Suffocation of the Fire That Burns Inside

5 years ago I was a lost soul. I had no hope. I had no ambition. I was inward. I was severely depressed. I felt that I could never contribute to society because I was useless. I felt like I didn’t fit in, or even blend in.  I stayed inside and kept my mouth shut. I was hurt and broken.

I remember praying to a God I didn’t believe in at the time and I cried out, “God if you really do exist, why did you create me? Why am I here? If you really do exist please save me” God was listening that day because a few months later, I found Jesus and a church home I wasn’t even looking for.  God sent me on a whirlwind of a ride discovering who He was while I was discovering who I was throughout the first few months.

But after a little over a month, someone approached me and asked me to join a ministry team. They said and I quote, “We could use your smiling face on the VIP team” I replied, “Are you sure you want me to greet people? I’ve been told have a good smile, but…” they replied, “Yes of course we do!”.

I took that uncomfortable opportunity for me, of standing and talking to people and I signed up to be on the VIP team anyway. Regardless of how I felt, I knew this is what God wanted me to do.  The first few months were rough.

I only showed up on a Sunday when it was my week to serve. But then it got worst and I stopped showing up when it was my weeks and I blamed on the fact, “I forgot my password”  to the program we use so I didn’t know it was my week. Either way, I faced a battle of putting my wants, desires, and ways first before I even consulted or even considers Gods wants and desires.

One night I remember being in my room and just on my knees praying whole heartily because I felt lost again. I was crying, I was reading scripture, I was praying that same prayer but this time I knew God. This time I knew who I was praying to and through. I wouldn’t say it was overnight but God became my priority again shortly after. I started showing up the church every Sunday and not just for church, I showed up early to serve even when it wasn’t my week to serve.  Serving became my passion.

However, passion withers if it’s not properly kept. It’s like a fire that slowly fades away. But do you know what reignite the fire? For me it’s not God’s word, it’s not doing a bible study, where they may help keep the fire going, what really reignites the fire is moving the embers around. Taking in my testimony and sharing it with others. It’s lifting my hand out to others and letting them know they are not alone. That God loves them and care for them. It’s walking beside teenagers and helping them grow and seeing excitement in their eyes when they start understanding and believing in the Word. It’s loving others the way God does.

But it can quickly die if I put myself first. If I put my wants and desires in front of Gods, even without realizing it I can suffocate the passion that burns inside of me that God placed in there.


Don’t be your own worst enemy

Don’t be your own worst enemy. I’m sure you are questioning that last part. Let me tell you what I am talking about.

Over the past few months, I haven’t felt motivated to dig deep. I haven’t felt motivated to grow. I haven’t really felt connected to God, at times I felt abandoned and alone. I tried to do my personal Bible readings,  but it was a complete struggle. I stopped listening to sermons online, I stopped listening to Podcasts, to me I just didn’t “feel” like it. However, those moments began to add up and soon I “forgot” about them.

Then my personal Bible readings, I noticed only happening Sunday mornings. As much as I longed for the Word, I noticed the Word began to feel like only words as if it was just a book.  I felt numb and pulling away from my walk.

I didn’t know what was going on. I felt like I was slipping down in a spiral and that I couldn’t stop myself. But I began to journal and I figured out what I was longing for, love. Just to feel loved, because over the past few months I felt empty and alone. I didn’t go out and search for it like I did in the past, but the temptation starred at me in the face.  Instead, I isolated myself. I became my own worst enemy.

Here are the problems with isolation; temptation, thoughts, and forgetting who God says we are. Temptation stares at you in the face and the flesh is quicker to win when you remain isolated. Those negative thoughts speak louder. Who God says you are gets put away and you begin to believe the thoughts that you are worthless, unloveable, no good…etc. I could go on, but those words reply over and over in your head and you begin to believe them.

But we are sons and daughters of God. We are His children. He loves us. He never has stopped loving us. Just because you slip into isolation and you slip into darkness. Doesn’t mean God has forgotten about you. It doesn’t mean that God has given up on you. It doesn’t mean all of a sudden you are unqualified to be His Child. What it means is that it is time to stop thinking about your OWN wants, your OWN desires, just stop thinking about YOU.  And start focusing on who GOD wants us to love, OTHERS.

So when I say don’t become your own worst enemy, what I am saying is selfishness will only lead to isolation and separation from God, but LOVE, love will lead to God because “if we love God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:12b)

So wipe the tears away, get off your bed, and start walking towards who God called you to be.



Personal Invitation

Your Personal Invitation….

I had to have a personal invitation to go to church. I wasn’t going to go just because you mentioned it. I had to have a specific date, a specific time, and you had to be coming with me. I was not going to go to a place foreign to me without some figuratively hand holding. I was scared.

I was scared of rejection, I was scared of feeling alone, I was scared to go anywhere like a “church” by myself. I wasn’t good enough. I was not confident enough. I was 26 at the time, I was all grown up, but yet a child. I was acting like a child when it came to church, I was acting like a child when I had to get my “feet wet” and to try new things. I had to have a personal invitation and an excuse to go.

Let me tell you, God does not require an invitation! Jesus was tortured and died on a cross for our sins, his love for us is so strong, yet we require a personal invitation to spread his love? Serving is the greatest thing you can do in your walk, serving allows others to see Jesus through you. That is what Jesus did, he served others and asked for nothing in return.

Through my faith walk I have struggled with invitations. I was “shoulder-tapped” to be on our welcoming team just a few months after starting the church, another personal invitation that I required. I was new to the faith at this point, I had no bible verses memorized, no bible to call my own,  just an example of others serving and loving others. I wanted that.

I joined. I started serving. Events go by, I ignore them, like every other new church goer. My thoughts: “Why do they need my help? They already have this bond, I don’t want to break it. I am going to be alone. I need to be with someone I know, (I needed my hand held again).” But yet I didn’t.

As my faith grew and my relationship with Jesus was building, I realized that it’s not about me. It’s not about me at ALL. We are to strive to be  Christ-like. It’s states in scripture, multiple times, for instance, 1 John 2:6 – “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”, We must walk to serve God, to serve others, to love on others, to help others, to pray for others, to lift others up when they are down.

Jesus did not require a personal invitation to walk they he walked and to love the way he loved. He did it because he was God in flesh. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. “ John 1:14.  God himself invited you to His kingdom through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.
I may have required an invitation to church, but I do not require an invitation to serve. I do not require a personal email or phone call from someone. It’s not all about you.  You want to be personally invited to something to volunteer your time and/or skill set. Why? You want to be acknowledge by that person who invited you hat you were there. You want someone to praise you for showing up, or doing well. That is not an act of a true Christ follower. Do it because you love others, Do it because you love Jesus. Do it because you WANT to serve the Lord not because you HAVE to.