Tag Archives for " women empowerment "
I was so consumed with unforgiveness and denial that I would not accept a sincere apology when my Mom apologized for abandoning me during my childhood. I dismissed her apology and told her it was not a big deal. Unbeknownst to me, I was in denial. Looking back, I believe that I was not ready to face the pain and my true feelings regarding her not being there. Instead I lied to myself and minimized the issues. I wanted to believe the lie that it was no big deal, so I did.
Fast forward a few years and my brother apologized. This time, I was all too aware of how I felt. Truth be told, I should have apologized for my behavior as well but I didn’t. Instead I was bound up in unforgiveness and I refused to accept his apology. I thought to myself, “how DARE you think you can just say I’m sorry after the hell you put me through!” I was livid and scared of what might come out of mouth so I just said “ok.” Except it was not ok because I refused to forgive him.
Sometimes people can do the most horrific things and never apologize. Whether they apologize or not we have a choice to make. We have the choice to do what God commands us to do: forgive, and forgive, and forgive again. Or we can hold on to unforgiveness. I chose unforgiveness for years. It turns out unforgiveness has some close friends- their names are bitterness, rage, and resentment. When I chose not to forgive I placed myself in a prison of rejection, self-pity, and victim mentality.
Whether or not we receive an apology, we can choose to forgive. God has blessed us with free will and that means that we have the power of choice. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days;” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20) When I refused to forgive, I chose death. There is a saying refusing to forgive someone is like drinking poison, and expecting the other person to die.” While I clung to unforgiveness my peace died, my joy died, and my hope died. My relationship with God suffered because everything He said or showed me was filtered through my heart of unforgiveness and bitterness. The person most affected by our unforgiveness is usually us.
When we choose to forgive, we choose life. Sometimes the wound is so deep that true forgiveness seems nearly impossible. But with God all things are possible. God empowers us to forgive through His Spirit. It’s not by might, nor by power, but by HIS Spirit. (Zechariah 4:6)
God is faithful and because He loves us He brings conviction when we are harboring unforgiveness. I had repeatedly asked Him to help me forgive over the years but I was unwilling to let go. I remember someone told me that I had to forgive my Mom even if she did not change. I wanted to slap that person for suggesting something so asinine. Like I said, unforgiveness’ friend is rage. That person was right; I simply refused to accept that truth. During those years of unforgiveness I decided that I would not forgive my Mom unless she changed. I lived with unforgiveness for several years before I was finally willing to let go. At that point, I went to God and earnestly asked Him for help again. This time, when I asked God for help I let go of my vow not to forgive unless she changed.
Forgiveness must be unconditional. If I say I will only forgive if she does this or if he stops that, then I am saying that I only have to forgive sometimes. The Word says that we are to forgive every time. Forgiveness is not condoning the behavior or subjecting oneself to abuse. Forgiveness is letting go of the resentment and the belief that they must pay, and cancelling the debt. Forgiveness opens the door to healing.
Written By Victoria Aguila
I wanted to talk a little about what it means to THRIVE.
According to Webster Dictionary, the word THRIVE means, to grow or develop successfully; to grow vigorously; to gain in wealth or possessions (prosper); to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances. My favorite definition was, “to grow vigorously”. In this season, that is my goal, to grow vigorously, to grow radically. Any growth, however, is good growth. Even if I am growing in small increments, growth is growth BUT let’s ponder on THRIVING.
In Proverbs 11:28, (NIV) the scripture tells us that “those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will THRIVE like a green leaf.” We must always trust in the Lord and His riches and glory, not our own. We must remain righteous in the eyes of God (not man) so that we can THRIVE like a green leaf. When I think of a green leaf, I think of watered, refreshed, liveliness, growth. What about you?
Jeremiah 17:7-8 gives us a great description of a growing tree with green leaves and compares this to a man who trusts in the Lord. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” This portion of scripture is so rich. As we trust in the Lord, we will be blessed and we will be like that tree that is firmly planted by the water and our roots go deep into the fresh wet soil and our leaves remain green and fresh and alive and growing and we will not stop growing fruit.
Psalm 1 is a great chapter. I would recommend reading through it. I enjoy reading the VOICE version but of course you read it in any translation that speaks to you. Psalm 1:3 Voice says this: You are like a tree, planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry. Your fruit ripens in its time; your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun. No matter what you do, you prosper. I would say these scriptures depict THRIVING. “The righteous will THRIVE like a green leaf.” (Proverbs 11:28). So that means to me, like a leaf that is watered, like a leaf that is alive, like a leaf that is growing. Let us plant our roots by the streams of Living Water. Water our leaves with the Word of God that refreshes our spirit and progress towards our goal of continued growth. We cannot wither away or dry up but THRIVE both despite and because of our circumstances.
Don’t strive trying to reach perfection; thrive in the preparation. If we are striving (simply making the effort) then we probably won’t achieve the result BUT if we are thriving, we ARE progressing and prospering, and reaching success.
Maybe today you find yourself withering away or as if you have dried up. Maybe you are feeling the thirst for the Living Water to refresh your leaves once again. I have been there! It’s a good thing if we are able to discern that we are withering away or drying up and in need of drawing closer to the stream of Living Water to get refreshed and renewed. We must continue to Thrive. Ask yourself if you are you THRIVING or withering away and then let’s make the necessary changes to be back in alignment and THRIVE.
Let’s pray: God we praise your mighty name and we thank you for who You are. I ask you to increase our thirst for Your Living Water. I pray that you will refresh each and every one of us. As we draw near to you, we thank you that our roots are going deeper and our leaves are getting greener and we are growing in this season. Thank you for the grace and the mercy that you have for us and thank you for your love that draws us to the Sweet Sweet Stream. Be magnified Oh Lord. In Jesus name I pray Amen.
Written by Remaliah Evans
This cartoon made me laugh (a lot) because this little bird has probably been learning to fly for some time now, yet she is afraid to fly without her parachute even though SHE HAS WINGS! Like this yellow bird, I have everything I need to do what God had created me to do. The bird was created to fly and I was created to write. Like the yellow bird, I have been practicing, writing, editing, journaling, reading books and articles about writing, and taking writing courses. Still, I have been afraid to take flight and write the book.
My parachute was writing school. I wanted to go a particular writing school for years. I applied and was rejected, and this year the program closed. The plan was to write the book AFTER I graduated writing school. I could go to another writing school, however I probably won’t because I believe that it is time to take off the parachute and simply write. The yellow bird has wings that empower her to fly, and I have the Holy Spirit who empowers me to write. So no more parachute. I am taking it off, and for accountability purposes, I am letting y’all know that I am writing and finishing my book by the end of 2015. It is time to fly.
There are other areas in my life where I have been trained, I have had a great deal of practice and yet I insist on keeping my parachute, crutches, floaties, and training wheels. Why? Because I am scared. Scared to mess up, scared of looking stupid, scared that I will fail. Scared that I might actually succeed and not be able to live up to someone’s expectations. Want to know something ridiculous? I used to fear that my first book would make Oprah’s book club, then my second book would be a flop, and I would become a one-hit wonder. What’s with all this fear? Much of the fear stems from insecurities and some of it comes from the enemy’s mission to convince me that I am not good enough and that I am not worthy. Sadly, I have spent more time dwelling on these lies, than believing God’s written truth.
I went to conference earlier this year and learned an important principle: we must come out of agreement with lies and anything contrary to God’s word. Then we can obtain freedom from fear and bondage. As such, when I hear the thoughts “I am unworthy, I can’t do this” I need to make a conscious decision to reject these lies and declare the truth. The truth is that I am worthy because Jesus Christ chose to die for me for me so that I could be a daughter of God. I can succeed because He has already declared in Isaiah 41:10 that I am not to fear because He is with me, and I am not to be dismayed because He is my God. He will strengthen me and help me and uphold me with His righteous right hand.
Ladies, the Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives within us. Let’s take off the parachutes and fly!
Written by Yvonne Galindo
Research indicates that 80% women over the age of eighteen who look at themselves in the mirror are unhappy with what they see.When you look in the mirror what do you see?
This is what I saw:
I am a dark Hispanic woman and because of my dark skin growing up I was called the “N” word. My mom would always say “stay out of sun or you’ll get darker”. I also have a pretty unique nose. I was nicked name “Pampa Nose” – didn’t think that word existed but it does. Pampa means ‘plain”. I am far from plain that’s for sure! For years I hated going out in the sun and hated my nose. I basically hated everything about myself. Parents are the prime shapers during the growing period of lives. Growing up, my mother spoke things to me that made me question the way I looked. Looking back, I believe in my heart she in no way meant to harm me. She was naïve to the fact that I was created by the Almighty.
According to His Word in Psalms 139: 13 “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking”!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made! That amazes me! From the time of conception, I was created in the image of His beauty. WOW! We must recognize that schools, churches, society, and our peers also play an important role in our identity. Be wise and surround yourself with those that will encourage, declare and affirm all that God has for you.
Viola Davis from the movie “The Help’ said it best telling this young child “You is kind, You is Smart, You is Important”. All we hear on television and read about in magazines is about self-image. The key is NOT to work on your self-image but to work on your character from the inside – out! There is a song from Hillsong United which one of the verses states Consume me from the inside out, Lord! We as women continually judge ourselves by what we see, how we look, what we wear and fall short. I recently struggled with my weight and went through a rough patch. Well that didn’t last! Why because I know better. I changed my attitude about things. (self-control) When we allow God to invade us with his love, kindness, courage and beauty when we see ourselves in the mirror we will not see what the world says we should be but we will see who God says we ARE!.
Remember working on YOU from the inside out; will manifest externally. 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. God is your Health Spa; he will redeem, restore and rejuvenate. Don’t ever forget that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139: 14
Declare and Affirm
“I like myself”
“I am a positive person and I create a positive life”
“I am a wonderful person of immense value who deserves to be loved”
For More from Yvonne Galindo, please visit her blog.