Saturday, September 15, 2018

Dear Michelle...

Dear Michelle 

I wish I could tell you what is about to occur, I wish I could tell you the pain your about to endure. I wish I could fast forward to the good parts of your life so you could understand the reasoning behind what is about to happen.

     You are six years old and about to go through trials and tribulations that will last a lifetime. You are about to go through pain that someone at the tender age of six should never have to. As you ride up on your bike with your sister, you hear loud music playing and it’s the song your dad always says reminds him of you “She's got ruby red lips, blonde hair, blue eyes and I'm about to bid my heart goodbye”
those we’re the lyrics that made you feel so special, that would replay in your head often to bring back one out of the two memories you have, and that being the only valuable memory you will ever remember from him.
   He’s being hauled off and you don’t really understand why he isn’t around anymore, why you can’t see him, why he just left. No one is really saying much because they don’t want to hurt you, You cry a lot. You feel sadness and struggle. You occasionally get gifts and poems in the mail from him that you look forward to because they are handmade with love and they give hope that he is coming back soon but you still don’t understand why he isn’t here...

      You are now ten years old and you are told that he is finally coming home. You are hopeful that finally you can have a dad again, but you have no idea that the pain is going to continue. That it would have been better for him to just not have come back because then you wouldn’t have to look someone you love in the eyes when they tell you that they don’t want you anymore. That he is leaving and he doesn’t want to see you anymore. You would never know that this moment would lead you to a lifetime of pain, a lifetime of self doubt, of always feeling unworthy of love. You have no idea that this moment would completely separate your family, to put a divide into the way a family is suppose to function. You have no idea that this moment will make you feel isolated and alone through your many years of adolescence. 
Over the next 20 years of your life you will be disappointed by men over and over again. You will feel alone more then you will ever feel loved. You will feel like you want it all to end more times then you can count, you will struggle, you will know more pain then anyone ever should. You will be abandoned, deceived, you will lose all faith in people and you will lose your joy. You will try to fill the gaps of that emptiness that fills your heart by becoming an over achiever , by creating an incredible life that will cover up the pain so that no one sees your struggle. You will put on a brave face and you will smile through the hardships. 

   My feisty, strong-headed, fierce, genuine, loveable and kind Michelle I wish I could take away all your pain, I wish that I could have been there to tell you through all the troubles that you have a God who has created you to be exactly who you are suppose to be, who loves you more then any person ever could. Who wants to be the father you never had. Who has numbered the hairs on our head, who has breathed life into you + who has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'
When you finally feel the presence of God in life, you are desperate to know him, for him to speak into your life, and become the guardian of your days here on earth that lead you to an eternal life with him. He delivers consistently and shows you love, he shows you abundance and he shows you joy. You realize that there will still be struggle, pain, and grief, but that he will be your safe place. Michelle I wish I could have told you sooner that he calls you “more then a conquerer” and that nothing will be able to separate you from his love. 
    He will carry the burden for you and you will finally find peace through him. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Have a Little Faith...

A new city full of life, adventure and new possibilities. I sit here wondering what I did to deserve all the blessings in my life. My life has been a journey of never-ending opportunities, a journey of great people, of adventure, of abundance. 

  Sometimes I think that because I had such a horrible childhood that God is giving me the things I missed out on, or that I am being blessed because I had to go through so much to be where I am now, but then I also think maybe I feel so blessed because of everything I have been through and because I have been through so much I can appreciate the abundance so much more. 

  Life throws you a lot of curve balls, and I have really came to the revelation lately that your perspective is a choice. I have a choice to wake up everyday and choose joy, gratitude, a choice in how I treat people or what I give back. Recently I knew I wasn’t happy where I was at, I knew I was being called somewhere else, but I allowed fear to grip at my inner being and I remained stagnant for far too long. I sat in the same place, doing the same thing for longer then I should have. I needed to trust! 

    On my first full day in Toronto, God blessed me with two amazing people that I had met in Vancouver through a church group I was in. This beautiful couple welcomed me with open arms my first day and spent the whole day with me, taking me to church, making me lunch and welcoming me into their home, showing me around the city and just ultimately loving me. We had great conversations and I took so much away from our time together.

       One thing that I learned from our time together was in the whole world there is two common languages which are #1 fear or #2 faith. In every situation you come across people respond in one of those two ways. If you tell someone about your dreams, your goals and your aspirations typically they respond in one of two ways they either knock you down (out of fear) or they push you forward (out of faith). 
  My whole upbringing I was consistently told that I would not make anything of myself, that I would do nothing and ultimately that in everything I did I would fail and until this conversation I never realized that people would tell me this out of their own fear not out of mine. 

        I am sure many of you have been through something similar at one point or another being torn down instead of raised up, but I want to challenge you to respond to others out of faith and leave your fear behind, but also when others respond to you just ask yourself, are they responding out of fear or out of faith? Sometimes it has nothing to do with you and all to do with what they have been taught or what they have been through. 

     You have the ability and gifts to do anything your heart desires and God has a greater purpose for your life then you have for your own. You may not think you have capabilities but I believe “with God all things are possible.” 

Isiah 55:9 says “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”. Prepare to do great things in Your Life and respond by taking the leap of faith to do them!!


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Why I Gave Up Dating?

I want to have Intentional relationships!

   I have been single for two and half years. Yup two and a half years!!
      I have had a lot of people ask me why I am not dating so I thought I would write about it

   I gave up dating for very specific reasons and this is not to say I won’t date again but when I do decide to date again I will do so open heartedly and with purpose. Most people I know date as a sport, and I used to be guilty of this too. I used to date around with no real care about it, but I have watched my friends over and over again tell me how lost they feel, how empty it makes them and how unfulfilled they are by dating and I used to feel that way to. Our generation has changed the way we date. It is easier then ever to swipe and find your next date. No-one courts anyone anymore because they don't have to or because they fear rejection. It is so rare to actually just strike up a conversation with a stranger or ask someone out face to face. (it just doesn't happen anymore). People have become so accessible that they are now just a face on a screen. 
     I have only ever been exposed to relationships that do more healing and fixing then they do preparation. In life when we run a marathon we prepare for it, when we compete in something we do the work to be the best competitor, when we take tests at school we prepare for it, when we go on a trip we do the research and prepare for it, yet in relationships we never prepare for them. 

So what does it mean to be living with purpose and dating with purpose?

   I would rather spend time with people who have purpose in my life, people who add value and people who will be there forever not just people who will be around for a season to fill a temporary void. 

    I was listening to a podcast from John Grey and he said something that really spoke to me he said “The more you become influential the smaller your circle gets. Find people that you cannot con. Some people need to be kept at a distance because of the level of purpose on your life. You cannot waste time on people who don’t understand. You are not being lifted, you are being launched. You aren’t gradually ascending, you are rapidly ascending and the higher you go the more oxygen you need, so don’t have people in your space that are taking up oxygen that you will need on your journey”.

    In other words people who you surround yourself will either give you life or they will take it away. I don’t want to add a relationship in my life that will take life from me and not push me forward. I believe that God has a big purpose for me and I know that if I get into the wrong relationship I will never fulfill that purpose.  

How can we fully love someone else and be in relationships until we really love ourselves?
    In the past I have been in relationships that have taken life from me, that have consumed my energy, my thoughts, and my life in a negative way. I don’t regret any of the relationships I have had because they have all taught me lessons, and I wouldn’t be who I am without them, but ultimately I did not love myself through these years and I certainly didn't take the time to get to know myself. 

    Our seasons of singleness is probably one of the most important times in our life because we have no responsibilities but to ourselves. That means ultimately it is the only chance you get to really spend time getting to know and love you. So if you are in a season of singleness I would advise that you enjoy it, you become the best version of yourself, spend time figuring out who you are and what your purpose is and when the timing is right, the right person will appear and you will have a stronger relationship because of it. 

   Regardless of whatever season you are in, if it is being single, dating, in a relationship or married I would advise you to watch this Relationship Goals series by Pastor Michael Todd at Transformation Church. It changed my view, my outlook and ultimately made me more content in my current season. 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Just Trust...

I love CHRISTMAS! and when I say love that is an understatement. CHRISTMAS to me is one of my favourite things EVER!!! I can tell you (on most days) how many days there is till Christmas, like today is 121 days…  So when it came time to sell all my Christmas stuff on this journey of selling pretty much everything I own I felt sad, hesitant, and it was really hard to bring myself to list it. It was actually the last thing I listed out of every thing I own. I even sold my bed before I sold my Christmas stuff lol. I have probably spent thousands of dollars on my Christmas decor. 

 But I knew there was no turning back and I listed it and 100 inquiries later I realized I wasn’t the only one that loved Christmas.

 Then I asked myself what does it mean to be obedient? Even though it was hard to list my stuff I knew that it was fear of giving up the things I love, the things that I am familiar with, and going into the unknown. Ultimately it came down to trust. I had to trust that this was my path.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”. The plan God had for my life was bigger then I could ever imagine, but I needed to submit to him to make my path straight and allow him to lead me to what he has in store for me. I think about how my life was before I gave my life to God, I think about the feeling I had of always having to be in control of everything, and having so much anxiety not knowing what was to come, but now I know that God is in the drivers seat of my life and he will not lead me astray. “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

And I trust that God will lead the way. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Starting Over + Living a Life of Intention

  What does it mean to start over. To move away from everything you know and to a city that you have never lived. To sell everything you have ever owned and rid yourself of the past? Does it mean a fresh new beginning or does it mean a loss. A loss of identity, a loss of materialistic objects, a loss of money as things aren’t valued at what they used to be, a loss of community, a loss of friendships, and a loss of your comfort zone. 
  When you let go of things that have tied you down, you make room to live more intentionally, to gain a sense of humility, to completely start fresh in life and live a life that is more meaningful.
    Before I even decided to move I felt God preparing me for something. I felt that he was guiding me in my steps. I had this urge to purge everything, begin selling things I no longer needed and sell my car (and I loved my car, and only owned it for a year).  I felt like there were things I needed to fast from (such as alcohol, dating and social media), and I needed to surrender and tune in to where God was leading me. I had never felt such an urge in my life. I couldn’t sleep because I was excited, I didn’t have a job or home lined up but I felt completely at peace with my decision. It was hard leaving my cushy lifestyle and giving up a career that I had spent the last few years working tirelessly at, but ultimately I knew I needed to let God be in the drivers seat.

 Matthew 19:21 which says “Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
 This verse kept coming up. It would come up in podcasts I was listening to, it would randomly pop up in my head and would come up sitting in church and I knew I needed to make the decision to follow Christ where he was leading me which ultimately was a new city for me. Although I didn’t give everything to the poor ridding my self of “stuff” made me more generous,  able to sell my stuff for ridiculously cheap to people who needed it more then I did,  and ultimately it made me more intentional with what I buy, the things I seek, and what truly matters in life.
  After putting my trust in God and surrendering to his path everything came so easily, my stuff started selling rapidly, my car sold within a week, I kept coming across people who I knew in Toronto, I started making connections there and ultimately I felt eager, eager of what was to come. 

   I knew that once I arrived it wouldn’t be easy, but in fact growth is never easy and if you are feeling too comfortable then you probably aren’t growing and I have been stagnant for far too long...

  This isn’t goodbye West Coast but a see ya later… 
Can't wait to see what God has in store for me. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Letting Go...

It is impossible to be effective in two places simultaneously 
We can never give one hundred percent of ourselves in the present if we keep dwelling on the past. Our potential will never reach its maximum capacity; future goals get delayed, insecurity and fear will dominate. There is a lot at stake to remain stagnant and truthfully your life will be unhappy.

This week has been so many Godly signs to let go of things in the past. Dreams, verses, scriptures, + preachings telling me to look onward to my God given potential and let go of those things and people that keep me chained in a place that I am no longer at. 
Sometimes you have to stop and listen to what God is saying to you. 
Philippians 3:13-14 is a great reminder to let go of things behind you and press on to what’s ahead. “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

What are you holding on to in your past that’s preventing you from living your God given potential?

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Opposite of Fear is Faith

      We live in a world of fear. Since my journey to Jesus, one constant theme I see in the people around me is brokenness. We live in a broken world full of chaos, and one bad thing happens after another. People are constantly on edge, constantly anxious and constantly battling something bigger then themselves. 

     How do I know this? Because I used to be one of those people. I used to live a life full of anxiety, I used to live a life full of worry, full of fear, full of brokenness that I couldn’t quite figure out how to get rid of, so I put on a mask to show I was okay and never really let anyone know I wasn’t. I was never fulfilled. 

     I would see people who have faith and see this energy about them, a sense of fulfillment and a sense of ease with their life. I wanted to live a life without worry and I wanted to feel more fulfilled. I wanted what they had.Ephesians 5:14-15  says that God wants us to live a life with honour, purpose and courage and that’s exactly what I wanted. I wanted to be surrounded with purpose, courage, honour and I knew that strength would only come from Jesus. 

     On the outside looking in I looked like I had it all figured out. I made a good amount of money, had a ton of friends, travelled often, was always doing something fun or exciting, but to be honest it was all a cover up so I wasn’t alone in my thoughts. I worked so much to try to fulfill something in me and the moment I sat still I felt alone, isolated, purposeless. I had friends that were great when they were, but if you needed them in times of trouble you couldn’t count on them. I had money that I would use to buy “things” because I thought if I bought a car I would feel fulfilled, if I refurnished my apartment I would be fulfilled and it just left me feeling even more empty then before. I realized that money, materialistic things, the wrong community and being a workaholic couldn’t fix my soul.

    When fixing my eyes on Jesus and going through this season of change in my life it was HARD, it was so challenging and it made me grow. It made me change into this person I did not recognize. I became a person who was at ease in challenging times, who knew that pain was present, but only temporary to adapt and create change in me, and God was adding long term value to my life. I knew that I was like a deep rooted tree. My leaves may fall off during seasons of pain/growth, but I was so firmly planted in my foundation that allowed me the growth that God wanted in my life. 

    Do you know where worry comes from? It comes from thinking we are in control and trying to be in control. True rest is unattainable for people who are obsessed with leading their own lives. 
    Psalm 127:1-2 NIV  says “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat- for he grants sleep to those he loves”
Finding God meant finding less worry and finding more joy. It meant leaning on him in hard times instead of trying to be in control of everything. It meant letting go of the things that were crumbling from my life and realizing that these things were leaving my life to make space for new things that added value.

    When I first started on my journey of faith I didn’t know where to begin. Sure, I went to church but to me I didn’t want to just go through the motions of church I wanted something more, so I started watching youtube videos of different pastors and when I did, I wanted more, then I wanted more and I couldn’t stop. Whenever I felt like there was something I needed to hear a fellow christian would reference the bible and say something to me that just fit and eased whatever I was going through. I knew God was talking to me. Then I started attending Alpha, I went to a women's conference, I started reading bible plans daily and when I would flip open the bible to seek out God's word and I would highlight so much because it just resonated with me. I realized that all those self help books I read over the years were nothing compared to what I was reading now.  The bible had become my life line. The counsellor I always needed.

    Since coming to faith I have had more love for people, I have had more compassion, I am nicer to people, and if you ask anyone who has seen the change in me one word they always use to express the change in me is that I now have a sense of peace. I turned to Jesus's love and ultimately I love myself more now then ever before.