Finding hope in God in the unexpected changes of life.



I’ve always heard that the only thing guaranteed in life is change, and we all know that to be true. But that doesn’t make dealing with unwanted or difficult changes or new seasons of life any less trying.

Ps 37:3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

When we dwell on God’s faithfulness and let it nourish our hearts, our faith and trust in Him grows. When we focus on doing good things, our thoughts won’t stay parked on the changes we don’t like. Instead of allowing our minds to wish things were like they used to be or feeling discouraged or upset over a hard season of life, we can place our trust in Him and live with peace and joy, not stress and distress.

Ps 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Being delighted with God means our hearts find peace and fulfillment in Him, regardless of our season of life or the changes we’re facing. When we look back to see how He has been faithful and trustworthy in the past, which delights us, we can better trust He will be faithful now and in the future, too.

God has divinely allowed every season of our life with His sovereign wisdom, and those seasons may include some type of hard change. We can fight change, or we can trust God has a plan and purpose for it and allow our trust in His faithfulness to be the foundation for joyful living.  If you change the way you think about change, the way you’re looking at that change just might change.

Although you may be suffering right now, it’s only temporary. God, who is infinitely wise and skilled, knows just how to care for you. Trust that he is shaping you into someone beautiful, honorable, and good—able to reflect his glory.

When all seems hopeless and lost. Go deep into your heart. That strength you didn’t think you had, or don’t feel like you have, get ahold of it and with all that is within you, hold on to it and when you feel weak, use that strength to do all that you can do and trust God.

When your world seems to crash down on you. It feels like grains of sand slipping through your hands. When all you see before you is pain and darkness, hopeless. Deep within us God has placed a strength and hope in us, that he has a plan. It may not be our way right now, but he uses painful situations to make us a masterpiece. So many times we pray, “Lord, I want to be on the potter’s will, make me into what you would have me to be.” Sometimes being on the potter’s will is painful. Can we endure the process? Can we truthful say, not my will be yours God? Can we set aside our desires & flesh, so that God can make a beautiful work of art on the potters will? Can we endure being on the potters will when it gets hard and life gets unfair? When the pain is real and its hard to trust God. When God says, no, or wait, what will you do? No one likes to hear those words, but what is God’s plan on the other side of those words? What bigger things does he have in store? If we truly want to be what God wants us to be we will endure the process of being on the potters will. How long we stay there is up to us. We can let God mold us, or we can say wait God, “I am not ready yet.” When the pressure is applied, we can fight back or we can pray and trust God during the pressure, the pushing and pulling.

Life is not fair, things can go wrong when you thought they were going right. Life is not promised to us tomorrow. We make the best of each day. We aren’t made or put on this earth to please people, only God. That is who I aim to please. Life is not all about us, but others as well. Life will be a test every day, changes happen everyday. With life brings pain, heartache, storms and rain, but everyday we have a choice to pray. Some days life can be hard to push through. It will bring hard blows, but there will be days God will give us a push and a shove. Some days we don’t want to push through. We would rather isolate ourselves and roll around in our pain. Yes, that seems like the easiest thing to do, feel sorry for ourselves. Wish life was different, wish God would not ask certain things of us or allow certain things to happen. We can’t hid the pain, we can’t run from it, its there and it won’t leave, but there is a God that knows and sees that pain. He will use it and help us push through the pain. You lost your smile, your dreams, your hope, everything, but God will return it and restore you with even greater than you thought. He sees all things, and he will help push us through if we only ask. We don’t like pain, but pain is for our good sometimes. Pain pushes us to grow, pushes us to dig a little deeper in prayer, because we know we need him. Who like and enjoys pain? No one. The pain won’t last forever, we can choose to find our inner strength and trust the Creator. One breath at a time, one step at a time, putting one foot in front of the other. You will find after a few steps, that you can start stepping a little easier and a little better. You will stumble or get out of breath at times, you stop take a few moments to rest, lean on the Lord. Let him carry you and then start stepping again.

Our life is in God’s hands and we must trust him. He did not say it would be easy, but it would be worth it. Trusting God is not always easy, but we know it is the best thing we can do and it is the right thing to do. If we want life our way, then do it our way. If we want life God’s way and what he has then do your best to trust him even when you can’t find the strength to, even when its hard and you don’t understand. Trust him when its to difficult. Pray, he will help us to trust him. He is God, not a thing he misses or gets by him. He knows the pain, he knows the struggle. He even knows we have a hard time trusting him at times, when life is the hardest. We must pray.

What can God do if we trust him? We can’t see the big picture, but God can.

Ps 37:5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass
Lord, change is hard. I don’t always ask for it, much less like it. Please help me focus on Your past faithfulness so I can strengthen my trust in You for future faithfulness and embrace whatever lies ahead — changes and all. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Would You Trade Your Friends For Jesus?


Would You Trade Your Friends For Jesus?

Look at Job! He lost everything, and even his wife told him to curse God and die. Think about how he felt. He walked alone, but never gave up and continued to trust God. At the end of his trial, God blessed him with more than he had before.

Ever feel like you’re alone? Living for God on your own and no one there to stand with you. Wonder why friends and family turn their back on you? Even people in the church-world cutting you off and turning on you, when you thought they were your friend. Why would people in the church-world turn on you, or cut you off if you are living for God, fighting, praying, and fasting to become what God wants you to be? Working to have a closer walk with God and a deep spiritual relationship with him, you get cut off. I have seen it so very much the past few years, people in the church world turning on their brethren, I have seen and faced it. Preacher against preacher, saint against saint, and church against church. So many go to church, just to go to say they went. So many just live the normal, just to get by, and be able to say they are living for God.

What they are missing, and don’t want, is that deep walk with God. They don’t the kind of walk with God you have. When your heart beats for God and His desires. When you desire the things of God and desire the deepest things of God, you will find that there are people in your life that don’t want that. They still want to ride the fence. Go to church, shout, and worship, but still, there is not that desire for God like you have.

People don’t desire the deep things of God anymore. When you have a relationship with God that your friends or family don’t have, they will eventually no longer be a part of your life. If we are praying and fasting to grow in God, you will sometimes find yourself walking alone. People don’t want to be a part of your life because your lifestyle and walk with God, convicts theirs and they like theirs.

Jesus was persecuted, spit on and beaten. He faced criticism and even those that were supposed to be living for him and walking with him turned on him. He was tempted, he walked alone. I am sure he got lonely, but he knew that sacrifices came with the way He lived his life on the earth. Just like Jesus, we are going to face those things because we chose to walk in the Spirit. We chose to build our lives around God and what he wants. Pastors and preachers face that persecution because they have been called to go deep and they have made a sacrifice to be what God called them to do and go where he said go.

God will separate you from those who don’t want God like you want him. Yes, it hurts to lose those friends and family, but if they are not going where you are in God then you have to walk without them. The enemy uses our family and friends to turn other family and friends on us. We must forgive, and let God have it, and keep striving in God. The devil hates us when we want more and more of God, so he uses those close to us to try to tear us down. Sometimes we have to walk alone when we desire more of God. We don’t participate in the things the world calls fun or the things that are not Godly. We chose to take a stand and fight for God. We are in this world, but not if it. Taking a stand sometimes means you will walk alone; sometimes those family and friends don’t want to be a part of the stand you take. Nowadays, it is preacher… preach to me something that will make me feel good, don’t tell me to pray and fast, and don’t tell me how I should live.

Sometimes we don’t like to hear the story of Job or hear the words look what Job went through. Could we stand alone and live for God when everyone else turns against us? I know I don’t like to even think about that question because I enjoy the company of friends and conversations. Let’s be real, it would be hard, we would get weary some days and want to give up. Our mind would work on work on us and the devil would sure try to feed our minds with lies because he knows we would have no one to encourage us. Our flesh enjoys the company of others, but could our flesh stand-alone if we had to? I will be the first to admit it would be a difficult battle for me, but I surely know that if I truly had a desire to make it, then God would give me the strength. He would fight for me.

In real life. We have all in some way felt like we have walked through the darkest valleys like Job. I haven’t walked into that exact valley Job did, but I have experienced the loss of friends and family all for my stand for truth. All of these people were in the church, and I didn’t understand how in the world could family, friends who claim to live for God, come against me for the stand and standard I have in your life.

I look back and I see those people’s lives and I know if God would have allowed me to keep close relations and connections with most, then I would not be living for God like I should. God has to separate us sometimes from those that will gender your growth. God removed, and he has given me the friends and family that encourage me, that are sold out to this Gospel and desire the deep thing of God. We are afraid of losing people but don’t fear, know that God will replace those empty places with the ones that you need in your life. If you can lose friends over the truth and Gospel of Christ, then they never were true blue friend.

Let God put the right friends in your life. I have been so blessed with friends that pray for me, encourage me and laugh with me. They accept me for my flaws, craziness and for my wrong way of saying things sometimes. They accept me for who I am, not what they think I should be, nor try to make me become something I am not. If you are going to be a true friend you won’t force someone to change or be what they want you to be. You accept them for them. Love is seeing someone’s imperfections and seeing them as perfection.

True friends tell you like it is even if it hurts or makes you mad, but they are not doing it to hurt you, but because they love you and want to see you succeed and grow. In this life we may find ourselves like Job, living for God with few friends and family. I can assure you, it can be done and you can make it, even when there is no one to really turn to.

Just as He did with Job, He proved his love for God, and God completely restored everything he lost and gave him so much more. You have to lose to gain. God gives, He takes away, but He doesn’t take away without a greater plan to give you more and restore you. Through the process in anything we face, He will restore our faith in Him to a much deeper level.

Friends, mark you either as an embarrassment to their life or as a blessing. They stand against you because you are standing for God, for truth. Ask yourself the question… “Can I still stand for God if I have to walk alone or when the closest people to me turn on me?” Some days we don’t think we can make. There are days when I don’t know if I can put another foot in front of another, but somehow, I manage to eventually get it there. Someday all I can manage to say is God just get me through this. Many times, I don’t know how I got through something’s; it was just the grace of God that got me through it. When we get to a point that our mind is made up we are going to serve God no matter what, I promise you, you will make it and survive it. You may not remember or know how you got through what you did, but you purposed that I don’t know how, but I will survive.

A Job spirit is not easy to have some days and as the world gets crazier, it can make it harder. If you have one friend in this life, keep them close, encourage them, and pray for them. Don’t make them feel small; make them feel like they are strong enough to overcome. Who wants to walk were Job did? Nobody, but some of us will, so we just pray, bite our nails, grit our teeth, and just say, ‘Devil shut up.” I am in this to win and I will not be defeated. So, go and face that giant like a champion. God is on your side.


Battling for Victory

 Battling for Victory


Battles are something that we don’t like to face. Some battles come all at once, and we feel overwhelmed. How can I possibly get through this one or overcome it?  Battles can come and go, some linger for a while. Why me Lord? Why did you pick me for this one? Sometimes we feel that we are the only one who has ever gone through whatever battle we are facing and that no one understands.   We often cry out to God, “Lord, You said You would never give us more than we could bear, but this just seems like more than I can handle.”

 We all go through different battles and situations, but those battles are to train us and help us grow.   Yes, we cry out, “I don’t like this trial God.”  We find ourselves questioning God, and why is He not getting us out of this battle.  Why does he not bring some victory and good into my life? Where is the answered prayers?   Sometimes in living for God, we feel like we are in a constant battle, and see less of what we want to see in the things we want to be done.   We don’t understand why, but each battle is to help us grow into what God is wanting us to be. Each battle teaches us a lesson, opens our eyes to things we may not have seen before.   When you are on the battle ground, the enemy is in front of you and behind you. You have a choice to run ahead with a made up mind and prayer; that you will defeat the enemy, and God will give you the strength.  We can’t see our victory or our blessing that stands behind the enemy. If we give up, and turn away, and let the enemy defeat us, we are choosing to say, our blessing was not worth the fight, and let the devil have our blessing.   Sometimes the fight is not easy; sometimes we feel that we are losing ground instead of gaining.  We take one step forward and feel like its two steps backwards. 

We feel like God is nowhere around, and is silent during the battle, but somewhere, deep in our spirit, we find He is daily giving us what we need to get through each day as we face the battle.   We may not see it now, but our battles are equipping us for something much greater than we can see today.  We will, one day, look back and be thankful for that battle, and that we did not give up, but allowed it to shape and mold us. 

 There will be days that we will come in contact with people who maybe walking, and going through what we went through.  Since we have once walked there, we will now be able to help them and encourage them.  Sometimes our battles are not just for our making, but to help someone down the road that God will bring into our lives.  We will be able to encourage them through our experience. 

 Sometimes we don’t understand why God may drop a certain little thought into our mind, only later down the road we see that God was giving us a “heads up.”

 Just a few months ago as I was leaving work for my lunch break, I had this thought come to mind.  I questioned it, and wondered how in the world did I just think that.  I shoved it off knowing that it seemed strange why would I have that thought?  Later that evening leaving work for the day, I walked to my car, and that little thought popped up again.  It just kept rolling over and over I finally realized, this was not Ashley, but God who trying to tell me something.  Something that at that point I did not understand why I needed that.  Today, I look back and definitely see that God was telling me how I was going to win my battles; it was not going to be just one, but several.  That each battle would prepare me for the next one.  

 Here is the little thought that I felt like God gave me.  It may not mean much to you, but today it means something to me that others may not understand. 

 “We will not win all of our battles at one time. We will win one battle at a time.  Each battle equips us for the next battle.  We win our battles down on our knees.”

 Prayer, the Word and fasting equips us to win the battles the Lord has chosen for us to walk through. To be equipped for the battle or to overcome and conquer our battle, we must pray, fast and read the Word daily.  Put on the armor of God! Take up your shield and fight!


Merriam-Webster defines {Win} to get possession of by effort or fortune.  To gain in or as if in battle or contest.  To be the victor.

Merriam-Webster defines {Effort} conscious exertion of power: hard work, a serious attempt.  Effective force as distinguished from the possible resistance called into action by such a force.

Merriam-Webster defines {Battle} an extended contest, struggle or controversy.  To engage in a fight or struggle.

Merriam-Webster defines {Equip} to furnish for service or action, by appropriate provisioning. To make ready.

“But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members.” Romans 7:23  (Inward battle)

Merriam-Webster defines {Warring} arguing or fighting with each other. Engaging in war or battle.

We will often find our heart and mind, along with our spirit warring against each other.  It’s like they are playing tug-a-war and they all want to win.  If we stay true to God, through prayer that right will always win.  We can’t fight these battles on our own we have to have God.  Through Him, we will overcome and win. We will be stronger than we were before we faced the battle. 

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”  2 Timothy 2:4

God has chosen you to be a soldier in His army.  He has given us the Bible to guide us and direct us on the battlefield.   God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.  If God has called you, He will equip you, instruct you and give you guidance.

The same power that brought Christ back from the dead is in you.  That power is equipping you to do God’s will and to please Him in the things He has called you to do in Christ.  Fear has no place when power, that can raise people from the dead, is on your side. 

We can’t win by sitting down.  If we are going to fight, we are going, to have to stand up.  There are days we all feel it’s just too much; we feel like the time on the battlefield is just getting longer and longer.  Sitting here writing this makes me think of a few of my own right now.  Some days I too feel like what is the use to keep fighting and why?  Some days you don’t feel like you can even pray, or that you just have no words.  The devil wants us to give up and turn around, but why would we want to give up all that we have worked up to for this point?  On days that we feel like we just don’t want to fight anymore, we must simply remember how far we have come.  Our battles my get hot, long, and heavy, and will wonder when will it ever end.  Just keep getting down in your closet of prayer. God will give you the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I don’t like being in more than one battle at one time, and especially one that last for months.  Yes, I do find myself complaining to God, but hey! we are human flesh, and we all do get tired in the battle sometimes. 

Through our complaining, we must stop and look at the positive side.  Look at what God is doing behind the scenes that you can’t see.  Thank God for what you can’t see, and know that He has got something greater for you at the end of this battle.  It may not look like it now, but greater things are coming.  Your battle may end tomorrow, or next week, or next month, but until then, pray even when you don’t feel like.  Keep believing that you are close to winning, this battle and receiving what is on the other side of it.   God maybe silent during the battle, but He is equipping you for that greater blessing on the other side of your battle where you will receive victory.   You will be able to show the devil, that no matter what, your God is stronger and that no matter what you face, God will not forsake you.  Yes, he wants you to feel like God has forsaken you in the battle, but God said He never would.  Just remind him of his future, and where he is going, and remind him of where you are going.    

God has your back, even when you feel alone.  Don’t lose hope, or give up; your battle will not last forever. It may seem like it, but one day you will be victorious over that battle.  Let’s keep holding on and fighting; hold each other up in prayer.  Give someone a phone call, or a text message just to let him know that you are praying for him. An encouraging word, is always an encouragement to that person who is in a battle.  If you are not in a battle, then pray for that person who is. We are all soldiers in the army of the Lord, and we need each other. 

Power Of Spoken Words


Power Of Spoken Words

Merriam-Webster defines {Tear} as to pull apart or something apart or to pieces with force.  To wound by or as if pulling apart by force.

Merriam-Webster defines {Down} toward or in a lower physical position; to a lying or sitting position; to a lesser degree, level or role.

Merriam-Webster defines {Degrade} to treat someone poorly and without respect.  To lower in grade, and rank. TO bring to low esteem.  To drag down in moral or intellectual character.

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”  John 15:12

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”  Jeremiah 1:5

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:  marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”  Psalms 139:14

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:5

How often do we let other’s words affect the way we see ourselves?

How often do we tell ourselves we are not good enough etc.?

How often do we look in the mirror at ourselves and think or speak things that tear us down emotionally and belittle ourselves?

Why do we feel like we need to degrade ourselves?

How does it make you feel after you have day after day belittled yourself day after day?

I am guilty of standing in front of that mirror and using those words that I was not good enough, pretty enough. So many times, ladies would compliment me and I would say, “Thank you,” but I would shrug it off and think to myself, “you are lying; you are just saying that to make me feel better or be nice.” After saying those and thinking those thoughts you begin to believe it. You feel like those words are true and to the point is life worth living? After hearing a message on this issue, I realized how it makes God feel when you degrade yourself. My mom constantly talked to me about the power of words you speak. I made a decision to start praying for God to change me, change the way I spoke and thought. Yes, after a few months, God begin to work on me and answer that little prayer.

“We just did not wake up overnight and start degrading ourselves. There are things that happened in our lives, that slowly, one step at a time caused us to become insecure with ourselves.  It made us feel worthless, unwanted, rejected, not good, hopeless; instead of dealing with the problem or issue, we let it tear us down piece by piece, step by step. Being mistreated can even allow these words to affect us. So many times in life we find ourselves in a valley of lack of confidence. Maybe because we did not win or come in first place in a talent contest, or because someone did something better than we did and they got praised for it and we were left unnoticed. We allow our faults to pick and eat away at us until we see nothing good in us. I have heard moms with children on drugs tell the stories of how they pick and pick at those sores on their body and how certain drugs leave them so high that they think somebody is after them. Just like those drugs, we pick and pick at those words that wounded us until we actually believe what they said is true.

There was a time in my life that I let those words take root in me. There were people I grew up around that always tossed those words out to me, and treated me just the same. These were some so called friends and people who I was with in abusive relationships. Sure I was young when it all started, but after so many years of hearing it, I begin to see myself in the mirror as that way. I became insecure, and had lack of confidence, and low self-esteem. Some days wished I were someone else that who was smart, someone who was college educated with the perfect personality. I would go places and be shunned and rejected by people I knew and by their friends. Maybe, because I was overweight, or because I was quiet, and maybe because I did not look like them nor have money like they did. I would make a tiny mistake and I would allow that mistake to take me back to those words of “See, you’re not good enough.”

It did not stop there, but continued into my dating years, whether I was dating or not, I was made to feel worthless and rejected.  Guy after guy would come along and would then leave, changing their mind after a while with no reason to explain. I never heard another word from them.   I was left with those thoughts once again, feeling worthless and rejected.  I would find myself looking in the mirror and all those words would flood my mind, heart and soul over and over. If we don’t get a hold of our self-worth take back our life and our confidence, it can affect our future, our future friendships and relationships. No, I don’t let these words rule my life anymore, and neither should you.

I took a stand January 2017 against the negativity after so many years. I decided to be happy with me, whom God created, and decided to just become what He wanted not what others wanted me to be. It took me shutting the door to my closet many nights sitting in prayer and talking to God, and I can say today, I have been set free of those things. At times, they still try to slip by, but God made the difference.  I am no longer bound by those words, and you don’t have to be either. See when you really sit down and pray and begin to build a relationship with God to seek His desires and His heart, God will work and change things in you and you will no longer allow those words to tear you down. If there are people in your life that you are allowing to tear down your self-worth, and speak so many negative things into your life and fill your ears with such lies, start cleaning house! Rid yourself of those who are always telling you how worthless you are!

That is the devil’s way of trying to degrade us and keep us from getting where God wants us to be in Him. In today’s society, social media, magazines, YouTube, internet, show us humans with the perfect body, how to stay skinny, and if you’re not, you are unwanted. Through those things someone is always using it to tear others down, whether, it’s their shape, their dress code, their habits, their character, their hobbies. We can allow those things to affect us, and after a while those little foxes creep in. We begin to use the words and say,

“I am not good enough.”

“I am not pretty like she is.”

“I am not smart as that person.”

“I don’t have what it takes to somebody or do something,” and the list continues.

We are hurting God when we degrade and belittle ourselves. We are telling God that He made dirt, when man was only created from the dust of the earth. He may have been created from dirt, but he was not created worthless in the eyes of God.

Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

We were created in God’s image. He created each and every one of us to be just what we are, to look the way we look. We don’t need makeup because that is changing the look God gave us, He gave us our character, and the hair color He wanted us to have. God doesn’t care about your money, style, wealth, height. He loves us for who we are, because He created us, chose us, and formed us with His hands. He took thorns, beatings, nails and persecution just for us. Not everyone will see us as God sees us. We may not be beautiful to everyone, but to God we are beautiful and precious in His sight and you and I no matter what, was worth Him going to that Cross to die. Never think God doesn’t love you or you will never be good enough. God loves you just the way you are. People’s opinion does not really matter like God’s does. We are all special to God, our hair color, weight, personality, and abilities makes no difference to Him. We are all the same in His eyes, we (you) are the apple of His eye.

You are good; you are beautiful/handsome; you are smart; you are perfect. You are blessed; you have royal blood flowing through your veins. Hold your head high, don’t give place or room for those small foxes. God loves you! God can use you!  It may not be how your friend or sibling is used, but in your own style of personality, you can be used. God uses each of us in different ways, and it is a beautiful sight to Him when we allow God to use what He has given us and created in us to be. Be you; Be unique; don’t try to be anyone but you. Be what God created. Don’t form from the opinions of others, but realize what you are to God and who you are in Him. Start out taking one day at a time, and start speaking out loud the good things about yourself.

Don’t let your mistakes determine who you are; let God determine who you are.

You will begin to heal when you let go of past hurts. Forgive those who have wronged you, and learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes. Even your worst mistake, you are still good enough.  It’s not God’s will for you to feel worthless; it is the devil’s goal to make us feel that way.

Start your day by encouraging someone. Encourage yourself, and you will be surprised how your spirits will be lifted by just saying those words. You will begin to feel good about whom you are, and that you can be used by God to just encourage someone. Let’s build each other up and speak kind words into someone’s life. Believe in the good of others.  If they don’t feel good about themselves, then help them by building them up. We all can use a kind word from someone every day.

Pray, Pray, Pray!

In our world today, we need to show hurting people, that no matter whom you are, or what you have done, God loves you.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made!