not that it was ever bad!! Girl you sound SO good!!! It sounds so clear and smooth!!” I thanked her, but also told her that it may have been the better quality recording that made a difference. This morning, I sent a YouTube link of a different cover I had sung and posted yesterday to my mom. (link here) When I told her what my friend had said about my voice, my mom called me. She said she noticed it too. What she said next is my whole point of telling y’all this story.
My mom said that I am more confident at this stage of my life than I have ever been before. Not cocky, just sure-footed, per say. I am being bold – stepping out and expressing myself – and it is showing in every area of my life. Whether it be me stepping out to take the GACE, or the confidence with which I sing. She also said she thinks singing in the church band and the way our former music director used to work on my singing during practice have helped develop me as a singer (which shows that I am surrounded by people who push me to be better).
Maybe this story doesn’t mean anything to y’all, but to me, it means a lot. It shows how my attitude has started changing since I started claiming my identity in Christ, and learning to love myself. I have become more confident in the gifts that God has given me (writing and singing) because I am more sure of who I am in Him! And this change inside of me is making a change in how I live my life – thus changing my outcome. There is so much more I want to share with y’all of what has been going on in my heart and mind, but I’ll save it for another post.
If you get anything from this at all, I hope it is to claim your identity in Christ.
Love and Prayers,