A no from God can be more beneficial to us than His yes.

When God Says No.

Tonight, as I began my nightly devotion, I went through my usual routine of journaling… starting with praise. I thanked Him for all the things He’s blessed me with, for bringing me through another day, and for answered prayers. Tonight, however, I felt an urge to thank Him for something I’ve never really given much thought to… I began to thank Him for unanswered prayers.

“Tonight, I’m thankful for unanswered prayers,” I wrote. “We always tend to thank Him for our answered prayers — which is good. But I feel at times we forget that a ‘no’ from God can be more beneficial to us than His yes.” I paused, and began my nightly routine. As I was brushing through my hair, I let that thought sink in…

“A ‘no’ from God can be more beneficial to us than His yes.”

I began to reflect on all the times I’ve begged God to answer certain prayers. To keep certain relationships from dying, to deliver me from struggles of anxiety and the like… Looking back, I can see that not only were some of my prayers selfish, but I am beyond grateful and thankful He said no.

Had God answered those prayers, I would not be where I am today. I would not be in Raleigh, serving under the most anointed leadership and being mentored by some of the greatest prayer warriors in my life. I would not have met my forever friends. I would not have been able to reach out, love, and serve the most beautiful and sweetest people in Taboro, North Carolina.

Had God answered those prayers, I would not be who I am today. I would not have gone through the process, the molding, the stretching, the breaking that has made me into the person I am today. Without going through certain storms in my life, I would not have learned certain valuable lessons and truths that have made me stronger. I would not have the testimony that I have and share with others today.

“When we follow His leading and stay true to His call on our lives,” I continued, “we’ll soon realize that for every ‘no’ there is a far greater YES in His plan for our lives.”

I share this with you tonight to encourage you. Don’t be discouraged when God tells you no… He’s just leading you to His greatest blessings and plan for your life. One of the Brothers at our church said it this way, “When God tells you no, He’s just leading you to a ‘new opportunity.'”

“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

Lessons Learned.

In my last post, I mentioned how a few weeks ago I felt like a failure for not following through on many of my 2017 goals. However, I did become aware of something very important.  I came to understand that even though my 2017 didn’t turn out the way I had planned it and though it wasn’t as productive as I had hoped, I’ve gained so much in the lessons I learned.

At the beginning of 2017, I stated how I wanted to go deeper in the Lord and that had become my word for the year. Little did I know that God had planned me to go deeper by experience, not just in practice of the principles I had hoped to apply to my life. Think of it in a way similar to on the job training, but instead He took me through some “real life training.” It is there where He exposed me to different situations to force me to grow out of my comfort zone instead of comfortably sitting there planning what I’d change. Through these growing experiences, I’ve learned a few very important lessons.

Distractions are real. I think that this may have been one of the biggest reasons I hadn’t followed through with many of my goals. I had let people and situations and lack of motivation get in my way. Be intentional with your time, money, and even your relationships. When something starts interfering with your walk with God, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate. If it proves to be a major distraction that’s taking away from your life instead of adding value to it, remove it.

Don’t change who you are at your core to try to fit someone else’s expectations of you. God made you uniquely you for a reason. Yes, we all have things we can work on and ways in which we need to grow. But it is important to let go of the people who are constantly trying to change YOU. You have a God-designed purpose that only you can fill. Your values, your passions, your purpose matters to God. He’s the only One you should be living to please.

People will make time for what they want to. The people who truly love and care about you will make time for you. They will go out of their way for you, treat you with respect, and value your feelings and opinions. They will make you feel secure and let you know that your voice matters. They are the ones who will lift you up and encourage you and not tear you down every time you talk to them. Find more of these people in your life and surround yourself with them, for they will be your long-lasting relationships. This principle is a two-way street, and you must do the same for others. Show the people in your life that you care about them by making more time for them, even when it’s a bit inconvenient. But remember that relationships are worth investing in.

Fear shouldn’t define your life. I’ve had off and on battles with anxiety for about 4 years now. It’s been a real struggle, but God has brought me this far and I know that I will not have to live with this battle inside of me forever. My greatest flaw is that (because of things that happened when I was younger) I’ve become a natural worrier because I tend to care too much about the outcome. But the Bible says to “be anxious for nothing.” We are children of the King, and He cares about us so much that He gave us His Word which is full of promises. There’s no need to worry because He provides for His children. It may feel last minute, but God’s timing is truly perfect. There truly is nothing to fear.

Trusting in Jesus is all that matters. To truly trust in God and His Word is to literally give Him everything. Every worry. Every doubt. Every fear. Every relationship. Every financial decision. Your job. Everything belongs to God and God alone, and He has the final say. Begin and end your day emptying yourself of all your worries and doubts. Give Him your relationships, attitudes, habits, and situations. Lay them at the altar during your devotion time, and leave them there.

Some of you may be looking at this year with excitement, or others with dread. But I encourage you to choose to look at this year as one with new opportunities. You may not check off every single goal, or you accomplish them all! What’s important is that you live this year with expectation and anticipation of opportunities to grow in the Lord and to find His perfect will for your life.

2016 Reflections

Well, it’s been over a year since my last post… right when one year comes to a close, and as enter a New Year (not to mention, today is also my birthday – YAY!). I didn’t mean for it to be this long. It kind of just happened. The truth is, it was a much welcomed break. During this time, I’ve done a lot of growing and finding my place. It’s been a year of self-discovery, direction, and purpose. A year of looking back at where I’ve been, and finally knowing where I’m headed.cropped-kristina.jpg

As I reflect on these things, I can’t help but look forward to what the future holds. There’s something about the idea of a new year that exhilarates us and brings us this kind of expectation. The idea of a clean slate, a fresh start, inspires us to do better and to BE better.

Though it had some disappointments, this year wasn’t too shabby. I didn’t go into it with any particular goals in mind other than growing closer to God (which we should strive to do daily anyway). But with that said, some pretty cool things did happen this year…

  • I became the Lead Editor of my friend Nina’s online magazine.
  • I submitted a few posts to an online blog for young Apostolic millennials.
  • Overcame Anxiety
  • I started a prayer journal… best decision I ever made.
  • I finished my personal journal (which I’ve never done before).
  • I went river-tubing… super fun!
  • Traveled to DC with the best young adults group ever
  • Started a blog for The Bridge
  • Made some life-long friends.

Every year, I try to go into the New Year with a word or phrase that becomes my focus for the year – a mantra if you will. I was talking with a friend this week about this and I told her, “I just want to go deeper with God!” So this year, I’m going deeper… with God, in my relationships with others, and myself – my dreams and purpose.  And I intend to incorporate my theme this year into this blog.

Though I didn’t come into 2016 with any actual goals, I am going into 2017 with a few in mind. They range from spiritual to personal and everything in between… These are pretty general, but this is just to give you all an idea so you can write some of your own goals for 2017… if you haven’t already. 😉

  • Relationship with God – Actually study my Bible… not just read it. Pray more. Fast more. Devote more time on things in the Kingdom rather than the things of this world. Serve humbly. Love with His eyes. Being sensitive to His spirit.
  • Relationship with others – Making more time for family and friends. Truly listening to understand, rather than to respond. To shoot down all gossip and negativity. Serve my community. Encouraging the people in my life to pursue their goals, passions, dreams, and God-given purpose.
  • Relationship with myself – Eat healthier. Exercise (ugh). Read more books (the goal is at least 20). Become better at time management. Develop a budget (aka: adulting). Take time to treat myself at least once a week (it could be a nice long bath, binge watching my favorite show, getting a massage… the list is endless haha). Be screen free after 9pm every evening (I’ve tried this before and it’s hard… but y’all, it’s life-changing when you stick to it). Develop good sleep habits and wake up earlier every day.

While I have goals for myself, I have goals for this blog as well… and that is to incorporate this theme of “deeper” into my writing this year and focusing on the topics above… more about that in a later post. I also plan on branching out and utilizing other social media platforms this year. I believe that as we go on this journey together in 2017, it’s important that we connect and grow together.

I’m looking forward to all that 2017 holds as we go DEEPER together!


So what are some of your goals for 2017? List 5 things you want to accomplish in 2017 in the comments below… I’d love to hear all about it!

Stay Joyful. || Finding joy in spite of the opposition. || That Christian Girl. Inspiring young women to follow their God-given passion and dreams in their lives.

Stay Joyful.

 

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you just felt like giving up? That there’s not enough fight left inside of you to push through? You’re just no longer happy doing what you once loved. Or doing anything at all for that matter. You’re kind of just going through the motions and wondering, “Where has my joy gone? Will I ever get it back?”

Continue reading

Be Still || It's time to unplug, be still, and to listen to what God is speaking into your heart. || That Christian Girl. Inspiring young women to follow their God-given passion and dreams in their lives.

Be Still.

 

I want you to take a moment and place your hand over your heart. You feel that? It’s your heartbeat. You’re alive, with a purpose only you can fulfill. You have passions and dreams that God has given you and you want to make a difference in your world.

So get your dream journal out because today we are going to be focusing on these two things: purpose and distractions.

Continue reading

Be crazy. Be wild. Be free. Follow your dreams with a passion and zeal no matter what anyone else has to say. || That Christian Girl

Be Crazy.

Yes, I know I’m a day late. But success! I still wrote this week’s post… and it’s just for YOU!! So grab your dream journal, and let’s get going!

 

Today’s post is going to be short but sweet. My goal is to encourage you to pursue your God-given passion, no matter what it is. No matter the obstacles. No matter the opposition.

Continue reading

When I “don’t feel like it.”

In our last post, we got into the subject of priorities and how we tend to make excuses to not do things because we’re “too busy.” I was recently talking the blog over with a friend and they made a really good observation that I wanted to share with you ladies this week.

How is it that we’re never to busy to do the things that we actually want to do?

Have you ever noticed that when you want to do something, you’ll make the time for it? I don’t know about you, but usually when I don’t want to make the time to do something, it’s not ALWAYS because I’m too busy. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like it. Continue reading