It’s interesting seeing grandiose celebrations like America’s Inauguration Day, Bastille Day Celebrations in France, and the Queen’s Jubilee in the UK. The fancy clothing, the pretty horses, the waving of flags, the performances, and the fanfare of it all for one day or moment.
But when it was Jesus, it was nothing of the sort. Compared to the above events, it would actually be underwhelming to today’s standards. There would be no big ratings or live streaming in all news stations and social media. It would not be a trending topic on Twitter. It would be too boring exactly.
But that never mattered to Jesus. Could Jesus have done the grand celebration? Yes. But, He did not. He humbled Himself which attests to His nature and character.
He was the KING but he would not act as an earthly king. An earthly king thought of himself but King Jesus thought about all people. Actually, I believe Jesus wanted to distinguish Himself. Set His Kingdom apart from the empires of the day. His Kingdom would be eternal.
His humanity went beyond a fleeting, grand celebration and entry. For what He was about do would show a grander, more promising eternity for humanity itself.
This past week marked a year since the world stopped. The pandemic shifted everything. Everything slowed down. Toilet paper and cleaning wipes were selling out like hot cakes. New cases skyrocketing, Death tolls rising…and rising.
As weeks turned into months, it just seemed like there was no end in sight.
God is still God. God had a plan. He knew that the world would stop. God tested us. He is still testing us. And He still has a plan.
It is so hard. I just want things to be normal. But being uncomfortable is the perfect place for God to stretch you.
God stretched me. I had to lean on Him, and not my own understanding. God showed me grace and love. My dog was my saving grace and we spent time together. My family and I were together and were “learning” each other. I had to stop and assess my sanity and eliminate toxicity around me. I had to assess what I cared about. I waited on God and got a job. I decided to take hold of my mental health. I prioritized what is worth my time and what does not.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.-James 1:2-4
We are still in a pandemic. There is so much uncertainty. But, let perseverance finish its work. It takes pressure to make something beautiful. This is not to say pain is great. It’s not. I will be the first to say I don’t like suffering but I know I would not need a Savior if life was perfect.
Hold on, Bliss fam. We will make it. God has a plan. He finishes what He starts. And you can take that to the bank.
2020 was quite a year. The whole world went upside down, inside out, up, down, and through the trenches of life. It is easy to feel defeated and down. Believe me, I felt that way. Plans were changed, cancelled, postponed, and TBD. Everything I wanted did not always come to fruition. God just said, “Not Yet.”
I heard a message that put things in perspective and hit me.
God will not fail you, forsake you, nor forsake us.
WOW! That struck a nerve. Though life has beaten me, us, and our world, God allows me to keep moving. I am still alive. I still have provision even in the mist of uncertainty. I still have little victories while waiting for breakthroughs and big moments.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”-Deuteronomy 31:6
I just want to encourage you all. God knows your pain and insecurities and He’s still got you. He is not letting you go. It may look bleak and concerning but God has not forgotten you. He is still sustaining you even in the tiniest things..things that we will never know on this Earth.
I have to remember always that God hears and sees me. All things are meant to mold and change us, whether good or bad. But God is still God. God is still Supreme. He knows all things. He sees all things. He works through all things.
For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.-Psalm 149:4
I can attest that God has not steered me wrong, not ONCE. God has given us VICTORY. We win because He won. The battle is hard and there will be losses. But it will get better because God makes things better. I believe that for myself and you all.
God will not leave you worse than before. He is still with you. May you feel the love, comfort, and security of Him in your life today, tomorrow, and far beyond 2021.
The Lord is faithful to His promises, not our expectations.
As humans, we have expectations. It’s normal. But the problem is where our expectations are entitlements and demands that God must follow. I say this because as a high school graduate, I had all these expectations that I would be a career woman, wife, and mother by 30 (crazy? I know). It was less about God and more of me boosting my ego. Well, God just LOLs at me because He’s got the plan.
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.-John 10:10b
This can be construed as God is my genie and will give me all I expect and all I want. NO!!! Step away from that idea.
God’s faithfulness is not what we want. God sees beyond our expectations and it is ALWAYS better. God ALWAYS provides according to His Will. He does not need our permission to carry out His plans. We have to wait on the Lord (Psalm 27:14).
Easier said than done but hear me out…
If the Creator of the Universe can create everything out of nothing, what makes you think that He will not do the impossible for you?
Preaching to the Choir?Yes. I am learning that in my own life. My expectations are small in contrast to God’s great plans.
The Beauty of God’s Plan: Every time, God has given more than I thought, come through in too many ways I never thought, protected me from destructive, alternative situations, and opened my eyes to something new.
So consider that. Not our expectation but His great promise for our lives. God has never steered us wrong and never will. Keep going and God will show you the Way.
I know it has been a long while since I last posted (i.e. March). The pandemic was intensifying and toilet paper was flying off the shelf (weird? I believe so). I thought that things would eventually pass but boy was I wrong.
At the start of the quarantine lockdown, I thought I would be at my peak in creativity. I thought that I would be a creative machine. A pandemic was not going to stop my optimism.
Well I was wrong. I got weary, restless, bored, and lost interest in things. Looking back (while still in the pandemic), I felt drained. I dealt with a lot of setbacks and disappointments during the quarantine. I felt empty and depressed. The anxiety of the pandemic and the rise of racial tensions made me feel hopeless at times. The weight of seclusion and helplessness came heavily and I shut down hoping that I would have the energy and the will to write and be creative again.
Blissful Lesson: You can’t pour out what you don’t have.
I allowed myself time to come together. To rest. To recharge. To just feel better. So I stopped writing. I had to find joy and contentment again. I was not blissfully me so who was I to tell people to be positive. So, seven months later, I feel better. And I desired to write again to you.
I want my writing to be organic, not forced, from a place of authenticity and love for you all. So it was not intentional but something I needed to do.
I’m back. I have missed you. A lot has happened. The world is uncertain and going crazy right…am I right?
But in the mist of the chaos, I wanted to come back with the medicine of encouragement and Jesus Christ.
In recent weeks, the Coronavirus has been running its course causing social cancellations, social distancing, self quarantine, new cases each day, and uncertainty in the economy and life as we know it.
God has ways of getting our attention. We can see that clearly. He can strip all the excess and distractions until we are at the end of ourselves. Where we are at the end of our ourselves, God steps in.
God never lets anything happen without a purpose and reason. No season of life is without a lesson.
Trust. Yes, trust.
God is stripping away the physical securities for us to draw closer to Him. It’s like a back to basics. Trust God in every part of your life: your health, your family, your physical body, and your decisions. The things of this world is temporary. It is really clear.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.-Psalm 9:9-10
It is important to value and be a good steward of the blessings in front of us. Slow down. Take a look around. Value what God has given you. Maybe the lockdown and self-quarantine is the wakeup call. Stop looking at the temporary and look to the eternal: God.
The future is uncertain but God is a certain, constant force to keep living in this day in age. Trust in God. He provides all things and works in all situations. His provision is real and certain.
It’s ok to be scared. We are human. We have emotions but it is important not to stay there. Trust in the God who will comfort and provide in many ways.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.-Psalm 56:3
Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Trust in God’s unchanging power and provision. God’s got us and will see us through
Imagine a father and expectant mother traveling miles to the father’s homeland to be counted in the census. A child was to be born. It was not the unborn child’s choice to travel to this foreign land but was a part of God’s greater plan. It was God’s will for the child to born in his earthly father’s homeland.
The unborn child’s parents were not accepted with a warm welcome or reception to the finest room/hospital. It was a dark night in a city with no vacancy. But there was a stable and a feeding trough for the unborn baby to sleep in.
Then, the mother delivered the Greatest Gift to humanity.
To some, the long-awaited prophesy was fulfilled. To others, He was a threat and some “foreigner” who came to cause trouble.
But this immigrant child, laying in the manger, was the hope that drew smelly shepherds and kings from other lands. An outcast would save the souls of man.
I wanted to write part of the Christmas this way because Jesus loves the immigrants because He was one. He knows what it was like to have a poor reception and to be counted as nothing. The government didn’t like Him, a child who did nothing wrong but be born. God gave this foreigner, Jesus, an ordained purpose.
So don’t look down at other foreigners/immigrants/ children of immigrants because you don’t know what God can do through them. You never know where angels can be.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.-Philippians 4:11-13
Not every circumstance is perfect. There are good days and bad days but each day God gives you is a blessing.
I have been saying for a while, I am in the in-between season of life from law school to real world. Well now, I am in the season of adjustment and adapting. I am still working towards being a licensed attorney by taking the Bar in another jurisdiction. After failing the Bar for a second time, I really had to take a step back and reevaluate this plan I imagined. My plan was not working. But the problem was, it was not God’s plan up until this point.
The big question I struggled with was: Am I content where I am?The truth was: I wasn’t. I wanted my come-up and it was this elaborate plan to get my independence on and live it up! I thought it was better for me to live away from comfort permanently.
But I realized that God gave me the opportunity to be content and independent from my family when I was in law school. I learned a lot about myself in Florida being a young, independent law student in that season. I was content with my life there and God allowed that time for me.
Now, after April, I had to learn how to get that content spirit back because I just wanted that life again. But as I started to look around, I saw that I had provisions to be content about that I did not have in Florida.: First off, I had my support system with me instead of six hours away. Second off, I had my basic necessities: food, clothing, shelter for FREE (can I get an amen?). Third, I had my church home and pastor who is one of my mentors close by. Fourth, I still had the same talents and gifts I had before but I just needed to tap into it where I was.
Sometimes, you have to really look inside yourself and pray for God to reveal the joys you forgot you had. I wrestled with that this past summer but now I am in a better place looking to the future. I am still grinding and hustling but still growing in contentment. I have been more active in finding the joy in the present. I take each day at a time.
I learn contentment every day. Every second, every moment. Whether I am serving at my church, serving my family, or serving my community, I learn the peace of contentment that surpasses all understanding. It keeps me balanced and sane.
God is holding my moments: today, tomorrow, and forever. I just have to learn to be present and thankful in every season.
I encourage you to find true contentment in Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. You can never go wrong with His love and power. He has never steered me wrong though I steer myself wrong. His grace is sufficient in everything. His peace can be your peace.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
It is daily to exercise your contentment muscle but you can do it. Speak of your blessings (even as simple as waking up), talk to God (He is listening), and be thankful. It will not fail you and God will not fail. Therefore, I thank my God for every circumstance to be content.
I know what you are thinking why would I enjoy rejection. Well I am glad you asked, Bliss Fam.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.- 2 Corinthians 12:9
Don’t get me wrong. Rejections hurts. But that is what grace is for. Though I do not see grace physically, I do feel it through the Holy Spirit working from the inside out.
Whether it is people, opportunities, or other things, grace covers those weaknesses and shortcomings. And grace creates strength, protection, and resilience in the situation.
Perfect example, I had someone in my life lie and hide from me for months. In other words, I was ghosted. There was no explanation, just silence for several months. Then out of the blue, I get a text saying that he wants to talk. Well, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Of course, my sister was my emotional support when he called. He dropped major bombshells that shocked me but not to my core. (On the other hand, my sister was pissed and annoyed for me). When it was my turn to talk, I was candid and honest, handling the situation with grace and poise. I called him a coward and expressed how his lies hurt me but did not damage me. No really, I had moved on without him. Yes, I was rejected but it did not hurt because God’s grace covered the temporary rejection I experienced from someone I cared about.
Everyone has experienced that hurt of rejection in one way or another. But it is how you react that makes the difference with grace.
Now with that situation with Bianca ten years ago, it would have been different in the pitiful way. You see, it took me a long time to figure out how to handle rejection. I was quite the people pleaser who took criticism and rejection TO THE CORE. My head would spin and go crazy over someone’s else rejection of me because I wanted to be loved by everyone…like Oprah popularity love. God knew that desire but He really broke me and humbled me by revealing what and how the rejection would work out in my favor for His purpose.
Rejection hurts but it also humbles you. It humbles and grows you in ways you never knew. You may not see it right then and there but God will reveal it. There is a purpose for rejection.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.-Romans 8:18
Granted, I am still growing and learning grace in the mist of rejection. But it is manageable through Christ because His power covers it all.