All I Have To Give

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4

I don’t know what happened yesterday and this past weekend…but I experienced a lot…great things. So many things that I had a semi-clear understanding of became clear. God pressed my heart to finally reveal an area of struggle with you all and to talk about how He’s delivered me.

For many years I struggled with the concept of celibacy…of choosing to turn away from fornication. With this being one of the biggest issues that the church faces, it’s shocking that it is seldom discussed and most ministers are mum about it. Why you say, I honestly believe that many people don’t really see it as a sin. Or if they do, they don’t see it as a big sin. But see here the very contradiction to that way of thought:

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

We are told to flee sexual immorality. But clearly that ain’t happening anymore. With the highest numbers of children being born out of wedlock and the resulting single parent homes, people are having plenty of unmarried sex. I know because I was one of many in the number. Yep people with callings and practicing ministers fall into this too.

At the point I came to terms with the assignment that God was calling me to, all I had left was a broken and tattered heart. I was single and not really sure I wanted to be and because of how I saw myself, I was not sure I was of any use to God. 1 Corinthians 7 provides a wealth of clarity on the benefit of being single and I suggest you read that to maximize your time and life in a period of singleness, but the passage above from 1 Corinthians 6 is the passage that convicted me. I’ll be honest, I’ve been celibate many times until I would get involved with someone, and like many in my generation, I fell into the habit of giving myself to that person, who was not my husband (clearly because I’m single) even though that person was someone who I wasn’t sure I would be with forever. If I’m honest, I hoped that God would bless the relationship despite my disobedience. And sometimes God does that. It became a means of validation for me; it was a stupid lie that tricked me into believing that my giving my gift away would somehow help us to stay together. Nevermind the fact that the mole hills of problems that were budding always grew exponentially into mountains after that. My worth as a woman was measured by my ability to be able to please a man sexually or worse, to wait around for him to stop lying and become the man I saw he was supposed to become. I can’t say that all people who fall into this pattern and view have the same root cause — for me it was molestation and a need to be accepted and a desire to be loved — but we all have been attacked by the same root spirits, perversion, lust and bondage. Perversion comes into play because the world told us and still continues to tell us that waiting to stir our passions and awaken love is played out…all the while opening the door for even worse things to come along. Lust comes along for the ride because it attacks our eyes by almost creating a hunger for the object of our affections and makes us victims to the whims of the flesh. Bondage seals the deal because we think we cannot break free, and so we have to keep doing the same things. Sex is a primary selling factor for everything from cakes and cars to the wildest of our dreams. The world promotes our compromise, our defiling of our temples. And because we buy into the lies, we cut more and more of our spiritual umbilical cord.

Now I’m not sharing this to condemn anybody. In fact, I want to help you and save you from making the same mistakes I made. If you can learn by reading my testimony, then read and get your freedom.

So I don’t really know how to start. My truth is that I’m not a virgin. I’ve been sexually active in the past, and my promiscuity used to be an area of shame for me. I’ve been involved with different people since I lost my virginity which caused me to pick up tons of baggage I didn’t want or need. It’s taken me years to heal and let go of the wounded-ness I’ve received as a result of choosing to get outside of God’s will. It was like books stacked upon books, and boxes stacked upon boxes because I would go from relationship to relationship, compressing my pains and compounding it like interest on stocks. People talk about “soul ties” but they don’t break it down for you. I had them. I was still caring about people who trampled on my heart and feelings, lied, manipulated and cheated on me after saying they loved me. I was bamboozled with talks of marriage and forever. I was still sticking around at times like a puppy wanting the skewed and distorted perception of love I thought I was receiving from these people. It wasn’t until I started asking myself very pointed questions about why things were happening to me and what was it about me that attracted those types of people that I experienced a shift. It was at these times, often points of breaking and intentional consecration that I was able to understand what was going on in me. It was the sex, or at least the Pandora’s box that opened after it, that kept me in that cycle. It was giving away my treasure to men that may have loved me in that moment and expecting them to fill a God-sized void. How foolish of me.

I remember a conversation with a former mentor; it actually has been heavy in my thoughts lately. She described our bodies as treasure boxes. Each time we got involved with someone who wasn’t our husband (or for you men, your wife), that person would take and take and take, not depositing anything but their issues (transferal), until all you had left was brokenness, heart ache, and a plethora of other issues. That resonated with me last night, and it happens across the board in all relationships, but especially sexual. I ask you today, what do you have left to give? You can’t love yourself properly, or anyone else for that matter, from brokenness. When I realized this, I knew it was time to change.

This was heavy on my heart last night and honestly has been a recurring press over the last few years. I started to write about this topic back in 2012 and even before then but truthfully I wasn’t ready because I hadn’t allowed God to pour back into me. Two songs were on my heart last night, All I Have To Give by Mali Music and Fill Me Up (sung by Casey J, Tasha Cobbs, and Jesus Culture)…and this was what I needed. All I had to give God at the beginning of this journey, several years in the making, was a broken, wounded heart. I needed God to pour back into my empty treasure box. I needed HIM to love me, to validate me, to love me, to assure me that it is okay to go against the norm, to trust His voice and words to me, His instructions and His guidance. I needed to know true love. I won’t say that it’s easy living this way. In fact it’s hard because it is a call to surrender yet again. The wonderful thing about this though, is that I know if no one is here with me, God is here. I know that if no one sees me or loves me, God does. I know that if no one appreciates me or validates me ever again, God does. I’m grateful for His press in this area, because I have so much clarity now. I have so much peace and it is truthfully very comforting to know that I don’t have to compromise any more. Making flesh-based decisions, whether sexual or in any other manner, leads you off and onto unknown tangents that ultimately steer and take you away from God. Today, I encourage you to take a long look at yourself, especially in this area, and see if you want your life to change and be different. Trust God to fill your box again, to make you whole. He will make all things new. ❤️

3rd Quarter Update: Live and Make Room!

Hey Y’all! This is LONG in advance lol. Bear with me. Read through to the end if you can, lol, and watch the videos if you’d like!

I really pray you are blessed. I made a 10 minute video trying to summarize all of this…but honestly its too much and does God no justice. I know some of us quantify God’s goodness, so to encourage you all, I’m sharing the miracles I’ve experienced these last 3 months. The short of it: God is so very good… He’s great… He’s amazing… He’s indescribable… He’s magnificent… He’s better than all of that and I’m humbled every time I think of how much He loves me. For anyone to go to such great lengths across the varied areas of my life to prove His love when He doesn’t have to…I’m just so grateful. And to think I wanted to force things to happen my way, and getting my own way would be by having things happen in my timing…to think of the messes I’ve been in and the messes I’ve averted by just letting God lead is incredible. I wanted Him to do things on my timelines how I thought it needed to happen and if He had, I don’t want to think about how things would have been. I absolutely accept that when you want something done big and fabulous, let God show you up. He doesn’t do anything half way.

"Live" to me now means accepting opportunities and blessings as they come. Live means loving unconditionally and without boundaries. Live means accepting God’s love however He chooses to love you. Live means giving God the space to be just that — God. Live means loving people even though they aren’t living as you’d like, reciprocating your love, being good friends, or even being good to themselves. Live means sharing your testimony and paying it forward by being a blessing to someone else. Live means not being selfish and sharing the bounty. Live means walking in your truth and being true to you and who God created you to be. Live means letting go so you can truly receive. Live means uprooting up the ugly, infected parts of your heart and soul so that you can truly heal and in healing, create more room in your life and heart for God’s glory to be made manifest. Living means the opposite of dying. Live means thriving, warm red-blood flowing through you and just being the awesome person God created you to be, flaws and all. Live means letting the diseased balloons of poor self-esteem, self-image and self-worth go to float away and embracing the truth of who you are. Live means you stop apologizing for who you are and how you are living when you are walking in God’s truth for you. Live means killing comparison and embracing joy. Live means taking calculated risks and stepping out of the boat to walk on the water in big, bold faith. Live means not letting your friends stay behind in the boat, and at least making them aware of how it feels to live beyond the walls.

So the last three months have been nothing short of beautiful…miraculous and wonderful. I’ve being doing Project Miracles (see this video here: based on the book Make Miracles in 40 Days for the last 3 months now and God has removed some of the ugliest hurts I’ve had in the process. I went from being someone who was optimistic because it sounded like a good idea to someone who genuinely sees life with optimism and hope and excitement daily. I’ve learned to love, made the decision to be all of me and vulnerable with the right people, and to take calculated risks because the life I see me having and living is waiting on me to choose it versus living in fear and complacency. Since then, I’ve let go of a lot more dead weight and baggage. The biggest thing…I acknowledged how I felt and the secrets I kept about being molested. I finally let them go and gained peace in ways I never imagined.

After I began Project Miracles, I did Calling in the One, which came as an answered prayer (to be prepared for marriage and parenthood) during my pre-30 prayer challenge. I completed it in 8 weeks (I got behind by a week) and in the process, I actually truly invested in myself, something I rarely do. I’ve gone on dates, opened up my heart to receive and I’ve learned to accept me as I am instead of beating myself up, including not questioning my likes/dislikes/desires. I embraced being okay with learning all I can about marriage but enjoying my singleness. But the biggest gift in this process was receiving love however God manifests it. This process made me want to get deeper in my relationship with God. It made me crave God and want to really embody being the Virtuous Woman. One of the biggest blessings was in having a tangible surrender process through the use of my Godbox (one of our assignments) — a place where I can release things I’ve been worrying about and where I can literally cast them at God’s feet.

While I was doing CITO, I also began meditating regularly…and specifically focused on Love and Prosperity. I began to brainstorm ideas of ways I could use my passions to create wealth and how I could love on me more to in turn be more loving to others. In the process, I learned the art of being present and really living in the now (I read part of that book actually, The Power of Now, and this process made it plain for me.) It’s amazing being present and actually celebrating/enjoying the people and places in your life. Right now, I’m doing meditations on letting go and I’ve repaired some relationships, apologized to some people and opened myself up to receiving the right people in my life. I cried the ugly cry many times as I realized the things I was holding on to that were keeping me from living and truly loving. Now that I think about it, these last 3 months, and truthfully this year, were a season of purging and pruning to ready me to receive everything God has for me.

Of course I’ve experienced losses (but good losses!)…loss of the lies I believed about myself. I’ve lost some friends and recategorized relationships. I’ve lost the inhibitions I had. I’ve lost the insecurities and identified others that I must release. I’ve released the reasoning I used for not stepping up and stepping out. I’ve lost the need to overthink things all the while trusting my gut and decided to accept people exactly as they are and love them anyway, whether they are an active participant in my journey or not. I’ve lost the need to lie to myself (and God) about the things I ignored.

I’ve given myself permission to live. To love people right where they are, to speak up and speak out. I’ve given myself the keys to freedom and to be me without reservations. I decided to stop trying to control things a while back, but being controlling dies hard. Fortunately no thing is immune to prayer.

I’ve read so many books I can’t keep up (and I decided to complete one book a week as a new habit). I’m taking classes so I can improve myself and execute every area of business I can think of, and I decided to stomp across the water and make a splash in major ways. I decided to stop living behind the scenes and to shine in the lights. While I won’t divulge every plan I have, I will say that I’m glad God answered my spoken prayers and unspoken thoughts.

To think, this whole process began with one word. Live. And I’m doing that. God is so funny!! Psalm 118:17 was a verse I confessed for my healing…and a song by Darlene McCoy just came on my playlist that is saying this scripture. "I shall LIVE and not die." For years I was dying y’all. I was miserable. I was broken. I was hurting. I was willing to give up. But I’m glad for all those years ago. All the prayers I’ve prayed. All the prayers God has answered and the ways He chose to answer. I am glad that I am living. I am grateful that I don’t let life pass me by anymore. I’m glad that God chose to save me in 2009, and truthfully all the other times before then so that I could live this life now. The greatest risk I took was to trust God with everything, to surrender, and I’m glad I gave in to Him.

Lastly, so at the beginning of the final quarter of 2015, I will live in a new way: I’m moving again. I "randomly" updated my résumé on Monster and had been receiving calls about jobs and emails multiple times daily since the end of August (about a week after I began this prayer challenge) and on Friday I interviewed for a job and was selected for it the same day. If you want to know how good God is and to understand what He can do for you…think about Him increasing your salary multiple times in less than 15 months and healing you completely from years of torment because of being molested. If God never does anything else for me, He’s done enough. He changed my mind, how I thought, how I saw myself and how I looked life and others. Only two years ago I was defeated by the fact I had not ever received a raise at my former job…I was grasping for a plan to get out of debt so that I could sow more into others. I also did not know why I was so afraid to love and felt incapable of loving others wholly. I knew it was the enemy coming against me so I had to put those things on the altar for God. I also had to realize "who" I was working for — was I working for myself, my employer or was I working for God. I had to overcome the lie of who I allowed the devil to tell me I was. I sowed seeds with what I had: my money, time, talents, and words of encouragement to others. Since then, God has turned my life around in all of these things…to think now that at points these things consumed me, engulfed me even, is so surreal. I was hopeless. But God!! He spoke to me one day and began to clear away the lies. "No more!" These things began happening when God took the blinders off my eyes and I was able to truly understand that He is a limitless God. He elevated me in every area of my life so I could go back and help lift others. These things happened because God wanted me to know I didn’t have to be in control anymore, that He will take care of me as He has and does daily. I can’t take credit for anything other than doing the work He led me to do and expecting Him to blow my mind. He has truly done that…if you would have told me these things were going to happen a few years ago I would have laughed at you in disbelief and walked off. I really can’t wait to see what this last quarter has in store for me and 2016!

So in all of this, I encourage you to live too! I encourage you to seek God for the one thing you can focus on, to allow Him to shape your year and your life through that one thing. He has taught me to live in so many ways, and He opened my eyes to how I was not living all these years. I was in bondage, afraid, limiting myself, and now I can say it’s all God who did all of these things for me. Your suffering is not in vain, and although God may not do for you what He’s done for me, the truth is that He is not incapable of it. He can do the same, less, better, and different. There is nothing God cannot do. God is limitless. God is Love, and love is the most abundant resource in the universe. Take your every need, concern, desire and want to Him and let Him reorder your life. Don’t continue in sin and settling for less than God’s best for your life by thinking that your sin is too big for God to deliver you from — I’ve had my share of issues, being judgmental, critical of others and myself, doubting, unbelief, fear, lying, struggled with not trusting God for my husband and choosing to do things my way, to include compromising…I had to let it go because I was losing. Stop losing today! Stop limiting God. When you do that, you begin to make room for the overflow. Be encouraged y’all! I love you!!!

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. Romans 8:28