One Year Anniversary

So much can change in a year. I started this blog 365 days ago. Earlier last year, I’d had a conversation with my dad about my life and where I was headed. At the time, I felt my life was in shambles. I’d newly graduated from Spelman College and gotten into the Holy Grail of post-grad opportunities, Teach for America, only to leave the program and end up back home in my small home town working two part-time jobs. To say the very least, I was discontent and unhappy. My father advised me to go and genuinely pray and ask God what my purpose was. So that night I chopped it up with the Heavenly Father and went to sleep. Lo and behold, I had a dream and the dream was about me having a blog. When I woke up in the morning, I felt certain that God had spoken to me and that He wanted me to write, but I had no clue what He wanted me to write about. What would I write about? What should my blog focus on? How in the world would I be able to keep up a blog consistently? Was I even creative enough to come up with something interesting and inspiring for anybody to read?

I had so many questions and at the time I didn’t have that many answers, but I knew that I had to start doing what God showed me in that dream. As I was brainstorming and in the beginning of creating my blog, I reached out to a “friend” for encouragement. I shared that I was feeling led to start a blog. No sooner than I told her, she laughed and said, “Girl, you know good and well ain’t nobody gonna read your blog.”

I was hurt. I felt discouraged, but I remembered the dream God gave me and kept writing and preparing. I also talked to a woman who didn’t even know me and when I told her about being led to start a blog, she told me matter-of –factly, “I don’t know what you’re waiting for. If God told you to do it, do it. When you write, don’t you realize people all over the world will be able to see what you wrote.” I felt confirmation. I felt encouraged, and I remembered the dream God gave me.

On March 30, 2014, I posted my first post. I was scared and uncertain. Would anybody read what I wrote? If they read it would they like it? Would they judge me? How will I keep posting blogs each week? The journey that I started on seemed so big and I wasn’t sure if I was prepared to handle it, but I remembered the dream and week after week after week, I keep writing and kept posting. I didn’t share my blog for the first nine months, so people randomly found my blog through WordPress or Google searches. I didn’t have that many people reading my blog. Some days, nobody read it, but I remembered my dream and kept going. I started grad school in the fall and had to juggle school work, a part-time job and an internship. I questioned if I would be able to keep up with my writing like I had been before but I remembered the dream He gave me and kept on writing. Week after week after week. It’s been 52 weeks since I started and I have over 52 blog posts to date. The dream that God gave me a year is literally just beginning to manifest and it’s far from over.

I say all that, not to brag but to say who God is. The title of my blog was intentional. My Stories for His Glory. It was more than a catchy phase, it was about me giving the dream He gave me back to Him. It was about telling God that I didn’t just want to pursue my dream for my own sake. I didn’t want to write to become famous or popular. I desired to pursue my dream in an act of serving Him. I prayed to God that every single thing I would post would point people back to Him. That He would take each of my stories, mistakes and triumphs I shared on this blog and mold them into to something to would give Him the glory. I wanted it to be crystal clear that this blog and my life were not about me, but about Him. This blog was me stepping out of the boat and walking towards Him in blind faith. I didn’t know all the details at the time. I didn’t know how things would work out or if it was going to work out. All I knew is that God called me to do it, so I answered with my actions. Despite my fears and doubts, I answered Him. Despite hearing the discouraging words of others and my own inner critic, I refused to give up on the dream that God gave me.

So, maybe the dream God gives you isn’t to write a blog. Maybe it’s to start a business, go back to school, travel the world, or be a better parent. Maybe God doesn’t speak to you in a literal dream. Maybe He reveals His dream for your life through a kind and encouraging word from someone else. Or He whispers His dream to your daily through your God-given passions. (You know the things you’d do even if you weren’t getting paid for it.) Maybe you’re not even sure what your dream is or if you even have a dream. But you do. If you’ve never heard it before, you were placed on this earth for a special and specific purpose. You were created to accomplish things for God’s kingdom that only you are equipped to do. If you aren’t sure about what that dream is, like I was a year ago, go to the Father and sincerely ask Him. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since the two of you last talked or if you feel you aren’t good enough to start going after that dream, do it anyway. Just like He answered my prayer, He’ll answer yours, too. Despite the fear, despite the other pressing issues in your life, despite the time that you think you don’t have, despite the negative things people may say, go forward and go after what God has purposed you to do.

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Walking with You

Messy, fallible, falling apart at the seams.

Prone to error and mistakes.

Continuously jumping to conclusions, judging and making assumptions that I shouldn’t about others, myself and even You, God.

But the thing is that You still love me through it all. You still want to use me for Your glory despite my flaws. You still choose to pour out Yourself through this broken vessel. The more I grow in You the more I see that I’ll never be perfect enough to earn your grace. I’ll never get it “right”. I’ll always go stumbling through life and falling down into sin like a baby learning to walk. But there you’ll be like a Father calling out to me. Holding your arms out to me, telling me to keep getting up and walk again. Encouraging me to keep walking towards you no matter how many times I fall. Letting me know that walking in faith isn’t about getting it right in the 1st, 2nd or 490th time, but it’s about taking it one step at a time. It’s about trusting in you and focusing on your relentless love and boundless forgiveness rather than looking at own my own failing righteousness and faulty strength.

See, at the end of the day this walk is not about me, it’s about you. It’s about teetering and tottering back into the arms of a Father who loves us as we are. It’s about realizing that we can’t measure our growth by our own ability to keep from falling but by how close we are to You. Because the closer we get to you, the more we can reach out and grab Your hands so you can guide us and keep us from stumbling. The closer we get to you the more we can look at you smiling as we take step after step. The closer we get the more we can be comforted by your voice when we feel the sting of falling. And the closer we get to you the more we realize that this walk was never about us walking perfectly without falling. But it was all about us getting close to you as you give us the strength and stability to walk with you.