Eyes of Faith


The other day I was reading a daily devotion (1 & 2 Timothy on the YouVersion Bible app) by one of my favorite teachers/ministers of the Gospel, Priscilla Shirer. At the end of the devotion was the most needed and timely prayer for me. The first line alone read (as I paraphrase): Lord, help me to see my life with eyes of faith.

That sparked so much reflection for me! …see my life with eyes of faith…wow!

I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me at times see my life with eyes of faith. As I continue to grow in my walk with God, it gets a little easier…but even that is dependent on the situation (if I’m being honest). Sometimes it’s really difficult to have faith.

It’s hard to see your life with eyes of faith when you are following Christ, trying to live out Christian principles, and yet you face one hardship after another.

It’s hard to see your life with eyes of faith when:

  • It feels like all your sacrificing is not paying off.
  • You are constantly faced with disappointments
  • It seems that your hard work is in vain
  • That coworker keeps testing you
  • That promotion seems so far away
  • Your marriage is getting tested
  • Your singleness doesn’t feel like such a joy
  • Your kids have literally lost their minds Or
  • You feel like you are sucking as a mom

That’s a long list lol

Y’all life is hard, and it’s a trick of the enemy to use our difficulties to entice us to throw in the towel!

When life gets difficult, many of us tend to worry. I know I do from time to time. The problem with worrying is that it gets you nowhere, and it makes you more dependent on yourself. Worrying robs you of your faith! Worrying feeds your fears and encourages your doubts.

Living our lives with eyes of faith helps us to keep our focus on God. The same God that has the world in His hands is the same God that has His hands on you.

Let’s take every difficulty we face, every doubt, every struggle we endure and give it over to God. Let’s have enough faith and trust that God will give us wisdom on what to do with our tough situations or that He will handle it himself!

Let’s see our lives with eyes of faith!

~Hazel~

Though you are Imperfect, you are loved by a Perfect God!

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Choosing Courage


I know…you’re seeing this and is probably like “Whaaaattt!!!” It has been a long time since my last blog post. Seminary life has kept me insanely swamped. However, this was on my heart and I had to share with you guys.

October 2016, I took a leap of faith to pursue my calling and God given vision full time. I started seminary July of that same year. God showed out with that situation by giving me an 80% paid tuition scholarship that will last for a huge chunk of my time in the program. The vision is to build Perfectly Imperfect Inc. to a fully functioning ministry that will not only empower women through public speaking (including preaching and teaching the Gospel), blogging, workshops and an annual conference; but to also help restore the family unit through a private Marriage & Family Therapy practice.

In October 2016, I truly felt God telling me to walk away from my job. Yep, I walked away from it all!! I loved the job I had, but I knew God was calling me to more. However, I was so scared of the idea. How am I going to afford to live? I have no money to support this dream. Who will actually take me serious? I can’t afford to go back to school. Who’s going to actually show up to hear me speak, or even allow ME to council them? Again…where is the money for all this going to come from?

This wasn’t the first time I felt this afraid. Some of the same questions came when I felt led to go to seminary. While I did tell God I would do whatever He wanted if He would pay for seminary, I was not expecting to quit my job so soon after starting school again.

None of my questions around quitting and pursing my calling/God’s vision full-time was quite answered. Fear was telling me not to do it. Fear said that if classes get too tough then drop to part-time. Fear said that I wouldn’t survive without steady income. Fear had me questioning what people would think of me quitting my job to chase a dream. Fear reminded me that I don’t have a large following on social media. Fear showed me a glimpse of my past. Fear told me that there was no way this would work. Fear…fear…FEAR!

I realized how afraid I was, and still am, and decided I had two choices: let fear hold me back or choose courage to push fear out of my way. I chose courage!

Courage is not something that I’m able to do on my own. This comes from a relationship with God. I have to choose courage on a daily basis because fear comes after me on a daily basis. I need the Holy Spirit to remind me of God’s promises.

Every day, my needs are literally met by God. Choosing courage through this season has shown me just how much I have to depend and trust God for daily provision. There are some days when I feel weakened by fear….when I want to quit because I feel it’s too hard to bear. The moment when I begin to feel this way God gives me His strength. He reminds me that my bank account is not His concern…He wants to see how big my faith is. Then I dry my eyes, and ask God to deposit in me another dose of courage.

Today, I challenge you too to choose courage. Courage is not absent of fear, but it is used to put fear into submission.

Lord thank you for not giving us the spirit of fear, but giving us power, love, and a sound mind. Thank you for showing us your strength in moments of our weakness and depositing courage in us to face fear head on. Forgive us for times where we have operated in fear and didn’t trust you. Help us in our moments of doubt and remind us of just how faithful you are to us. Remind us that in you we have everything we need. You are with us and will never leave us. For that we can’t thank and praise you enough!

Amen

~Hazel~

Though you are Imperfect, you are loved by a Perfect God.

Lessons From A Single: I Am Complete!


Valentine’s Day is tomorrow!! This day is a day that many singles dread. I can remember a time when I would dread this holiday as well. It was a reminder to me that I was once again alone, single, and no one wanted to be with me. Now you may have these feelings, but someone reading this does. And . . . this was totally me for years!!! Part of my problem was that I seriously did not think I was complete unless I was in a relationship. All through high school, college, and most of my 20’s was spent in some ways feeling the NEED to be in relationship with some guy. This thinking lead me down a road of failed relationships, increased insecurities, toxic relationships, to just hooking up and dating random guys out boredom or loneliness. I was not feeling complete at all . . . matter of fact, I began to feel broken. I was shattered, and eventually a piece of me left with every random I felt hooked to that showed me any type of attention.

One day, I got tired. I gave up. I cried out for help in this area of my life. I began drawing closer to God, ended up in therapy, my relationship with God became a priority, and I began to find healing. Healing . . . allowing God to love me . . . embracing and accepting that love . . . loving me . . . I became complete! I realized I was complete all along!!

Take a look at the video below, as I share more on how I came to this realization some years ago. My prayer is that this Valentine’s Day be a day to remind you of the one who created you, shaped you, has a plan and purpose for you . . . the one who loves you. No man . . . degree . . . status . . . material possession can fulfill you with love and joy like God can. Enjoy the video and remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

~ Hazel~

Though you are Imperfect, you are loved by a Perfect God!

Detour to Destiny


Good morning love bugs! I had another post in mind for this week, but this has been pressing on me harder. Maybe because this is currently where I find myself. Maybe because while I’m in a frustrating season, I’m trying to keep my faith and focus. Maybe because someone else is out there reading this, feeling relieved that they are not alone. I’m not sure, but whatever the reason is I know I needed to touch on this.

Many people who step out on faith, are not sure how God is going to lead them on their faith journey. They see the vision, the destination of where God is taking them, but often times are unsure of the journey it will take to get there. Yet…with all this uncertainty, they are sure that it will ALL come together…things will somehow work out. Sounds very inspiring right?

This is truly how I felt about stepping out on faith: walking away from my job to start building Perfectly Imperfect Inc., selling Premier Designs Jewelry to support Perfectly Imperfect Inc., attending seminary full time to get my Masters Degrees in Divinity and Marriage & Family Therapy. I had no clue how this journey would be, but I knew I needed to step out on faith and literally trust God for every measure of provision.

What happens when discouragement set in? What happens when you start to think that maybe you heard God wrong in this thing? What happens when you hit those extremely slow seasons in generating income and you begin to question everything?

It’s these frustrating moments that I can’t help but to believe that every entrepreneur or person who stepped out on faith have from time to time. It’s these moments that you feel that you are now on a crazy detour leaving you wondering if you will ever reach your destination.

So, after some time of feeling like this, and watching how God would subtly show me that I’m right on track, I began to feel this message: Detours does not always mean you will not reach your destiny.

And just like that…mood change! Attitude change! Disposition change! I have to embrace the detours that life can bring at times. So I took to Instagram yesterday with this message in case someone else was beginning to feel like I was feeling (see video below):

When life sends you on a detour, it could be God’s way of protecting you from some unseen danger/hinderance, the detour posed for a better route to help develop you, or maybe it’s God’s way of testing your patience and seeing if your disposition about the journey will change…who knows why we often experience detours…One thing is for sure is that if we keep our focus on the Lord we will reach the destination He has already predestined for us to receive! Keep pushing, keep pressing, keep persisting…You got this!!!

~Hazel~

Though you are Imperfect, you are loved by a Perfect God!

Be Still


Work. Kids. Husband. Boyfriend. Family. Ministry. School. Volunteering. Friends. Household maintenance.

Go back and re-read those words, and pay attention to the things that came to mind or how your body reacts to the thoughts that come to mind.

If you are anything like me, you have all of these things on your plate and more. You may even find yourself struggling to fulfill all of these things in a days or months’ time. Do you find yourself frustrated saying, “There is just not enough time in the day!”? I know I do. Being an entrepreneur with a staff of one (me), full time seminary student, serving in ministry at my church, managing a blog site and small group, volunteering, spending time with friends and family, supporting other friend’s endeavors, trying to keep a clean home, and have some fun social time, can take a toll on me mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Because of all these responsibilities, it is important for me to get still sometimes. Be still. In the past, I had no idea what that was like. In all honesty, I didn’t want to know what being still was like. I ran from stillness. I avoided stillness. I was disgusted with the thought of stillness. I wanted to fill every moment, every minute of my day so that stillness couldn’t creep in and arrest me. You see, stillness for me was having to face my own thoughts. Now, I look at stillness differently. Stillness makes you confront things that you have been avoiding. You cannot be cured from the things you won’t confront.

Not only that, stillness has a way of allowing you to release, gain perspective, and be present in the moment. Often, we spend a great deal worrying about what happened yesterday or what will happen in the future. For many of us, we are too busy planning ahead that we can’t appreciate all the wonderful things that is happening in our now. Stillness forces you to be present.

still

The thing that I love the most about stillness now, is that it allows you to hear God clearly. When we are not still, we miss out what God is trying to reveal to us. It is hard to hear God clearly when there is a lot noise happening around you. We have to intentionally schedule time to get still before God. Turn off all distractions, take the thoughts that creep into our head and lock them in a box in our mind, invite God to come into the space of stillness you created and speak to you. Breathe deeply and relax your body . . . focus on the moment. Talk to God about your concerns. Let Him reveal himself to you and reveal things about you. Listen to the things He tells you to do. Get still before the Lord.

Stillness is something that can come voluntarily or involuntarily. If we do not intentionally take time to sit still, our bodies will shut down on us to force us to sit still. So, in the midst of our crazy schedules, and all the things we manage, I encourage you to take 15mins a day to sit still before God. Let Him help you prioritize your day. Allow Him to bring peace to your mind and heart. Rest in Him, and know that He is God.

 

Lord . . . Thank you so much for giving us opportunity to come before you and rest in you. Help us to make time to be still before you each and every day. Forgive us for the times that we have avoided stillness, and put things and people above you. You are a God who is concerned and very much involved in all that you create. Your word tells us to cast our cares upon you because you care for us. Help us to remember that as we find ourselves being busy just to mask our cares and concerns. Remove anything in our hearts that will be a distraction from us making time to sit still before you. And when we do find stillness, we ask that you enter in and fill us with your presence. Show us who you are, reveal to us what you will have for us to do, ease our worries of yesterday and tomorrow, and help us to relax and enjoy the present. We ask these things in Jesus name, Amen.

Remember this: Though you are imperfect, you are loved by a perfect God.

~Hazel~