I am a warrior

About eight years ago, I was challenged to take a photo of myself every day for the month of November. To be honest, I didn’t want to do it, but because it was a challenge I just did it anyways. On the very last day, it was cold & rainy, I had no idea what to do so I just set up my tripod put my camera on self-timer & there you go. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I realized that this photo is a perfect reflection on how I’ve been living for a long time. It was dark, cold & I had no identity. I wasn’t allowed to have one…

My fears were preyed upon and used against me in a way that made me numb to reality. My very first blog I ever wrote spoke a lot about living a in a bubble of denial. Denial was my happy place.. it was the only place I felt safe from the boogey man. God laid on me to write and now I understand why, because the more I wrote about myself the more I learned about myself. When you start to realize that you truly are a good person, the enemy will press harder into you and he did… My heart truly believes that God led me to blogging because I needed you all to help me. If my fears, thoughts & feelings were put on blast then the enemy couldn’t use them against me anymore. By writing, I was setting myself free and God was working his way into my soul.

1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love.” Fear loved me and I loved him. Now, after all these years I realize… that wasn’t love. Nothing about it was.. This photo was also taken during the selfie challenge eight years ago. Again, my camera was on a tripod and the self-timer was on. The light was in my hand and I just let the camera do all the work. The title for that photo was the darkness was overcoming me. If my eyes were open to the truth back then my story today would be different. When I look at this picture now, I see God’s light reflecting away the darkness.

We must surrender to God’s will and not lean on our own understanding. For so many years, the little voices in my head kept telling me I was a nobody. No one loves you… you’re fat.. you’re not very pretty.. everyone thinks you’re stupid. When I started writing, those voices started back up again. You are irrelevant, you’re insignificant, you don’t deserve to be loved in a real way, you brought this on yourself, you’re getting everything you deserve, no one is reading your words…. nobody cares about you… So I would post blogs all the time, then I would stop… I would post all the time, then I would stop… because I kept letting those stupid voices get to me.

The only light in my life was the church I attended. If it wasn’t for Pastor Ray feeding me the word, if it wasn’t for my friend Pam that kept holding me up, if it wasn’t for Christy that kept speaking truth into me and if it wasn’t for my friend Erica that held my hand as I walked into church willingly for the first time, fear would have overcame me and I wouldn’t be here to share my testimony. So many people played a role in my salvation but the most important person was God. He placed all these women in my path that just kept loving me and feeding into me.

There is an entire series of blogs & vlogs I plan to release over the next few months and the vagueness I tend to use will all be revealed. God is pressing into me in ways that are taking me out of my comfort zone. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” So, I’ve made my mind up, I’m giving you my entire heart.. it’s broken, battered and bruised… Please pray for me, even if you have no clue who I am. I need strength, guidance & peace to overcome my fears.

My prayer for the women who live in similar situations is that you know you’re worth it. God created you in your mother’s womb and if you doubt yourself then that means you are doubting God. I’ve doubted God for a very long time.

I am beautiful.. I am enough.. I am a warrior…

I’m getting in the chair

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My ability to feel my own feelings was taken from me, or at least that’s what I thought. It’s been up to me to trust in God by not living in my flesh. I wasn’t living for God, I am living for myself. Psalm 130:5 says, “I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.” I’m going to let you in on a big secret I’ve been carrying around for a very long time. I wasn’t counting on God to get me through the storms, I was counting on a figment of my imagination. I was waiting patiently for some miracle to fall in my lap and a lot of time was spent searching for the answer when I had the answer right in front of me… Jesus…

My prayer for as long as I can remember has been, “God, please help me. Reveal to me what I need to do.” He kept revealing what was being prayed for and I kept ignoring the obvious. So obvious that he was putting huge flashing signs right in front of my face and I will still wouldn’t listen to him. In my mind, I was putting all my trust & hope into the Lord. But day after day I continued to walk around in this fog like state. Not understanding what was really going on.

The word says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” Revelation 3:20. I keep writing about living for the Lord, I’m trusting him, I’m listening to him but it was all a bunch of lies. I figured if I could just keep saying it over & over that one day the words that were being said would finally come to life, but the version of reality I was living in was blinding me. God gives us all free will to choose what path we are going to walk down and how we are going to live our life.

“I’m getting in the chair” is the title of this blog and the link to that sermon is on the bottom of this post. I highly recommend watching it from beginning to end. The end of the video he tells a story about a father and son, the son doesn’t have the ability to walk or talk and was given the chance to communicate through computer technology. Through that technology the son told his father that he wanted to participate in a 5k run. His father wasn’t a runner so he trained by pushing 100 lb. sack in a wheelchair so he could push his son in the race. When the race was over, his son expressed that he felt free, long story short, his father continued to participate in these races with his son. Again, I encourage you to watch this sermon to hear the full story and basically the moral of the story is that we need to get in the chair and let God push us… so we can be free…

I on the other hand haven’t been sitting in that chair, it was decided a long time ago that I’m just not that worthy. Instead of just letting God talk to me, I put my fingers in my ears and gave up on trying to live life. When my eyes closed at night, I didn’t want them to open the next morning. Depression hit me hard and it was overcoming me in every aspect. The inside of me was screaming for help but on the outside, I just acted as if everything was okay. Every day was spent just going through the motions just hoping today would be better than yesterday. The longer I kept doing that, the harder each day got. There was a battle taking place that I just didn’t want to fight, so I just stood there with my arms open telling the devil to just come get me. I was a willing participant.. #butGod I may have been standing willing to let it all go but God said no ma’am. He stood in front of me taking all those daggers until I realized that life is worth living, especially when you live it for him. So, I got in the chair and I’m letting God push me.

Today God gave me the word for this blog. He said, just let me train you, let me mold you so you can see what I see. “Trust me” he said. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” My heart has been hurting for so long that I became dependent on that pain. Now, not to feel it anymore is something I have get used to..if that makes sense. Once I learn to organize my thoughts in a way you can understand this will all make more sense. At this point I’m letting God do his thing. A good friend told me, “when in doubt you stand still until God tells you to move.” I’ve hung onto those words ever since; those words have been my life line. It’s all in God’s timing and I’m slowly understanding what they mean.

My journey is only beginning and from this point forward I need learn how to put on my armor so I’m not a willing participant to fear. We all need to learn how to armor up, so we don’t fall victim to this world that is only temporary. Life sucks, it’s hard and it’s full of stuff that will bring you down. Even Jesus himself asked God, “Do I really have to do this.” Jesus took it all for us. He did it for us so he could show us it can be done. Stay strong, have faith and know that it will not always be like this. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

#justsayJesus

I can’t even..

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When I was in the ninth grade, (for the second time), I was tested, and I discovered that I had a learning disability. Basically, if you just stood in front of me and told me how to do something, my brain wouldn’t be able to process what you were saying. If you stood in front of me and just showed me how to do something, I would master it in seconds. My brain holds so much information that I can’t remember anything important like, where did I just put down my cell phone?.. It turned out that as a 16-year-old girl, my ability to learn by sight scored in the Albert Einstein range and my ability to learn by listening, well let’s just say that I am not smarter than a fifth grader. The devil knows that if I sat down to read my bible that I would learn so much and he knows how far I can go when I learn things. So instead of using my eyes, I use my ears and I listen to all the lies not learning a thing.

Right now, I’m not okay. I haven’t been for quite some time and in some ways, it was probably a good thing. I had to face the storm so I could be blessed by it. God blessed me with so much love that it was almost ridiculous. I mean I can’t even… I’ve let so much weigh me down for so long that I just didn’t think I could ever recover from it. When I tell you that I was hanging on by a string, I mean the string was on fire and I was hovering over a pit full of hungry alligators. For a good portion of my years here on earth, I have chosen to surround myself around people that don’t have nice things to say. Especially to me… I kept swiping it off my shoulder and “getting over it” because I thought I was strong enough to take it. Obviously, there is something way deep down that makes them say such mean things so, I’ll just sit here and take your words until you feel better. Well let me tell you where that got me… nowhere…

After a while, it just got to the point where the nice stuff came so far and in between that it was just harder to believe it. When you hear the mean stuff more than the nice it just means that something must be wrong with me right? Well maybe if I act this way then it will be better. Maybe if I just say this more then it will get better. My life has been filled with nothing but a bunch of maybes and I’m no longer going to stand for it. Jesus told me I didn’t have to do it anymore and I’m pretty sure he’s the one I need to be taking my instructions from.

I completely understand the meaning of forgiveness now. The enemy has stood in my way for so long and I let him block all my blessings. I can no longer keep letting that stuff weigh me down so I can receive the blessings that God has in store for me right now. All I can do is forgive and ask for forgiveness. Now I’m free… and now it means it’s about to get even harder for me. Tomorrow morning when I open my eyes, I must remember every word I just wrote, and I live my day for Jesus and for him only. Pastor Ray taught me that today, he started out saying that he was going to stomp on someone’s toes, and he stomped all over mine. Let me tell you, Pastor Ray.. he wears big shoes… Ouch!

Typically, you will find me in the sound booth at the Church I attend. When I do get to worship, I’ve found myself standing up front so I can throw my hands up in the air. I like being up front because everyone else is behind me and I can’t tell if they are judging me. I know.. it sounds stupid… Today was one of those days I got to stay on the floor, and I wasn’t up front. I stood in a row of chairs and looked at the screen the entire time. I didn’t dance, I didn’t smile… All I did was sway and cry… sway and cry.. I was so disappointed in myself because I had finally gotten to a point where I started to love myself and I started going backwards. I bought a pack of cigarettes a few weeks back and every puff I took I screamed at myself… STOP IT!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!?! I didn’t listen, I just kept smoking them. Don’t worry, that phase was very short lived.

As I swayed back and forth all I could think was, God why do you love me so much? What about me is so special?.. Why me?… He said, “because I made you.” I felt so defeated today that I didn’t even know where to start. Church was over and I went straight to my car, my friend wanted to go to lunch and I turned her down. Came straight home and felt sorry for myself the rest of the day. I cried so much that my eye lids were folded over, I don’t even know how to explain it. I looked as if I had two black eyes and they were swollen. It was horrible… Then I just cried out for help and Lord have mercy the Army that God sent for me. They all came crashing down on me and told the devil to take his butt right on down the road. #butGod

I’m never going to start receiving the love God has for me until I learn to love myself. My friend Christina told me today, “God turns brokenness into beauty.” God is has taken my brokenness and he has taught me to share it with you, so you know that it’s not just you… Girl it’s me too! It’s all of us.. even the guys. God restored me is so many ways tonight and he will continue to do it every day. Every time someone tells me they love me; I’m going to believe them. Every time I tell someone I love them.. I’m going to believe me.

Lord,

It’s me Leah. I know you know me, I’m your favorite!…

Thank you for the struggles in my life, Thank you for the fear, the tears, the pain, the brokenness.. It brought me closer to you. I’m sorry… I’m sorry for not trusting you completely. Forgive me for keeping a part of my heart closed off. I spent so long believe that my words aren’t real, that my feelings were false, and my thoughts were wrong. I have failed you in so many ways, but you continue to encourage me. Lord, because of you, I can sit here and praise you. You give me all the time I need; you give me all the love I need, you give me all the attention because you made this world for me to enjoy. Through all the mess that goes on, you give me the free will to stop and enjoy the beauty of the brokenness. Lord, thank you for this day. Thank you for all the love you poured out on me today. Thank you for never leaving me. I ask for strength Lord. A lot of it…

I love you..