It’s a strange thing.
"The pursuit of beauty".
God said He created man in His own image and…”it was very good”.
Doesn’t that mean we’re as beautiful as we can ever be?
Why bother trying to fix what He created?
There wouldn’t be a need to,
I’ve been relaxing my hair since I was a child,
trying to hide my curly roots.
God only knows what damage that’s caused to them.
It’s not my mom’s fault…
she was only doing what she thought was better, what was easier.
But now, at 20 years old, I wake up, look in the mirror
and don’t even know how my hair would look without the relaxer.
I’ve been wearing a mask for almost 20 years.
God didn’t create me with relaxer in my hair…
How would I look if I let my natural hair grow out?
There are a few things on my body that MUST be in order (look nice) before I go anywhere:
All of these MUST look good or I’ll think I’m ugly.
Shallow, isn’t it?
God doesn’t want me to not care about how I look to the point of not taking care of myself,…
but there’s a limit.
I can’t help it if I’m from the Caribbean.
I can’t help it if my frame isn’t tall and thin.
I can’t help it if my butt isn’t flat.
I can’t help it if my hair is large and my curls are tangly and spirally at the roots.
I can’t help it…
and you know what?
I don’t think I was meant to be able to help it.
But fear still grows slowly.
What if I cut off the relaxed hair?
The relaxed hair represents a lie to me,
but is that being too drastic?
I mean, my long brown hair is beautiful…
would short hair be considered beautiful too?
Rather, would short hair be considered beautiful on me?
All I ever hear from people is how “gorgeous” or how “beautiful” I am.
I think I make their compliments be my source of knowing my beauty.
But I shouldn’t.
It’s like I want to start over.
Let God recreate me, all over again…hair, mind, soul, and spirit.
It’s not that He doesn’t love me as I am now…
that would make no sense.
But, it’s like I’m hiding behind a picture of what people have said is beautiful,
afraid that the new picture won’t be as beautiful.
Fear of man.
Oh, how crafty are the lies from the enemy.
Fear of man…
Longing for acceptance.
Conforming to the idea of having to look a certain way to be considered “very” beautiful.
Well, God says that I’m “very” good.
Show me what you want me to do, Lord.
I want to understand Nicole’s beauty, the beauty you had just for her.
She feels like she doesn’t have it.
Tell me what beauty really is.
Show me that I don’t need to pursue it,
for you have already given it to me.
I just need to let it show.
I'm so tired of being myself. My imperfections frustrate me. I always catch myself making mistakes. Mistakes that I once promised not to do anymore. Why can't I just be the person you want me to be, right now?
You have to wait, my beloved. You may not notice it, but you're now in the process. I'm still molding you. Remember that a great masterpiece is not created overnight. ;)
Thank you, Lord for revealing to me what you wanted me to know. It’s those moments that are so sweet and fill me up. Please give me more, Lord.
I don’t exactly remember what I was doing earlier this week when God dropped this message in my spirit, but it was definitely out of nowhere.
He just gave me the thought that it is possible for some people to actually like Jesus, and not be saved. That was a huge deal to me, because I think that my parents are in that position. Usually, I tend to imagine those who aren’t saved as angry humans who don’t believe in God, or who don’t really care. But, as the Lord revealed to me, some people can be very deeply deceived and entangled in a lie with sheep’s clothing.
There are some people who actually don’t mind hearing the gospel, who don’t mind hearing about Jesus, don’t mind being prayed for, can show up to all the conventions/Christian concerts in the world, work in the church…and it do nothing for their salvation. Rather, there are people who can make Jesus a hobby (for whatever reason), a fashion, or an interest of theirs and they’re content with that. No amount of you attending Joyce Meyer conferences or toleration of hearing the gospel/knowing about Jesus will save you.
This scared me at first. I was so unsettled about the fact that people can be easily trapped in the idea that they’re “good” spiritually simply because they can tolerate Christianity; they don’t mind it; or are maybe even a “fan”.
Today, at church, my pastor preached a message on this very topic the Lord placed in my heart.
He referred to Matthew 5:1-2. Famous passage, right? The Sermon on the Mount—one we hear about all the time and then take advantage of it since we hear about it so much. But, Pastor Alson said he was going to unearth some hidden truths in the first 2 lines of this passage that we often miss:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
Simple, right? Not quite.
My pastor began with saying that everything of any lasting value is achieved only through effort and intentionality. Do we achieve our doctorate by putting the textbook under our pillow, waking up the next morning and we know all we need? No. So wish it was like that though. Are we able to say that a couple who has been married for 40 years stayed married by being complacent? No.
"The desire for obedience is at a cost, but I do intend to press on and continue to grow closer and closer to my Lord Jesus.”-John Wesley’s diary.
How often do we let laziness win out in our life? Laziness is actually a sin. Don’t waste any time making excuses or justifying it.
I know that if you’re like me, you’ll love to sleep. I love a lot of things, but sleep is definitely up there…and most of the time, I have the best alone time with Christ in the morning….the early morning, the same time while I like to sleep. AKA, I have to get up early and be disciplined enough to make that decision to get out of bed and go and pray, get into the Word,…be with Jesus. There’s something absolutely amazing about getting up before all is awakened, to seek the Lord’s face; before the hustle and bustle of the day begins, before the frustrations and anxiety (although you should give that to the Lord as well). But, it takes practical effort on my part to actually do it; get up. It’s a hard thing, but I know the joy of getting closer and deeper in intimacy with Him is worth far more than the pain I suffer.
Why did Jesus deliberately climb the mountain? Couldn’t he see that hundreds to thousands of people were gathering to see/hear him? But he went up to the mountainside alone. Then, his disciples came and followed him and he began to teach them. Jesus climbed to the top of that mountain to separate the serious from the curious, the committed from the complacent, the disciples from the fans, the followers from the admirers and the disciplined from the lazy.
Why did the disciples climb the mountain? To be with Jesus. To have community with him. To learn from him. To hold closely to the truth he revealed and love him deeper. Intimacy, togetherness. They didn’t want to miss out on being WITH Jesus; not simply knowing He’s around/present and not seeking him (as the masses did…since they didn’t climb the mountain, the Bible says).
Being committed to grow in your faith means you’re required to be committed to put in the effort.
A disciple is serious, committed, disciplined follower of Jesus. How is that achieved? Through work, effort, and sacrifice.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I get it…
The Bible says that it is “by grace we have been saved, not by works so that no man can boast” (Eph. 2:8), but the Bible also says that “faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:17). Jesus is not going to give you some kind of power to be able to know Him intimately and closely and walk this journey with him without taking the steps to get there. The power comes from God, BUT we have to be the ones to want to, to intentionally decide to open that book, the Bible, get on our knees and pray, to get up the wee hours of the morning for those devotions, etc. It takes US having to decide to commit and do the work needed to see results. Jesus said that you’re known by your fruit (Matthew 7:16). You won’t see any fruit if you’re not taking care of the tree…
Do you wish to be counted as a disciple of Jesus or among the crowd/masses who admire Jesus, but just don’t really see the joy that’s worth the pain? It is much easier to be in the crowd, but it is not worth it.
Endure the pain for the joy set before you.
1) Link up with somebody that shares the same desire to grow as you do (grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus). You encourage them and they encourage you.
2) Get help from those who have climbed the mountain before you; someone who bears the evidence of the joy being worth the pain. (Getting help could be from books, the Bible, trusted Christian friends, mentors, etc.)
3) Start right away by getting the Word of God into you. How did Jesus stand against the enemy? He quoted scripture. God has revealed himself in his Word. Memorizing scripture helps you to combat the enemy. Sometimes there won’t be a moment for you to whip out your bible and look for a verse…memorize some key verses that can keep you encouraged. Hide his Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11).
Remember, you don’t get to the top of a mountain just by wanting to get there, or being interested in getting there one day, or putting it on a to-do list. You have to put in your effort to move in that direction. Everything of any lasting value is achieved only through effort and intentionality.
Let us all (including myself) fight the lie that we can call ourselves Christians by being complacent, lazy, curious, fans of this Jesus, but in actuality bear no fruit and do not end up climbing the rocky mountain that leads to life more abundantly (John 10:10).
Jesus, I welcome you to take me up the mountain. Don’t let me be the hindrance to you. I cannot be a member of the crowd. I so desperately want to go deeper with you. This world has nothing for me. You have life for me to the fullest and I choose You. Help me to stick to this path of being committed to you, Lord. I want to grow and be with others to help them grow. I pray for my parents that they would see that they need to choose to your disciples, not fans. Father God, break their hearts. Move in them that they can see what they’re doing wrong and choose the path that leads to life. Use me. Show me how to help them. Living for you comes with a cost, but also with everlasting life, the way it was supposed to be…Thank you, Lord.
Living a life that paints a smile on God’s face is my goal. :)
I’m scared, Lord.
I don’t know what is going to happen with my life, my future….
I’m scared of losing loved ones around me.
I’m scared I won’t be everything I want to be.
I’m scared I’ll die without living my full purpose.
I feel like I’m going to explode.
Every little thing somebody says to me ticks me off—i’m stressed.
I can’t keep calm.
there is no peace,
I am deathly afraid and I have no peace or joy.
where are you?
your words do not comfort me.
i feel so alone…
I love You. I need You. & Though my world may fall, I’ll never let you go.