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.

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!

No Escape


I have several nieces and nephews, and now great nieces and a great nephew. They all are very different and unique in their own way. Each of them have their own special relationship with me. While they are very different, they all had one thing in common when it came to me: they would follow me everywhere I would go. They were like my little shadows, and some of the really young ones are still this way.

They would follow so close sometimes that I would accidentally knock them down if I made a quick turn. There were times I felt like I couldn’t escape them. However, the older they got the less interested they became in what I was doing and where I was going…they began to discover their journey.

I can remember moments of feeling relieved when this would happen because then, I could easily escape from them to do what I want, eat what I want (you know you have snuck away to eat something so a kid wouldn’t see it and beg for some), and have conversations that I wanted without interruption or innocent ears present.

Reflecting on this about my nieces and nephews, made me think about my journey with God and moving toward my fulfilled purpose. I began to remember moments along the journey that I tried to escape God because I wanted to do what I wanted to do. I wanted to hang where I wanted to hang. Drink what I wanted to drink. Smoke what I wanted to smoke (that ended quickly). Sleep with whoever I wanted to sleep with. Yet there was No Escape.

Then I began to remember moments where amazing doors were opened. Where I found/find myself doing things that I never thought I would do. Traveling places I never dreamt of seeing. Meeting people I would have never thought to connect with. Realizing in these (and more) amazing high moments I never escaped God.

One thing I’m learning is this:

In this journey, there are high moments and low moments. There are moments when everyone is rallying around you, and moments when you have not one person to talk to. Times when you feel invited and times when you feel the invitation must have been lost in the mail. No matter where you are in this journey, no matter what is thrown at you, and no matter what mistakes you make along the way, God is always with you. With Him there is No Escape!

His love can reach you on whatever road in this journey you are on; and His grace is more than enough to sustain you. The reminds me of David’s words in Psalm 139:

“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:1-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

May you find peace in knowing that with God, there’s No Escape!

~Hazel~

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

What If?


Last week I found myself in a very interesting conversation with someone. We met at a local Starbucks (because secretly I believe that Starbucks is my office) to have a chat about God, spiritual direction, passion, and purpose. The only thing that was missing was a conversation about shoes, clothes, and all things sparkly . . . but considering I was having a conversation with a guy, I decided against bringing up all the girly stuff lol. Nevertheless, coffee and Jesus are my jam. In that case, I was fully enjoying this life-giving and rich conversation.

I found myself being all engaged in this moment as we sat and conversed for hours about the goodness of God while being kept warm with our hot beverages. Something happened in the middle of our conversation that surprised the both of us. Something came out of my mouth that shocked me, and yet has had me praising God ever since.

In the conversation, I was asked to share my story of how I felt God’s calling on my life that led me to leaping out on faith to start building my organization and attending seminary full time. So, I shared very candidly and openly about the journey so far; while being intentional to not only highlight the warm, fuzzy stuff about stepping out on faith. As I caught my coffee partner up to where I’m currently am on this journey of faith, he sat back in his chair and pondered for a moment. After a brief moment of silence, and I got to steal a few sips of my warm, yummy goodness, he began to smile. It appeared he was moved by the story (glory to God right). Then it happened . . .

My coffee partner for the evening looked at me and asked, “So, what do you have planned if this doesn’t work out? If after it’s all said and done, you discover it all didn’t work, what are you prepared to do?” Before thinking, the following words gushed out of my mouth: “I never considered that it wouldn’t work. So, to answer your question . . . I don’t know. I don’t know because I never thought that it couldn’t work.”

His immediate response was “Whoa!!!” Then I hit him with a “Whoa!!!” And he shot back at me, “No . . . seriously WOW!!! What a response!” I looked at him at said, “No, seriously . . . I can’t believe that came out. I’m just as shocked, but it’s my honest response. I have that much FAITH that what God is calling me to will come to fruition.”

What if

This moment in our amazing conversation brought an awareness for me. For years, I used to be a “worry wart”. Stepping out on faith like this was huge for me! It is still huge for me!! I knew when I did it, I would have to fully trust and rely on God in the process. Too often, we think of our “what if’s” as negative. I just got tired of that way of thinking. So, with the grace and strength from God, I began to make my “what if’s” positive. “What if it does work?” “What if you will be provided with all that you need?” “What if they do say yes?”

What is something you have been “what if’ing about”? Have you considered that whatever your “what if” is could be the very thing that God wants you to trust by faith on. One thing I left my coffee partner with, and I leave to end this blog post is this:

When you take the leap of faith, you will either soar or God will provide you a soft place to land. You will never know until you take the leap.

I hypothetically entertained my coffee partner’s “what if” question, and explained this:

If this vision does indeed not work out, I can rest assured knowing that:

  • I gave it my all and fully trusted God with the process, resulting in a deeper level of faith and trust in Him
  • It didn’t kill me trying
  • It only means that God will redirect me to something greater.

 

This year, let’s rethink our “what if’s” in life. Let’s turn those things over to God, and allow Him to fully take the wheel to steer us in the direction He wants us to go. Let’s look to Him to give us the courage to conquer fear to take the leap of faith that will push us closer to our destiny.

~Hazel~

Though you are imperfect, you are loved by a perfect God.

Connect with me:

Facebook: PerfectlyImperfectInc2016

Instagram/Twitter: @_hazelowens