In the Face of Adversity

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” I don’t know about you, but it really irritates me when someone says this to me in the middle of a trial, even if it is said with good intentions. The last thing I want to hear is that my hardship is somehow good for me. But the truth is, sometimes this is correct. Sometimes, the very thing I resent most in my life is the very thing that makes me a better version of myself. My son, who just completed his freshman year of high school, shared with me his assertion statement that he used and supported on his English final. It really struck a chord with me.

“I suggest true identity is revealed during one’s response to the challenges that he faces.” – Brett Landmon

True identity. Hmmm. His claim suggests that a person’s identity isn’t fully realized until he has been challenged. In other words, you really don’t become you until you have endured and reacted to life’s difficult moments. This makes trials an integral part in one’s development.

I know I am getting philosophical here, but bear with me. God is a God of love. And like a parent, He wants us to become the best us we can be. With that being said, He allows us to undergo difficulties and trials so that we emerge into strong, faith-filled people. The result is an identity found in Him, and Him alone.

Let’s look at the life of Joseph. There is no better example in the Bible regarding this truth. Joseph had a dream from the Lord, showing him that one day he would be ruling over his brothers. Like a normal teenage boy, he was excited about what the future held. Naively, Joseph didn’t comprehend the road ahead. It was a road that would be marked with difficulty and hardship – betrayal, slavery, seduction, and prison.

I’m guessing that young Joseph may not have been so excited about his future if he had seen what he had to go through in order to get there. However, all these challenging circumstances were necessary to develop his identity. It grew his faith, confirmed his commitment to God, and ultimately prepared him to lead a country and save it and his entire family from famine.

Some of you have seen glimpses of your future, maybe even through a dream or prophetic word like Joseph. Yet, your current situation doesn’t line up with what you thought your future held. You feel defeated, and the dreams once inside of you are starting to fade away.

Please don’t let today’s trial prevent you from embracing your future. Life may be hard. It may not make sense. But, if you are truly submitted to God and His ways, one day it will come to be. You are in the process of building your identity. As you go through each trial, God is preparing you for the next step, building spiritual muscle and leaving a trail of His faithfulness in your path.

Remember, God didn’t change his mind about Joseph. And, God hasn’t changed his mind about you. God knows what it required to prepare you for your destiny. So ladies, follow Joseph’s example. Don’t become bitter. Let your trials and hardships help you become better.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4

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Hope for the Brokenhearted

(A message to Brock Turner’s victim and all women who are the victim of sexual assault.) Dear Sweet Friend,

In light of all the controversy surrounding your attack, I felt it necessary to reach out to you in love, one woman to another. Even though I can’t begin to comprehend the pain you are going through, I want you to know that I am praying for you. In fact, women all across the world are rallying behind you, sending you love and support.

When heinous acts like this occur, people like to blame the culture or the alcohol, and yes, these are all contributors to this type of violence. But, I want you to know this kind of evil is not new. This kind of evil has sought to destroy women since the beginning of time. We even see two instances of rape recorded in the Old Testament – Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, and King David’s daughter, Tamar.

You see, the strategy of the enemy is to try to destroy the worth of women. And, unfortunately, he is often successful. But, I don’t want this to be the case for you. I don’t want you to be another statistic, especially when I know that God can restore you.

I can only imagine what this violation has done to your self-esteem. Besides the obvious post-traumatic stress that robs you of your present peace, it also seeks to destroy your future. Brock’s father has downplayed this act as 20 minutes of poor judgment, but I know that your healing will take years.

This kind of violation strips a woman down of her worth and self-value. She feels used and damaged. She likely questions her future, her destiny, and her contribution to society. But, please know that these, too, are lies of the enemy.

You are a beautiful woman created in the image of God. He has plans and fullness of life still ahead for you, despite this horrible event. He is able to turn your brokenness into healing, and your hurt back into joy.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." – Jeremiah 29:11

So, as you continue down your healing path, I encourage you to reach out to Jesus. Allow Him to permeate every inch of your heart. Lean on Him, and become the woman He intended you to be. Don’t let this vile act define you. Life is not over, it just took a detour. There is always hope with Jesus by your side.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18

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Damaged Goods

Have you ever felt like “damaged goods”? You know, where your circumstances have caused people around you to look at you differently. You may have been through a horrible divorce. You may have fallen off the ladder of success due to downsizing or poor choices, and are now unemployed. Or maybe, an unforeseen sickness has blindsided you. You’d like to believe that God still has plans for your life, yet the stigma attached to an unplanned circumstance has deflated your dreams. If you can relate, then this blog is for you. First of all, if you woke up this morning and you still have breath in your lungs, you need to understand that God still has a purpose for your life. I don’t know the specifics of your particular situation, but this truth remains the same for everyone. The world may see you as unusable, but God sees opportunity in your struggle. Opportunity? Yes, opportunity. You see, God loves using broken people. He takes all the disappointment and heartache, and He uses it for His glory.

Let’s take a look at the life of Job. This is a book in the Bible that I always avoided because I could not understand how God would allow the righteous to suffer so much. Instead of digging in and trying to see the purpose of including it in the scriptures, I just avoided it altogether.

Interestingly, I have now been tremendously encouraged when reading it. Job underwent great tragedy in his life and much suffering. Actually, Job experienced some of the worse type of misfortune – loss of his children, loss of financial security, and a horrible sickness that brought him much pain. But, God never looked at him as damaged goods. God still had plans and blessings for Job, in spite of the brokenness that he experienced.

The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. – Job 42:12

Ladies, I want to encourage you today by letting you know that just like in the case with Job, God hasn’t abandoned His plans for you. You have purpose. It doesn’t matter how others see you. All that matters is how God sees you.

You may be broken, but with Jesus, you are not damaged beyond repair!

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Damaged Goods

While She's Waiting


I woke up this morning praying for a friend of mine who has been waiting on the Lord for a while over a situation in her life. After some time praying, I felt that breakthrough was coming soon and decided to send her a quick text to give her some encouragement while she’s waiting. This task seemed simple enough, but I really struggled with what I should write. You see, it is much easier to be the encourager than it is to be the one waiting. I’ve been in both seats and know this truth all too well. But this morning, I really wanted to reassure my friend of God’s promises, as she likely is growing weary. I wanted her to know that she wasn’t alone in this, and that I was standing in agreement with her over this situation. I wanted to let her know that God was in the midst of this battle, and she needs to just trust him completely.

This all sounds wonderful, except that words can seem empty, and possibly condescending. It is extremely difficult to be in the middle of a waiting period and not lose faith. But, this is precisely the kind of faith that God wants to generate in each of us. He wants faith that does not demand timetables. He wants faith that doesn’t focus on the impossibility of a situation. He wants faith that may seem crazy to everyone else. And, He wants faith that does not lose heart.

Ladies, I want to encourage each of you today with this truth – God has not forgotten you. He has not abandoned you in the midst of your battle. You are not alone in this. Although you can’t see it, your breakthrough is coming. Don’t lose faith!

So, my sweet friend, stop listening to the lies of discouragement telling you that it is never going to happen. Instead, take a moment today to marvel in God’s great love for you and His infinite power to do the miraculous.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31


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Social Media Fraud


Social media, love it or hate it, is here to stay. Using social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, is an excellent way of connecting with friends, family, and acquaintances or marketing businesses and products. Unfortunately, it can also trigger unnecessary emotions. Social media typically only chronicles the happy moments in one’s life, the achievements and accomplishments. You may scroll down your newsfeed any particular day and see little Joey’s high academic achievement, Ellen’s 50 pound weight loss transformation, or a family’s beautiful cruise to the Caribbean. And, how about those gourmet meals and meticulously staged homes!

Seeing these posts can cause feelings of envy and inadequacy. Actually, they can make you feel down right depressed. Normally, you couldn’t care less if tonight’s dinner was photo worthy. You were just happy that everyone in your house was fed. That is, until you compared it to the photos on Pinterest.

Comparison is a recipe for disaster. It stirs up emotions inside of us that make us think that we need to measure up to some ridiculous standard. This, in turn, fuels competition. God has called us women to support each other and bring out the best in one another, not to compete with one another.

Women competing with each other is not a new concept. Take a look at Rachel and Leah in the book of Genesis. They were sisters who married the same man, Jacob. Talk about awkward! Jacob loved Rachel more, and Leah knew it. But, Rachel was barren. In an effort to feel loved, Leah kept popping babies out like it was a sport. They were constantly competing for attention and affection. Thank God this was before the days of Facebook. Could you imagine those posts?

“The strategy of the enemy is to get women to compete and tear each other down. God’s plan is for us to lean in to each other’s strengths.” – Christine Caine

Although social media is not the only thing that triggers competition in women, it certainly is a major one. With that said, we need to understand that what we are seeing is just a snapshot of someone’s life. No one’s life is perfect.

So, in an effort to stop the propagation of social media fraud, this week I have included a picture that I would normally never include on a posting. It is a picture that is more relatable than the most of the postings I see. It is a pile of laundry. Actually, it is several loads of laundry. It is clean, but it has been piling up there all week.

Even though I have moments of success, today I choose to show that we are all human. Ladies, we are all on the same team. Let’s start building each other up instead of tearing each other down!

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man [or woman] sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17


Through the Fire

Are you going through a difficult situation? Are you wondering where God is in the midst of this hardship? Perhaps, you are suffering with pain or sickness. Maybe, you’re barely able to make ends meet financially. Is your marriage hanging on by a thread? Has your child turned his back on God? You wonder,

God, do you even hear me or is it that you just don’t care about me? 

I realize that these trying times certainly can be discouraging. I understand. I have been there. But in these moments, we need to draw into God like never before.

We must continually remind ourselves that, with God, there is always purpose in every situation, even if we can’t see it. Do we dare live outside our understanding and trust Him unconditionally?

When my faith begins to waver, and my heart becomes overwhelmed, I cry out to the Lord, and He answers me with His Word. I am reminded that I am not alone in this battle. He is always with me.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” – Isaiah 43:1-2

All I know is that God loves me dearly. He obviously has a purpose for the challenges I go through. Once you truly grasp Christ’s love for you and that He has a perfect plan for your life, you will have peace knowing He is in control.

As much as we all dislike them, trials are an essential part of every Christian life. Spiritual growth and faith develop most in the seasons of difficulty. Jesus may allow us to go through the fire to make us stronger. And even though you sometimes can’t feel His presence, remember God promises:

 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." - Hebrews 13:5

No More Shame

When I read through the Old Testament, I am intrigued by the life of Elijah. He is probably one of the greatest prophets ever and had an intimate relationship with God. He predicted the beginning and the end to a three-year drought, allowed God to use him to raise a child from the dead, and defeated the prophets of Baal in a dramatic showdown at Mount Carmel. Interestingly, as incredible a man of God as Elijah was, he experienced suicidal thoughts right after the great victory at Mount Carmel. Jezebel heard of his triumph over the prophets of Baal and vowed to kill him. Elijah fled in fear.

He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life.” – 1 Kings 19:5

I don’t know about you, but I am comforted knowing that one of the greatest men of God suffered from depression. It seems that there is a stigma that attaches itself to all mental health issues today, and, as a result, shame accompanies the person that goes through it. The person struggles in secret for fear that people will judge her for this illness. And yet, a person dealing with cancer or diabetes receives the necessary love and support from friends and family.

Unfortunately, depression seems to be on the rise. I have been hearing almost weekly of a new person struggling with this, especially in the younger generation. People, just like Elijah, seem to have lost their purpose in the midst of these confusing times. Feelings of hopelessness have set in.

“But those whose hope is in the Lord, will not be disappointed” – Isaiah 49:23

If you are someone who struggles with depression, I have encouraging news for you. God delivered Elijah from his depressed state, and He can deliver you too. Elijah later went on to fulfill the purposes that God had planned for the rest of his life. His mental health didn’t define him. Elijah didn’t carry any shame for his depression, and neither should you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11