millenial

Encourage Yourself

I woke up a few mornings ago and this song was in my spirit. I think I had actually been humming it all weekend and didn’t realize what song it was until today.

The church I grew up in sang it a lot and I vividly remember my mom being really into it whenever it came on. I didn’t fully understand it, not because I was a child or anything, but simply because my faith had never been tested in the way that it is now. I never felt the need to encourage myself because things were never “that bad” for me.

Now that I’m dealing with job loss, being in a long distance relationship and ultimately failure, I know I need to be positive. I know I’ve got to speak victory during a test, but honestly, it’s so difficult.

A few weeks back when I was counting down the hours until I left to go back home for the holidays I told myself I would pray every time I got down on myself and had negative thoughts. I spent a lot of my days praying, but I never quite felt like I was more positive.

What I realized was even though I was trying to be positive when I’d get on social media, or turn on the news, or talk to friends, the conversations were bombarded with negativity. So, I unfollowed all the toxic accounts on social and replaced them with accounts that were positive and posted testimonies and scriptures (@wisdomfeed and @instagodministries are great on Instagram). I prayed when I saw tragic stories on the news and I spoke positivity into loved ones who were being hard on themselves. I even put encouraging messages on my own social channels.

Even though I wasn’t encouraging myself, doing these things made me feel better.

Sometimes it’s not so much about looking yourself in the mirror and saying positive affirmations that you don’t believe, but rather watching what you say that’s negative and watching what you consume that’s negative. Without even realizing, the negativity that I was surrounded by was sucking the life out of me and so staying encouraged felt impossible.

What we have to remember is life and death is in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). What we speak, we become. If you call yourself a loser and say that you’ll never get it right, chances are you won’t. But if you speak positively, if you speak like you’ve already got the victory knowing that you’ve gotten through 100% of your hardest days on earth so far, things will start to come together.

So speak over yourself, encourage yourself, in the Lord.

God Bless,

-BK

Photo credit: Wavy1 via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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Under Construction

Under construction. That seems to be the theme of my life right now. I’m in between jobs, not loving the city that I’m in (not even really liking it) and so confused about what God wants me to do.

I’ve been reading my Bible and praying every day searching for an answer, but I feel like I’m not listening hard enough. Or maybe God is giving me an answer and I just don’t like it.

You know, I read all these articles every day about “How to be successful as a 20 something” or “The 3 keys to success by your 30’s” and a lot of other crappy headlines that are crafted by writers like me to get those who have felt that they have lost their way (also like me) to click the link and hopefully share the article.

The truth is, no 500 hundred word article is going to have the exact answers I’m looking for. No amazingly successful 25 year old can tell me what I need to do in order to be successful. All I can really do is pray and trust God. And currently, that answer is truly driving me insane.

I realize I’m all over the place in this post so far, but just bare with me.

It seems like I give this blog some love and then leave it, I give it some more love, and leave it again and so this time around I asked God “What should I be writing, what should this blog be about?” and while I was home for the holidays visiting Light of the Word Christian Church (if you’re in Indy, check them out!) I got my answer.

I have sat through countless sermons where the pastor tells the congregation that we all have gifts that God gives us and I’ve been lucky enough to know that mine is writing for most of my life. I remember being five years old and saying I wanted to be an author and an illustrator. Now I’m not too crazy about writing and drawing children’s book anymore, but I do still want to write. So I listened to all those sermons and I wrote more the second half of 2015. I got published in Elite Daily and more clips from Thought Catalog, I wrote for Barkley’s blog, published my first think piece on LinkedIn and I even started and finished my first novel. What a blessing!

But here I am, a week or so into the new year with some serious writers block. Actually, some serious life block (is that even a thing?). Every thing is up in the air right now and guys, I’m scared, I really am. I’m excited about what God has in store for me, but I’m terrified too because I like to control things and right now, there are just somethings that are really outside of my control.

So I kept praying the same prayer because the word says to “pray without ceasing,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

On the first Sunday of the new year Dr. David Hampton preached about how to grow the church. He said one of our main missions as Christians, is to bring sinners to Christ and I’ve been thinking about how I can do that ever since.

Personally, I do not think I’ve been called to preach, I’m not a fan of crowds, or public speaking and I’m not the best at uplifting people, so the thought of teaching a Sunday School class, or preaching to a congregation isn’t for me. But I am a writer and I do like sharing what I’ve been through in hopes that it will help someone else.

So, that’s what I’m going to do.

I have a lot of doubts, I’m not sure what’s particularly exciting about my life. (I feel like you all will soon realize the answer is nothing.) However, if I can use this blog to be really raw and honest about my walk with Christ, I think I’ll be doing something right.

As for my professional life, I’m currently freelancing in Kansas City and it’s a move I made a lot sooner than I wanted to, but it is what it is. All I can say is, pray for me friends. My 20’s so far have been a bit bumpy, but it’s all been worth it and I know that there is nothing I can’t do without Him on my side!

God Bless,

-BK