“Forgiven, Focused and On Fire”

Every year, I scroll through my social media feeds and see so many people posting their “New Year’s goals”. Hashtag “New Year, New Me” begins to start trending.  But if you pay attention, you will also see all the posts from the “bitter police” as I call them. You know the ones that HATE when people post their New Year goals.  They’re the ones who always say, “why wait for a New Year to make changes when you can make those changes now”. I find those people laughable.  While, I agree that we don’t have to put off making changes in our lives until the next year, I also believe that it is important to set goals. Proverbs 29:18a says, “where there’s no vision, the people perish”.  Therefore, while I do my best to make changes throughout the year, I still find myself at the beginning of the next year, reflecting on the previous year and creating my vision board with goals and things I want to accomplish for that year and ultimately my future.  You can find my overall goals for the New Year here.  Today’s blog is a continuation of that but specifically focuses on my spiritual goals for my future based on the things that I have learned from this past year.

Forgiven

In 2016, one of my biggest struggles revolved around learning how to forgive myself for my own past mistakes.  Sure I knew how to forgive others but I constantly found myself scolding myself for past mistakes that God himself had already forgiven. It caused me to not be able to enjoy the first half of the year as I was in constant turmoil, never thinking I was good enough.

What about you? Are there any areas that you are struggling with in terms of forgiving yourself or forgiving others?  If so, then let me help you out!  There are really three simple steps to forgiving yourself/others:

(1) Repent

(2) Ask God to forgive you – note that this is different from repentance.  Repentance is acknowledging what you’ve done while this step ensures that you seek God’s forgiveness for those things.

(3) Accept God’s forgiveness.

Many of us can easily do these first two steps but where we struggle is accepting God’s forgiveness in our lives. At least that was my struggle. It was hard for me to accept God’s forgiveness even after I had already asked for it.  It wasn’t until I prayed and meditated that God showed me I won’t be able to fully receive his forgiveness until I accept it. If you’re anything like how I was, you often found yourself feeling unworthy of God’s grace and mercy.  These feelings would then cause you to also feel unworthy of his forgiveness. But I’m here to remind you that God’s act of redemption on the cross was done so that you and I may live even when we sin. He doesn’t want us to live each day in shame. He doesn’t hold that sin over your head anymore so why are you?  Release it. Receive it. Accept it and finally be free!

Focused

I’d like to think that I kept my focus last year but if I am to truly reflect on my past, there were several areas in which I lost focus-one which was my spiritual walk. You know how it is ladies, you meet that one guy who just makes you want to forget Jesus even existed. (Sigh).  That didn’t last too long though as I was able to pick myself back up and get back on the right track.

I also lost sight of my vision and goals for a while.  Blogging was always a goal for 2016 but I never made it a priority. What was I doing instead? Turning up, traveling, hanging out with friends, watching TV and the list goes on.  Haha. I basically had absolutely NO excuse for why I wasn’t focused.  What I learned, however, was that if I really wanted to see things come to fruition in my life, then I had to become more focused and purpose driven. I have a friend – his name is Demetris. D is such a talented artist and creator.  All over my Facebook and IG, I always see him posting various things from his artwork, to his music and video production skills to him photographing the world with his camera skills.  His drive and focus is so evident in each post. He doesn’t know it, but he inspired me to take the pursuit of my own dreams more seriously and to really learn to prioritize my dreams and goals above all else.

Is this you? Have you slacked off this year in pursuit of your goals? Maybe it wasn’t blogging like me or art/photography like my friend D but perhaps it was your fitness, spiritual or relationship goals? Maybe you wanted to spend more time with family/friends and less time at work? Maybe you wanted to get out of a relationship that was toxic for you? Whatever it is, it is never too late to get started on that now.

ON FIRE

So now that you know what I learned from 2016 about forgiveness and focus, here’s my top goal for 2017: to be ON FIRE!  While I have my normal goals (working out, eating healthy, etc.), my main goal is to be ON FIRE! I want to be on fire in my walk with Christ, on fire in how I interact with others, on fire with my pursuit of my dreams, on fire in my career, and on fire in every aspect of my life.  Everything that I learned in 2016 has only cultivated the woman who I am today and I want to use that to continue to strive towards being the best I can be.

“Forgiven, Focused and on Fire” has a nice ring to it huh?  I first heard it during a sermon at church and knew that it would be my theme for 2017. What about you? What are some of your new year’s goals?

Be sure to let me know. And like/comment/subscribe.  Again I say happy New Year loves and I hope 2017 is even better for you than 2016 ever way! :

~V.Davis

 

“When You Mess Up”

Given that it’s the end of the year and we are all evaluating our how we did this year compared to our goals, I wanted to write something to encourage you all in case you didn’t necessarily hit all of your spiritual goals this year-especially when it comes to relationships. Be encouraged!

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Do you struggle with perfection? I know I do. Everyone I meet puts me on a pedestal and they have high expectations of what I should do, how I should do it and when I should do it. At work, they expect me to never be late on an assignment. In my personal life, they expect me to always look/act a certain way. In relationships, they expect me to know exactly what they want and what they are thinking; and if I do anything outside of someone’s expectations, then they make me feel like I’ve done something so horribly wrong. Does that sound familiar?

Thank God.Thank God that ONLY HE is God. You see, people are way less forgiving of others than God is. Yet, when we come to God and offer up repentance, his forgiveness is immediate. You no longer have to walk with your head held down in shame because you didn’t live up to someone else’s expectation of you.

 You only need to make sure that you align yourself with the will of God.

So what does this have to do with relationships? Over the past few months, I’ve shared several messages about relationships and trusting in God to bring you that man/woman that He has for you. However, I didn’t spend much time offering any comfort for those who may “mess up “on their journey. You see, sometimes you may have to interact with a lot of frogs before you get to meet Prince Charming. You may think these men are the one and you start to slowly let your guard down. The vow of celibacy that you once had goes out the window. You start attending church less. You start giving into the temptations and desires of your flesh instead of remembering that we are to honor God with our bodies.

You interact less with your friends and more with your new boo. Instead of going home at night, you may start to engage in a few Netflix and Chill sessions. Then, one day, you wake up and you realize that man was really just a frog and now you regret all that you had given into that relationship. You regret that painful detour that took you off the path of your spiritual walk. A walk that was so closely aligned with Christ at first but now feels so aloof and disconnected.

You know that you want to change but you don’t have anyone who you can confide in because you know your friends, family, co-workers, associates etc. will judge you given they have you on this pedestal. Well, I’m here to let you know that “messing up” is a part of life. People mess up all of the time—yes, even the very ones that judge you. God does not call us to be perfect people. In fact, there are numerous stories in the bible where God uses an imperfect person to do extraordinary things. Just look at the stories of Noah, Sarah, Jacob, Moses, David, Saul/Paul, the Twelve Apostles, etc.

God doesn’t call the qualified – instead He qualifies those He calls!

So while you may have “messed up,” know that who you are is not defined by your past mistakes, actions or “mess-ups.” God still loves you and He still WANTS to use you for His glory. All you have to do is ask God for His forgiveness and then walk in the grace and mercy that He so bountifully gives to you.

Will others still judge you? Yes. Will others still reject you because of your mistakes or what they perceive as mistakes? Yes. Will others be less forgiving of you? Yes. Unfortunately, that’s just how our world operates. However, the ONLY thing that matters is how God and God alone views you. If you can learn to accept and walk in His forgiveness then I believe no matter how you “mess up” or how “messed up” you are on this single journey, you will always be able to pick yourself back up and keep going—forgetting what’s behind and pressing forward towards what lies ahead. (Phil 3:13)

(This blog was first published by Videllia on a newmedre.com).

“I Admit…I Need Surgery”

November 17, 2016.  I’ll never forget this day. It marked the first day that I had to have surgery. Ever. I’ve never had my tonsils removed, wisdom teeth taken out (though I know that’s coming) or anything. And now here I was.  After having 4 months of health issues, I found myself at 29, finally having surgery because the doctors found something in my body that they wanted to make sure wasn’t cancerous.

The very thought that I could have cancer plagued me for weeks. I was stressed, depressed and highly emotional. I knew that something wasn’t right in my body for a couple of months but to finally hear what could be causing it was very hard.  Having cancer has always been one of my biggest fears in life. It was a fear that seemed so distant at first but had now become increasingly prevalent. So, against all odds, I found myself walking into the hospital that morning, with my mom rubbing my back, crying hysterically at the fact that I was now about to have surgery.

November 21, 2016. This was another day I won’t forget. I was checking my email and saw that my doctor had sent me the lab results after removing everything from my body. I opened up the letter and it was confirmed – I HAD NO CANCER! Can I get a whoot whoot, shout, hallelujah and praise break all at the same time?!!!

Now, as the days have come and gone, I pause to reflect on that whole experience – one that was the greatest test of my faith by far in my entire life.  During my reflection, God reminded me that sometimes he has to perform surgery on us to rid our bodies of things that are impure.

For me, it was this polyp that had formed in my body that the doctor wanted to test to ensure it was benign.  But in God’s kingdom, there are other “polyps” that exist in our bodies-in our spirits-that (while not cancerous) are considered terminal in our walks with Christ.

These things include: fornication, lust, adultery, jealousy, anger, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, hatred, envy, gossip, pride, insecurities, self-doubt, lack of faith and the list goes on.

You see-while this experience was very hard for me to go through, I am so thankful that I was able to GROW through it.  It not only taught me how to rely on my faith greater than I ever have before, but also taught me that there are some other “polyps” in my life that I needed God to remove from my spirit. I didn’t just need physical surgery. I needed God to also perform surgery on my sinful heart. I needed Him to remove all impure thoughts, insecurities, self-doubt, and resentment, to name a few.

What about you?  What things does God need to remove from your spirit before it causes terminal detriment to your soul?  Have there been some mistakes that you’ve made in your past that you don’t think God will forgive you for? Are these mistakes still haunting you today and causing your spirit to be heavy?

There’s a song by L. Spencer Smith & Testament that says:

“Lord I’ve messed up
Made mistakes in my day
But I’m grateful
You didn’t throw me away
You said you’d keep on
Working until you see
A return on, the investment, you made in me…

…I admit I need you to perform surgery on me.”

The great thing about God is that he has not thrown any of us away. Therefore, no matter what you are struggling with all you have to do is give it over to God. Whether it’s a past mistake, a current insecurity,  anger, bitterness, etc. – release unto God all of those “polyps” that exist in your own spirit that’s caused your spiritual walk to waiver or your faith to falter. Continue to trust him and allow him to remove all things that are not of him from your spirit. Allow God to perform surgery on you and restore you back into the creation he’s always wanted you to be – fresh and anew!

~Videllia

It Ain’t Over…

postBecause someone else needs to hear this too…

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, “we are afflicted in every way but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed.” I’m meditating on this scripture tonight because life has just been throwing me lots of curve balls. I find myself crying to God, wanting to give up and not understanding the plan he has for me or the journey he has me going through. The “why me” Lord question pops in my head almost daily. And I’m so used to being a positive, strong person that I don’t really allow others to know how I feel.

But you know what God doesn’t need anyone else to relay a message to you. He knows how to do that through his word. If you’ve been feeling down about some of life’s curveballs that have been thrown at you, perhaps you should join me in meditating on this scripture. Remember, God never puts more on you than you can bear. He definitely has a plan for you and his plan says he is not done with you yet. Whatever this is, whatever you’re going through-this won’t break you. Why? Because it ain’t over until God says it’s over! #Goodnight

Spring Cleaning my…Spirit?

(Courtesy of article.wn.com)
(Courtesy of article.wn.com)

So, I keep getting this alert on my phone that says, “storage capacity running out”. It’s actually really annoying. It pops up at least once a month. What can I say? I love taking pictures and videos. So when this alert pops up, I already know that it means I need to go through and delete some things from my phone (if I wanted to add other things to it in the future). So, as was my typical monthly ritual, I proceeded to clean out my phone, but only just enough so that I could have some space to add other things to it in the future.

Once my phone was clear, I logged into my computer to check my email. “Mailbox Almost Full” was the alert that popped up when I opened my inbox. Dang it. Here we go again. I proceed to delete old and sent messages left and right. But again, I only cleaned it out enough to make the alert go away and then I logged off and kept it moving.

Then it dawned on me. Perhaps this just wasn’t a coincidence that both my phone and email were so full of clutter that they needed to be cleaned. Perhaps, God was trying to show me something else. Perhaps…hmm, perhaps, this was God’s way of telling me that my life needed to be clear of the clutter that was keeping me from him. Except, God didn’t want me to just clear out the bare minimum as I had done with my phone and email. He wanted me to go through a spiritual transformation. To fully clear my spirit, mind, and heart of the negative, sinful things that were plaguing my walk with him. Continue reading “Spring Cleaning my…Spirit?”

“Singles, Turn UP!” (It’s Valentine’s Day!)

Well it’s that time of year again – the time when all the couples post their lovey-dovey photos on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter showing us their gifts and Valentine’s day happiness (or at least the pieces of it they want us to see).

Then you have the sad and depressed singles – those who go around talking about Singles Awareness Day, staying off all the social media sites so they don’t make themselves sad or bitter by the gifts that all of their friends received.

Then you got me.

I’m not currently in a relationship…but I’m also not bitter.  For what? Because I’m single? I’m actually single by choice – because I CHOOSE to wait for God’s very best man for my life (see that post here). And just because I’m in the waiting phase, doesn’t mean that I have to be sad or bitter that I have to go home alone. It also doesn’t mean that I have to be angry and upset because I have no one to buy me a teddy bear, or tell me he loves me, etc.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I used to get sad and lonely in those years when I wasn’t in a relationship. However,  as I’ve grown and matured, I’ve learned how to just celebrate and enjoy the season of life that I’m in. And that’s what I want to encourage you to do. Continue reading ““Singles, Turn UP!” (It’s Valentine’s Day!)”