To Be Continued…

Happy New Year Kingdom Konversationalists!

I almost let January get by without posting a new entry, but then I thought about how it would feel to see the previous months listed in archives, and for January to be missing. I don’t like gaps, having to start over, or anything like that. As weird as it may seem, that was my motivation for posting today.

I know most people are posting New year goals and encouragement around this time, but I’ve found that life is about continuing even when it feels like you’re starting over. No shade to people who choose a new year as the time to begin a new habit or get rid of an old one. I just think that maybe we’d feel more accomplished if we framed it as continuing rather than starting over. Just think about it, people who are on a diet, have a cheat day, and the next day they continue. They don’t consider it an end to their diet or regimen because they did something different for a day or so. I’m not usually one to look on the bright side of things, but I’m beginning to realize that you’ve got to do whatever it takes to keep yourself motivated, and in most cases, my realism has not motivated me, but has often landed me in defeat. So, I’m trying this new thing of being positive and having a mindset of redemption and resilience rather than finality and failure.

I guess you could say my new year’s resolution is to continue.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog called The refuge of the mind in which I explained that I had allowed my past traumas to dictate what I would allow God to use in me. I had decided that I wouldn’t get close to people anymore because I didn’t want to continue getting hurt and healed over and over. (How prideful is that?) But, along this journey I’ve been humbling myself before God and allowing Him to walk me through life, as difficult as it is in moments.

This morning, as I shared my heart’s concerns with God, I found myself back at that place of vulnerability, in regards to the kind of person He made me, and what’s required of me in life. Long story short, I told Him, it’s lonely out here being who He called me to be. It can get lonely adhering to the boundaries He has in place for your life. It’s lonely when you are made to give so much of yourself and are expected to only be refilled by Him, at times. Thats why most of us don’t; because it’s hard! And although people don’t always treat us perfectly, if we have someone, at least we aren’t alone.

My Pastor said something yesterday that stuck with me and is relevant here. He said,

“Our response to God should not be about what’s good to us, but what’s good for us.”

The things God expects of us may not always feel good to us, but over time, we learn that it is good for us.

Therefore, saying yes to God is less about acknowledging a calling but more about trusting His path to fulfilling it. We can’t take the job and decide how we’re going to do it. There is a job description, duties and responsibilities that he has written for us. That’s the yes I believe God is looking for; our trust in His way.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 NASB

Trusting God and following Him, is not easy. It will often lead you down a path where you will encounter yourself. You will be challenged to abandon your self-constructed ideas and apprehensions. You won’t be able to move forward with fear; you’ll either pause within the fear or step through it into faith. You won’t know where you’re going at all times, but you’ll know that you’re right where you should be. You’ll be secure, anchored, planted and sure.

This year, I’m taking one day at a time to surrender myself and say yes to God’s way. I understand that some tasks seem so overwhelming and intimidating that we cop out with an “I’ll try” for fear of falling short and disappointing ourselves or others. All we have to do is make a commitment each day, and when we mess up, vow to continue at the next available opportunity.

Say yes for the Kingdom,

Kiana

Check out:

Still Yes by Lamar Simmons + Love & Faith Community Church Choir

The refuge of the mind

I Will Finish!

Recently, at church we were discussing the story of Noah and how he was instructed to build the ark. We talked about how God gave him specific instructions for this boat, warning that a great flood would come. God was specific about everything except when the flood would actually happen.

Rumor has it that a considerable amount of time had passed between when Noah was given the instructions and when the flood occurred. It really got me thinking about the things I expected to happen, but gave up on because they didn’t appear to be happening soon enough. In Noah’s case, how tragic would it have been for him to stop building the ark because he hadn’t seen any rain? If you think about it, the dimensions of the ark were huge, which speaks to the amount of time required to actually finish building it. And personally, I wouldn’t want to have to build anything of that magnitude in the rain. So then, maybe it isn’t so bad that “it” isn’t happening immediately. Perhaps, just maybe, we’re being afforded time to get ourselves prepared for “it”.

What makes us give up before it happens?

Sometimes we get defeated because of our past experiences with disappointments and let downs. But God does not fail us. We must internalize that fact, so that our experiences with imperfect people do not persuade us to doubt God. It is our belief in God’s goodness that makes life different. (I know what you’re thinking; How is a flood good?) So, the flood was unfortunate, but God’s goodness led him to prepare Noah and his family to be protected from it.

But, Noah had to believe that God wasn’t just handing out threats.  And while that was a bad situation, we must draw from this that God’s intention is to bring to pass whatever he has spoken. For us, it’s those desires he spoke into our being before we were even formed.

A lot of times, we speak of huge visions and dreams that God has placed on our hearts without considering the time and effort required to bring them to complete fruition. So here are two scriptures to consider.

The parable in Luke 14:25-32 addresses the importance of counting up the costs required for whatever it is that you plan to start.

We should do our best to take an accurate assessment of the requirements for a successful launch and sustaining of what God has placed on our hearts to do.

Habakkuk 2:3 (paraphrased) says that the vision is for an appointed time…though it tarries, wait for it. For it will certainly come and will not delay. 

This scripture speaks to the patience we must have concerning the process of bringing our visions and God given assignments to pass.

The bigger the vision the more preparation and building required to execute it. It’s key to understand that with God given ideas and plans, God’s often desires to make a large impact. For big things, you must plan ahead so that the timing will be just right!

Has it been a long time between when you first got the vision and its manifestation?

Are you wondering what the hold up is, like I once did?

Could it be that God is sharing what He plans to do in your life way ahead of time so that you can be adequately prepared for it? Perhaps its going to make such a big impact that you’ll need to commit some time to preparing for it before it happens.

Let’s commit to finishing!

I’ve decided that I’m going to do my best to keep doing my part until I begin to see the rest unfold. Noah worked on the boat until it was finished. Then God said revealed that in one week the flood would occur. Had Noah not been diligent, he would not have been ready to load the ark, and he would have risked the lives God wanted to save.


Being out of sync with God’s timing will put lives at risk that God wants to save.


“It” may not have happened yet, but keep working on it! Be consistent in whatever it will take for the God given vision for your life to completely manifest. When we are lead by the spirit, the things we do are never a waste of time. Everything is leading up to the future God has planned for you, which is spoken of in Jeremiah 29:11.  Everything you’ve put into it is worth it, because our God does not speak and not perform. We may not know when, but the least we can do is be ready!

Did something come to mind while reading this that you feel you need to continue working on? Please share in the comments. Let’s talk!

Kiana

Please Excuse our Progress

A few months ago, the Zaxby’s on North Monroe was under construction. The title of this post is what was on their marquee. It read, “Please Excuse our Progress”. I’m sure they were referring to the construction site that was their exterior as it underwent changes, but their choice of words made me wonder. If progress is such a good thing, why would it need to be excused? Words carry so much meaning, so definitions often bring a new perspective to my initial thought.

Progress by definition is movement toward a goal; that’s a good thing. And usually if you ask someone to excuse you, it’s because of some action and circumstance that interfered or conflicted with the norm. For instance, you might ask someone to excuse your tardiness because you were supposed to be in a place at a designated time and your being late had a negative affect on the circumstance.

After reading the multiple definitions I found for the verb excuse, I could go on and on about how that  may not have been the best choice of word in conjunction with the word progress. But for the sake of short attention spans, I’ll pull out just one of the definitions.

Excuse- overlook.  Using substitution it would read “Overlook our progress.”

Try not to notice the progress we’re trying to make.

How often do we want people to turn a blind eye to our lives until we’ve reached some point of perfection? Or how often do we try to hide the parts of us that are still in the development stage? Growth and change should be looked upon as good although it isn’t in a state of perfection.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Although it may have been a little more difficult to navigate the area because of the construction, the restaurant was still open to those who wanted what is on the inside of Zaxby’s, because that part wasn’t changing. If we see ourselves like the restaurant, we shouldn’t shut down or isolate ourselves because of the changes we are undergoing.

Our changes and growth only present the people in our lives with a challenge to love deeper.

Just a few miles away, the capitol has this sign displayed. pardonJust a few different words makes a difference. What stuck out to me about this particular sign was “your” Capitol. To me, it emphasized the fact that although things are under construction, and may be posing a temporary inconvenience, the outcome is for your benefit. The use of our and your has a sense of inclusion which may elicit some understanding and the pardon they are requesting in their sign.

The point here, I guess, is that positive change is good, and it should be embraced whether you’re the one changing, or you know someone or something that is.

If you’re changing, don’t be ashamed or feel the need to apologize if you feel a little rough around the edges, at times. And if you notice someone going through a process of change (which most of us usually are) be patient and understanding.

Advice for giving….advice.

People mean well.

They really do!

But, I’ve learned that people have to live their own lives and choose their own paths. As much as we don’t like to see the people we love suffer, contrary to popular practice or belief, there isn’t much we can say or do to ensure they don’t make the wrong decisions. We can only be there for them on the other side.

It all started in the garden. 

Since the tempting of the serpent in the garden of Eden, we as humans have a hard time “Taking your word for it.” We now have to see for ourselves. Which is why just telling someone not to do something seldom stops them from doing it, children and adults alike. Then, we tell our anecdotal stories about how a similar situation didn’t work out for us, hoping that those stories will be the proof they need to decide against it, and it still doesn’t work.

One person’s experience doesn’t equate to someone else’s understanding. 

For whatever reason, the person you’re trying to warn, often thinks their situation is just different enough from yours, or someone else’s, that they’ll have a different outcome. Who knows if that’s actually the case, but the more important point here is that everyone is different, including the comparable participants of each of our lives and situations.

We all have separate lives to live and be accountable for, and we can only love people regardless of their choices.

I remember once trying to talk a girl out of dealing with a guy that had done me wrong. Obviously,  I was scared, but I thought I was doing my duty to warn her. Long story short, she didn’t listen to me and now they’re married. (How’s that for a lesson in advice? Ha!)

I don’t know the details of their relationship, and that’s just the point. We seldom know all the details required to make a judgment. Who knows what made her different than me? Who knows what made him settle down? As similar as it seemed in the beginning, her experience wasn’t the same as mine.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to offer advice and guidance, just keep in mind there are many factors involved.

So, if you’re the type that likes to save the world through advice, here are some things that maybe you should consider. (The irony is that this is advice that you may or may not choose to accept. I understand that, and I’m okay with it.)

  1. Make sure the person you’re talking to actually wants advice.
    1. Sometimes, we just want a listening ear, not for someone to make a judgment about what we’re thinking, feeling or doing. Before your personal experience bubbles up into a “DON’T DO IT!”, ask them if they’re open to advice at that time.
  2. If you feel like someone has made a bad judgment, be careful how you express that.
    1. People do what they think is best in the moment, and at the end of the day, they are the ones who have to deal with the consequences of their decisions and actions.  Judgment is not our job, especially because we don’t always know the inward motivations of actions.
  3. Try not to look down on people who decide to take their own path.
    1. It’s very likely that someone may make the mistake you warned them of. They may go through with it, even after agreeing that the decision wasn’t in their best interest. Don’t shun them for walking out their path. The same experience you gained after your mistake or learned lesson can happen for them as well.

We can only hope and pray that people gain the lesson in their choices. And if they find it was a mistake, we can only hope they don’t become bound by regret.

Change should be facilitated.

I hope this helps the advice giver and receiver, which ever side you may find yourself on.

Thoughtfully,

Kiana

Almost a Diary Entry: Nostalgia Gone Wrong

So, this past week was FAMU Homecoming, so a lot of my Facebook friends who went there were posting pictures showing that they are proud alumni of the institution. Although I didn’t graduate from FAMU, I did attend for 2 years, so I have some stake in the celebration. After a few days of the posts, I said “What the heck, let me find a picture I can post to join in on the fun.” So I scroll back to find some pictures that were posted almost 10 years ago and I finally found some pictures where I was wearing some FAMU paraphernalia. But what began as a celebratory Facebook post, turned into a self loathing spiral.

famu2009 This is a picture of me during my freshman year at FAMU. When I saw this picture my initial thought was “Wow, I was so pretty then.” and all I could think about was the fact that my face isn’t as clear as it used to be. Acne scarring has been an up hill battle for me for some years now and this is one of the last pictures that I have where I felt, I didn’t need make up.

QmvbDOM3REaTcn+EmaVnSwThis is a more recent picture of me without makeup up on. Most people will say, there’s nothing wrong with how you look, and they’re right. But like anything else, when you know the condition something used to be in and you see it in it’s current state, the contrast is hard to overlook. Although I can stand to be in public without make up on some days, I rarely take pictures when I don’t have on foundation because it isn’t something I want to capture and see again, nor is it something I would want to share.

After I sat and thought more about how unhealthy unproductive it was for me to continue to envy my past, I began to see something else. I thought about how scars tell a story, a testimony. Many people who have survived tragic accidents say that they wear their scars with pride because they are happy to be alive. And although my scars aren’t a result of a traumatic event, they do in fact tell a story.

My second year of college was pretty difficult for me, and although I had been suffering from acne since middle school, it wasn’t until that year of college when I began to get stress induced acne. The bumps would be so painful and whether I left them alone or not, they always left a scar. One after another they kept coming, until dark spots were sprinkled about my face. During that time in my life, I didn’t talk a whole lot about what was going on, but I remember being very unhappy. There were some new challenges and situations in my life that I had to face, and it seemed that I was being attacked from the inside out.

Once I got out of the environment, I began to feel better, release some emotional weight, and the acne didn’t come as often, but I was still left with the scars. So I’ve had the challenge of loving the me I see now; the face that survived.

In all of this I had to remember a couple things that I encourage you to think on in regards to that thing in your life that has challenged your self-love.

For man looks at the outer appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.                   (From 1 Samuel 16:7)

Image is huge in the society we live in today which makes it doubly as hard to accept our blemishes and imperfections. But we cannot forget that what’s most important is the condition of our hearts. If we focus more on the image of Christ, what we look like should become less important to ourselves and others.

Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.                                 Isaiah 43:18

As great or terrible as things may have been in the past, forget it! Don’t be so attached to the past that you can’t fully live and appreciate the present. Just don’t think about it, especially if it brings about negative emotions.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! You’re workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.                                                                                             Psalm 139:14 (NLT- I love this translation).

Recognize that God’s work is good, and some things are just a part of our complex nature. Thanksgiving gives you perspective; a healthy, better perspective.

Memories are great, but don’t let them pull you out of the present.

Learn to love every stage of your journey. 

Vulnerably submitted for the Kingdom,

Kiana

Who Am I Kidding?

I’ve been doing a whole lot of introspection lately. Partially because I observe people a lot and in order to stay away from being judgmental of others, I look within and determine if I have some of those bad habits that I observe. The theme that has been ringing in my spirit for the past few months is intentions.

Why do we do the things we do? 

I’m sure the reasons are endless, but my assumption is they boil down to a few root reasons. I’ll discuss one or two here.

We do what we think will make others or happy or pleased with us. (Sometimes, even at the expense of our own happiness.)

Is it a bad thing to put others before ourselves? Conceptually no, but an unhealthy pattern can lead to life lacking true fulfillment with unclear personal desires, and dishonesty.

How often have you not told the truth because you didn’t want to upset the person you were speaking with? We want to stay on good terms with the people we care about and are in relationship with, sometimes so much so that we avoid conflict.

What does this boil down to?

F E A R

Fear of losing the friend. Fear of hurting their feelings. Fear of what they’ll think of you. Fear of losing a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The list goes on. But the more we operate this way, the more we become accustomed to living for the approval of others and acceptance without the satisfaction of doing what we feel is true to our essence.

Take the Bible story of Ananias and Sapphira for example. It can be found in Acts 4:32-5:11

Basically, they sold their land and the proceeds were supposed to go to the church community offering, but they lied to the leaders about how much they got from it so that they could keep some for themselves.

Why?

Perhaps they were in need of something and wanted to use what they got to take care of it.

Maybe they wanted some spending money and figured they’d just hold on to it.

The thing is it’s not necessary to lie in community. That’s family, and they would rather you be honest with them than try to save face and be regarded in a certain way.

The need for acceptance is real!

However, we should never get to the point of having to be dishonest in order to maintain our position in someone’s life. What’s the remedy you might ask? Knowing who accepted you first and will always accept you regardless of the details.

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out “Abba! Father!”

There’s no need to be afraid of belonging because God has already called you His own. If you live in that truth, you won’t have to fear losing friends and family because you will always have Him. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t leave you alone in life either, but God will lead you to have genuine relationships with people who understand the value of honesty and reciprocity.

I encourage you to be in touch with your core desires and intentions. Be honest with yourself and the people around you.

For the Kingdom,

Kiana

Almost a Diary Entry: Who am I?

While I prepare to give the disclaimer that as the title suggests, this will be sort of like a diary entry, I realize that I’ve been sharing some pretty personal things on here lately anyway. I’m a pretty private person generally, but the truth is, depending on who it is and the situation in which I’m sharing information, I actually don’t mind, if I see value in my vulnerability in that moment.

So yea, this is almost a diary entry. Perhaps it’ll be a series of sorts, who knows?

So, I’m super into relationships, marriage, people, growth, emotional intelligence, etc. And the going topic of advice for single adulthood seems to be finding out who you are and what you like. Part of me feels like those things change with age and experience, so as I pondered who I am, what I like, and what makes me who I am, I kind of got stuck. First, I realized, most of my time was not spent doing the things that I think I like, so I wondered, well what does THAT fact say about me. The fact that I devote more time to miscellaneous obligations than I do to things I enjoy…

Then one day, the other day actually, I realized what I enjoy the most is conversing. Well I can’t say I just realized this, I guess I just remembered. (I mean CLEARLY this blog is called Kingdom KONVERSATIONS with Kiana…)But, I REALLY like discussions. But see, I’m picky. Because I like to have discussions, but I like to discuss things with people who have fresh ideas or even opposing ideas with a solid basis. (Maybe I should find a debate club.) But the issue I’ve found with this preference is that everyone I talk to doesn’t meet that criteria. So if I really want to talk, I press through the conversation, or I suppress the desire so as not to be disappointed. I think this is part of the reason, that I tend to gravitate toward men. Because girl intellectuals are out there, but in my experience, are few and far between.

Anywho, at my core, I have realized that I am a deep thinker. I find the depth in everything. I like to explore anything. I ask a TON of questions about well… everything. My interest is wide spread because I just like to think about almost everything I’m presented with. I like to figure out why or what if. I’m just down right curious. I’m a wonderer.

Wonderer: one who thinks or speculates curiously

Those parts of me lead me to read, think, talk, and listen. That’s who I am and that’s what I do.

I love music and for a long time I thought THAT was the biggest part of me. But it isn’t and I think I’m finally okay with that.  I can still do it and even be good at it. But it’s not my claim to fame, and once again, I’m okay with it.

My mind is what drives me. What goes on in there is what wakes me up everyday.  It’s what gets me through the day. My curiosity of the world around me.

So yea, thanks for reading something like my diary entry. I didn’t mind sharing that because, I really hope people are able to embrace their core, even if they think it’s boring or annoying to others. I think, the second person responsible for making you feel loved is you, God being first. (We can debate about parents being second later.) And once you embrace the real you, you’ll attract someone who will love and appreciate you as well.

Know yourself, then be yourself.

For the kingdom,

Kiana

Lord, Just Make It Good

Man, decisions get harder to make the older you get. Or maybe it’s not even about age, but the awareness. The more you know about yourself, your future, your desires, it seems the tougher the decisions get because, you just realize you don’t have time for mediocre things that don’t contribute much to your life.

Have you ever just evaluated a situation and had to make the hard decision of eliminating it. Have you ever just had the subtle nudge to quit it, or let it go. It seems like those subtle nudges are the ones that are the most important, but the hardest to act on.

Then it gets a little harder when you don’t have a single clue as to what will fill the space that you’ve freed up. Imagine deciding to sell your car without any idea as to where the next one will come from or when. In this day and age, that sounds ridiculous. The thing is, many times, our best life requires those moves and decisions.

In Genesis, God told Abram to leave everything he knew and go to a place that “He (God) would show him.” If you bring that to current times, you can’t put that in the GPS. No arrangements can be made for a place you’ll be shown when you get there. All Abram knew was that he had to pack his belongings and say goodbye.

You know, we all want a promise/ prophecy from God, but real talk, life gets trill when you have a promise on your life. When you know there’s a specific thing God is granting you and bringing through you, it gets real because there’s a position required for it to come through.

So today as I pondered the few things that I have to make decisions about, for those things I may have to leave behind, I said to God, “Lord, just make it good.”  I needed to be reassured that what is to come will be far better than what is.

All things work together for the GOOD of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) We hear it all the time, but how often do we really believe it in our hearts, when it counts. Like, when there are no details or even when the details don’t seem good…

My charge to you (and to myself) is to believe that God will make it good.

Believe in Him,

Kiana

The refuge of the mind

Right now, my pastor is preaching out of a book called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. (It’s a really good read). The past few sermons have been about God alone being our refuge; the place we should go for protection and healing in the midst of trial and difficulty. Many of us go to our friends or family, those we feel we can confide in and those who console us. Others of us have habits or activities that we use to blow off steam, that aren’t exactly the ideal form emotional expression. While I was considering what my refuge has been during some dark moments of my life, I realized that it was my mind.

Oddly enough, I’ve realized that I actually enjoy thinking. I spend a lot of time figuring things out, and putting pieces together to complete an experience to better understand a circumstance or person. You can only imagine, that if I do that for random things, it’s on a totally different level when it comes to personal experiences, especially traumatic ones. Things that hurt me, that I feel I didn’t cause, I try to understand how they could have even happened and more importantly, why.

So in prayer, I discovered that I’ve allowed my refuge to be my mind and thoughts. It has manifested in such a subtle, almost undetectable way. The explanations and “created closure” that I’ve come up, with have been where I’ve hidden. It’s those thoughts that have become my reason for not trusting and being fully restored after trauma. They were my case to God as to why I didn’t want to be a vessel for Him. Because honestly, who wants to feel like a vase in a house with 3 kids under 10 in the summer time. Ha! I had marked out boundaries for God. Yes, I’ll study the word and teach it but no, I will not disciple people. No, I won’t be vulnerable and walk alongside people through their brokenness to their healing and deliverance. I’m not about to lay down my life only to be wounded time and time again. Don’t even waste your time healing me if I’m going to have to keep coming back. Wow! How sad is that.

I’m sure many others have had a similar experience, even if we don’t have the same calling. The truth is that God heals. And that healing can only be found when you seek Him as your refuge. I realized that if I continued to hide behind my logic, I wasn’t giving God the access He really needed to help me work through the effects of those traumatic and painful experiences. We are often blinded by our false resolutions of venting to friends or drinking the pain away. So when we actually take time to pray, we forget we have an issue that needs some attention. Even when we “manifest” our brokenness, we think “That’s just how I am”, instead of realizing it’s an area of brokenness that needs healing. You don’t have to internalize your experiences and make them a part of you. Bring those things to God and allow him to work them for your good once you’ve experienced healing.

I encourage you to allow God to be your refuge. Go to Him when you’re feeling weak, down and out, or broken. He’s the only one who can get you through it.

Vulnerably submitted for the kingdom,

Kiana

“Prayer is usually one word, which is, ‘Yes’.”

So, I’m into podcasts right now because I love to hear what people are thinking. The other day, I was listening to one of Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations with Rob Bell, and the title of this post is the statement that gripped me. It was his response to Oprah’s question, “What does prayer mean to you?”. Over the years, I’ve heard so much about what prayer is and how it’s supposed to be, but this statement really caused me to pause and think about my personal prayer life.

To be honest, I don’t pray nearly as much as I used to pray in previous “seasons”, if you will. I know for sure, I reached a point where I didn’t need to schedule prayer into my day because my communication with God was so consistent that I felt He was a part of every minute of my life. I shared with Him and acknowledged Him through out the day and didn’t wait until before bed to tell Him about what was going on in my life. Then, some things in life began to go sour, (and I’m not the type of person that continues in routine), so that open line of communication constricted over time and I found myself reverting back to marked moments of prayer. The issue with that was that I could suddenly track my prayer history and say things like the last time I prayed was 3 days ago. I’d begin to condemn myself and feel terrible about this prayer life that has diminished so much.

But Rob Hill’s statement was so freeing to me. It made prayer so much more simple than what I had been expecting of myself. In his response, He followed “yes” with “I’m open, what’s next”. And while I knew that being open wasn’t my exact sentiment when I heard him say it, I still understood that, my relationship with God is that simple.

I’ve been saying a lot lately that I feel God speaks in bottom lines to me. And the most enduring bottom line I’ve heard is “I want you to trust me“. God wants us to believe that His love for us will not only sustain us but propel us through all hardship, whether it’s the consequences of a bad decision or the pain of a tragic loss. He wants us to be open and ask “What’s next”. When you stop asking what’s next, you stop living. You reject new life and the possibility of restoration.

Jesus is the greatest example of this! He knew death was coming. And even then He said “What’s next”. Only to discover that He’d live again and have all power on the next go ’round. Man, the gospel is so powerful. If only we’d believe it!

So, don’t allow man’s laws or expectations to cause you to condemn yourself. God knows where you are and His love frees, it heals, and it embraces!

Say yes for the kingdom,

Kiana

Reference:

Apple Podcast Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations with Rob Bell: Let’s Talk about God