Purpose: What Are You Here For?

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"Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.” -Bertrand Russell, Atheist (excerpt from The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren)

Because what are we really here for, right?

Growing up I struggled a lot with depression…
Well actually, it’s more accurate to say that depression consistently stood on my neck as I painfully wheezed and heaved my way through life.

*Insert Daria Themesong*

Here’s my story:
Because my parents weren’t in the picture I was raised by my grandmother. All of my sisters were older than me by 15+ years. I didn’t connect with cousins my age and was pretty isolated throughout childhood. To top it off, I’m the “outside” baby. My sisters all shared a different mother than I did.

All in all, I’ve always felt out of place…which is a great place for the devil to wreak havoc.

I never felt like I had a reason for being alive. Majority of the time I felt like I was just taking up space. At times I was so depressed that all I could do was sit and exist. Stare at the wall for hours on end in a sea of unexplainable pain and overwhelming sadness…

It was thick.

I never knew that I had a real purpose.
I didn’t know that God took great care to create and design me. I didn’t know that my very existence was predestined and intentional. Instead of asking God why didn’t I die in my sleep each morning, I should’ve been asking why He woke me up in the first place.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

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Plans. Prosperity. Purpose. HOPE.

When I found that scripture I held onto it very tightly. I needed it. I needed to know that God had plans for me, that He had a purpose for me…

…that I wasn’t a waste of space.

This blog is a great outlet for my experiences and emotions, but I mainly post to reach others like me.
The little girls with no direction. The young women who swell their chest up just to say they have a brand or title. To anybody who ever wanted to mean anything to anyone anywhere:

You are not a waste of space.

There are PLANS for you and a PURPOSE in your pain. There is a God. There’s HOPE for you!
Seek Him. And I promise you will find everything else.

Until then, remember: You are here for a reason.

With Love, Kay

 

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Forgiveness: A Reflection

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"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." - Matthew 6:9-15

Hello Dear Diamonds! Today God led me to write about the topic of forgiveness.
And by "led me", I do mean He exposed, convicted and spiritually read me to filth.

Isn't He lovely?

I was scrolling on Instagram and came across a "31 Days of Forgiveness" challenge. The scripture I quoted above really stuck out to me. My interpretation of it starts off with one simple view: Treat Others How You Want To Be Treated.

Let me be the first to tell you that I am not perfect. I've offended people, made mistakes, and hurt others from time to time. Like so many others, my record isn't clean. What I do believe, however, is that an expert in life is one who fails forward.

So I know that when I do something wrong, I'm eventually going to want to be forgiven.
I mean, who wants these things to be held against them forever?
Still, forgiveness, on all fronts, is easier said than done.

Plus, I had a question for God:

"How exactly do you forgive someone who isn't sorry or doesn't want/feel the need to be forgiven?"

This question made me reflect on my own infamous grudge holding abilities.
In the past, when someone hurt me I felt justified in treating them the exact same way. I never let any of the offenses against me go.
As a result, ALL of my precious relationships were suffering.
And guess what? I was totally in the mindset of "I ain't sorry".

Especially when it came to men and breakups.
Just the other day my friend mentioned one of my exes and I realized how angry I still was over something that happened YEARS ago.
It literally had no relevance in my current stage of life. It was petty. It was nothing I could do about it. Yet here I was, ENRAGED. "How could he do this to me? How could he think this was ok?"

This is where God stepped in and said: "Well what about what YOU did to HIM?"

....
.........
That shut me right up.

I've played the victim role for almost all of my life so I wasn't ready for this level of personal accountability. It took an incredible amount of humility and maturity for me to woman up and own that I did just as much damage to this man, if not more.

How dare I hold anything against him when he was more than likely thinking the same things about ME!
In fact, my ex was probably building up as much bitterness and resentment as I was.

All the same, God's retort made me realize...

Forgiveness is a mirror.

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If I am going to forgive you, I can't look at what you've done to me without looking at what I've done to you.

Even if I didn't reflect those actions back to you, I probably did that same offense to someone else.

It's so interesting how we can feel like we are the only ones wronged or affected in a situation.

"No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face..." (1 Corinthians 10:13 MSG)

All of mankind's troubles and trials are common. We all share the same sins and difficulties no matter how different we THINK we are.

Forgiveness is defined as the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

That's........deep. Reading that definitely can challenge your maturity level.

And I would still want it done for me.

When I connected with God and He started showing me things that I needed to change, I was heartbroken and ashamed over my actions. He forgave me. So I could at least try to forgive the other people who knowingly or unknowingly have caused me grief. I'm no different.

But back to that mirror. In my quest to exercise that wonderful ability of mercy, I realized I still hadn't forgiven MYSELF for certain things I've done.

For my ignorance, my selfishness, and being plain ole mean.

The devil is an accuser and all of those terrible memories would surface daily in my mind. Nonetheless, why would I still harp over these things if God already stopped holding them against me?

 

The Lord showed me that forgiveness is a continuous journey. There will always be new mistakes and transgressions to make peace with.

So I encourage you to drop all of the bitterness and resentment you have towards people and, most importantly, towards yourself. Forgive yourself for the simple, common, human things we can't avoid. Thank the Almighty for showing you how and where you can improve.

And thank God for forgiving you. ESPECIALLY when you knew you didn't deserve it.

Now what kind of mind-boggling love is that?

I don't know about you but I'm here for that.

How do you interpret forgiveness?

With Love, Kay

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Feeling Lost Lately?

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"Getting lost is a good way to find yourself."

Please don't think, by any means, that I have my life together.
There have been several times where I didn't know where I was going with this.
With this blog, with my brand, or my life in general...
I wasn't exactly lost on this journey...
But I couldn't exactly see my path either.

2016 was my unexpected turning point. I started out as an entrepreneur stepping out on faith and ended up jobless, disillusioned and slightly isolated. I no longer knew what I wanted for myself.

You see folks, somewhere along that path, I lost my fire. I lost my passion. I truly thought that I lost my way...

"You are not lost."
Those words were spoken over me in early March of 2016 and at the time, I didn't know what it would mean for me in the days to come.
The partial context of that prophetic word was:

You are not lost. You are very much found. You haven't lost your way. It seems like you're going through a forest where the branches have gotten tangled and you can't see the path. But keep looking up. Keep looking up because through the branches you will see the stars, you see the moon, and you know where north is. So keep going forward. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. You are not lost.

Here's the irony of those words: I wasn't feeling lost AT ALL. *insert internal side eye*

I thought I was doing quite lovely.

How could I have possibly anticipated that the beginning of my 6-month downward spiral would commence the very next day?

Jesus Help.

During those 6 months I had:

  • Close friendships/relationships lost and tested
  • Financial struggles of epic proportions
  • A massively irritating identity crisis
  • Battles with emotional trauma, abuse, and addiction
  • Spiritual warfare that left me feeling weak and ashamed
  • An alarming amount of low self-esteem

Just to name a few things.

I suddenly felt like a failure. I felt like I was disappointing God left and right. I couldn't see myself clearly enough to recognize that my emotional mess could no longer be swept under the rug. I had to face these things but there was only one way to do it.

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Without condemnation.

I knew who God was when the year started. I knew that He had a purpose and a plan for me. He even proved that He was on my team by warning me about the upcoming trials I'd face.

So why should I beat myself up about everything that was going wrong? All I really had to do was look up and keep going.

I was not lost. I was growing. I was healing.

Dear Diamonds, one thing I've learned about life is that things are constantly changing. What is not growing is dead and when you call on God to help you improve, He's going to do a thorough job of removing the weeds.

It can be painful and a bit distorting, but all of these things are done in love.

In that love, there is COMFORT for every transition.
In that love, there is GRACE for every mistake.
In that love, there is STRENGTH for the places where you feel the weakest.

You are the most loved and impressive work in progress.

You don't need to have it all together. It's okay to feel a little crazy. Us humans often forget that trust and faith do not come with a scroll of instructions.

There's a song by Jon Bellion called "Maybe IDK" that hits it right on the head for me.

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That's exactly it.
FAITH and TRUST.

I look back at those tumultuous 6 months and I see a completely different woman. Someone who is a lot more humble, compassionate, peaceful and FAITHful.
I see an increase in my FAITH.
This isn't the first mess I've gotten myself into and it won't be the last mess God gets me out of.
And while I may not know about tomorrow, I know I'm praying today.

So be encouraged.
Remember that you know where north is.
And if you don't, I'm telling you that all of the solutions you are seeking are only one prayer away.
Now THAT'S how you sleep easy at night.
So if you're like me, and this post spoke to you, don't waste any more time worrying. You've already come a long way. There's still more road to go.
There is still fight in you.

So GO! Act like you know.

With Love, Kay

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Trust Issues.

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I procrastinated this post.

How's that for honesty? Like that? Let me give you some more.

I wasn't doing anything important.

After a long day of shifty New York weather and MTA treachery, I was randomly surfing the internet when I came across a woman with this question:

“When absolutely nothing is going in the right direction and everything is a struggle, what makes ya'll still have faith in prayer? Honestly.”

It made me pause. Earlier today, God told me to write a post on trust. It's not that I didn't want to write this post, it's just that I often struggle with this too. I'm a person who is a fan of sureness and certainty.

I know that if I pay the cab fare, I'm going to be able to get a ride home. I know that if I submit my timesheet at work, I'm going to get paid. I know that if I try to hit that note from Sister Act 2 that I'm going to sound like sharp nails on a blackboard.

Yet...

Oddly enough, NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE CERTAIN.

Back in 2016, I had so many twists and turns that I didn't even know what trust in God looked like anymore.

When I started a union at my previous job, I had full confidence that God would see it through, because I knew a bit about His character.
I knew that He was a loving God who didn't approve of mistreatment and that my actions would prevent such occurrences in the future.
In essence, I felt my actions and motives lined up with His will. I was grappling in the dark a lot of the time, but I saw no reason why He shouldn't see it through.

SPOILER ALERT: He did.

Now let's fast forward to a couple of months after that.
I left my job and started a cleaning business with two of my friends.
My intentions were to provide a stable income as an entrepreneur and, in the process, serve people who needed a little extra help.

I knew that the road to success wasn't easy but I was positive I was embarking on a successful venture that would fill up my pockets and align with His will.

Simple right?

Wrong.

Apparently, I had a lot more to learn about God.

So when I saw that woman's question, it triggered some introspection of my own trust issues. Like most people, I saw so much of myself through her inquiry.

You have a dream/goal that you desperately want to manifest.
You invest all of your time and resources into said dream/goal.
You give it everything you got, all the while expecting a return on your investment (AND SOON)...
Or at least a few breadcrumbs of favor to carry you through. We've all been there.

But did you even ask God if this is what He wants you to do?

There is a huge difference between what GOD wants for you and what YOU want for you. I knew a bit about His character but I was still missing key components about His will for my life and the roots of my decision making.

I never even asked if my plans were in God's will. Instead, I just assumed that because it seemed like a good idea, that it was a God idea, planned and positioned according to my idea of purpose.

How selfish is that?

We all live on borrowed breath daily. We didn't birth ourselves and none of us know the exact date we will die. I say that to say that we all have PURPOSE, but it's not something YOU create.

I never asked God about His will because I didn't care. I just wanted to make something work for me and reap the results instantly. Obviously, I had to have a huge lesson in humility.

GOD IS SOVEREIGN. If He doesn't want you to do something, no matter how much you try, it will not prosper.

Here's how He showed me I was unaligned with His will:

1. I lost all of my financial backing.

I left my (now) union job and all of its steady income. Plus the jobs we were getting for the business were not enough to sustain all 3 partners.

2. The trials kept coming with no hint of relief.

At first, I thought it was just spiritual opposition because I was onto something big. Over my lifetime, however, I saw that God would usually throw me a bone right before He gave me a feast. There were no bones ya'll. Things kept getting worse and WOULD NOT get better.

3. I had no peace about the decisions I was making.

I could not tell you how many times I would be on a job and wanted to leave. Small mistakes became big mistakes and everything just felt WRONG.

4. There was no harmony within the team.

Eventually, my partners and I started bumping heads. I felt like I couldn't defend myself because of my mistakes but I also felt supremely misunderstood and isolated. I was doing my best but did not feel appreciated.

5. My work didn't bear any fruit.

I kept trying different things and putting in effort and I got nowhere. It seemed like my prayers weren't being answered, which is why I related to that woman's question so deeply.


"When absolutely nothing is going in the right direction and everything is a struggle, what makes you still have faith in prayer?"

Well for one, He's proven that He's worthy of my faith. I trust Him. I trust that He has good intentions FOR ME.

When you sit down in a chair, you trust the manufacturer. You literally sit without thought. You're not checking the legs to see if they're wobbly or the screws to see if they're loose.
When you walk outside for some fresh air, you're trusting that there's no random governmental zombie virus decimating the masses. Or you at least trust that the pollution isn't going to K.O. you today.

TRUST can be defined in two ways:

1. Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.
2. Confidence placed in a person by making that person the nominal owner of property to be held or used for the benefit of one or more others.

After reading those definitions, I realized that I was trusting in my own ability to make things happen, for my own selfish reasons. I was self-assured, full of pride and it wasn't right. I'm not the boss of my life, that's Jesus. And He's not going to give me a blessing without growing me into a (humble) person who should receive it.

All in all, God cares for each one of us very deeply.  His plans are always to prosper us, not harm us. He gives hope and a future.

He may have allowed certain things to happen to you, but He's not letting you suffer without reason.
They're happening FOR you, not to you.
And the whole (difficult) time is building your character.
And perseverance.
And STRENGTH.
(Romans 5:4)

So I encourage you to trust Him today, with everything big and everything small. His track record is IMMACULATE, and this blog can testify that when you stand on God's plans you just can't lose.

So trust Him. Just try it. There's literally nothing better you can do.

With Love,

Kay

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