No Strength Without Struggle and No Progress Without Pain

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In the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard God in my spirit remind me of this very title. There’s no strength without the struggle and no progress in life without pain at times. I mean, it makes sense. How can you grow or even become strengthened without struggle or pain? Can a physically fit person grow muscle overnight? Do they just train and never feel pain along the process? The answer is clear, NO! There’s NO strength without struggle and NO progress without some pain. As a matter of fact, the trials, the struggles, the tribulation, is an opportunity for growth, increased stamina, endurance, and strength in your faith walk!!

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. -James 1:2-4

About a month ago, my mom was hospitalized. I went from thinking my mother was just a bit sick, to finding out she in fact, was terminally ill. I’ve had moments that I’ve cried and have felt extremely sad, naturally. I mean, its my mom! For the most part, however, I have been incredibly strong spiritually and have been trusting God beyond comprehension. I’ve had many people comment about how strong I seem to be during this process, and I always turn it back to HIM, for only HE gets the glory. God showed me, the sickness journey I faced with my husband during the previous years were my training ground for this very moment! I have spiritual muscle! I’m no baby in this faith walk! See, my struggle in the past has strengthened me for this! I know WHO got me out of THAT situation and that HE can and WILL do it again! For,

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. -Hebrews 13:8

and I’m confident in the fact that HIS word reminds me that,

..God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished …-Philippians 1:6

In closing, I challenge you to look at YOUR current struggle, tribulation, storm, or pain through a different set of lens. Maybe this is a perfect chance for you to ask God, “What are you trying to teach me?” Maybe it’s a perfect opportunity for you to pray and ask for increased faith! Maybe, just maybe, GOD is GROWING you for where HE is taking you! Go before HIM today! For whatever we ask in prayer, believing, we shall receive (Matthew 21:22).

 

Special Dedication Prayer For My Momma-(Feel free to join me in reciting this prayer for my mother, Elsie Maldonado, for the Word reminds us in Matthew 18:19, If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.)

Lord God, I know you can do ALL things but fail! So I go before You this morning with all humility and ask you to do what only You can do! I pray Your healing hand touches my mother in her body right now by the power of the blood of Jesus! I speak to her physical body and I command all her organs, cells, and all aspects of her body to function the way it was intended and created to function and at optimal capacity in the name of Jesus. I speak to her spirit man right now and command it to arise out of slumber in the name of Jesus! I declare wisdom, empathy, understanding, and blessings upon all doctors, nurses, and medical staff that are assigned to her care. Most of all, I declare strength for her journey and Your peace over her mind and heart, which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

Lord I thank You in advance for what you will do in her life for your name’s sake and the glory will once again, belong only to YOU!

In Jesus name I pray, Amen!

The Wait is Almost Over (Preparing for Birth)

The-Wait-Is-Almost-OverYesterday, as I was in the office planning and preparing for my upcoming week’s work, which involves parenting education through home visiting with first-time moms, I happen to “accidentally” stumble upon an activity page that stood out to me. I wrote “accidentally” in quotes because I know better than to think it really was accidental. There’s nothing accidental about My God and I know He is in fact, INTENTIONAL! With that being said, the title read, “The Wait is Over…Preparing for Birth!” Oooooooohhhhh, Jesus! Reading that title stirred something up in my spirit! I knew God was speaking to me so I read on, and boy oh boy did He speak??

As I read on, to paraphrase, the information discussed how our bodies undergo amazing change to create the space or environment for our baby to grow and come into the world. Wow! It was as if HE was telling me, “Evelyn, that’s why you have been feeling such a change! Your spirit is going through an amazing transformation to allow for growth of the new that will be birthed through you!” I had to contain my emotions as I sat at my desk! It didn’t surprise me that I was receiving this revelation because I have been praying and listening for it, and most of all, opening up my heart more to HIM to speak to me in this season. It was the humility in knowing that HE loves me so much that HE would show Himself to me and give me clear answers and guidance in this way. It felt as if He was showing me that HE hears my prayers and is working things out in my favor so I need not worry and continue to believe as I have been. Confirmation!

The next part I read ministered to me even more. It was as if I just received an explanation as to what was happening  in my life most recently and now HE was giving me clear direction as to what I should do next. The document discussed the importance of pregnant moms book sharing and reading to her baby in the womb. In short, it stated that the BABY will respond to the voice he/she hears the most while in the womb over ALL other voices! JESUS! God was explaining why I need to begin to speak LIFE over my NEW to come. My new will respond to my voice, my words, and even if another voice tries to come in with negativity, it won’t matter for MY BABY (the new ) will respond to the one it hears most! He was instructing me to not only speak life over it, but to speak HIS WORD over it, which is more powerful than a two-edge sword! The activity page talked about how parents should read over and over as they prepare for this MIRACLE MOMENT of BIRTH! My God! I got it loud and clear! Thank You Lord!

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…-Hebrews 4:12

I have been in such a sensitive stage with Christ in my life most recently. I feel Him, hear Him, and see Him in so many instances and in ways I have never been able to in the past. I am so grateful and I know it is because my heart is open to Him and I’m LISTENING and the Word reminds me that not all will be able to receive, believe, and/or discern so I’m grateful and humbled.

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. –1 Corinthians 2:14

If you are reading this blog, I believe it is not by coincidence or by accident, but it is with GREAT INTENTION of God!! Maybe you are waiting for something to play out that you have been praying for, or maybe you’re receiving ideas, concepts, visions or discernment more than ever and can’t understand why. Maybe you are feeling extreme change in your spirit and your relationship with God, or a sense of urgency to seek Him more. I want to encourage you to continue to push through to speak and LISTEN to Him (for if you draw near to God, He will draw near to you. James 4:8). Set time for you and God daily and transform your mind to think and say, “I know you can and will do it God.” Speak LIFE over your situation for death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21) and remember that you have the power to call those things that do not exist as though they already do (Romans 4:17).

God just told me, “Your wait is almost over daughter!” He wants me to know I am on the right path, so I should continue to press, trust, speak, and believe! He said, “You are preparing to give birth daughter!” My God!!! I believe that I am not alone! If you are reading this, I believe you, too, are spiritually pregnant and ready to give birth! So PUSH…PUSH…PUSH…PUSH!!!!!

 

 

 

* With all humility, I’d like to thank any and everyone who reads, likes, shares, and comments on my blogs. I pray you are blessed through them and that God be glorified. (Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up…-1 Thessalonians 5:11)

STRETCH

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This past Friday, I happened to come across one of my writing reflections from October 2018, just 2 months after starting my new job. In it, I noted divine inspiration I received from God regarding the place I was in at the time. To my amazement, now just three months later, I could already see what God was telling me then, coming to fruition now! I began to cry because I remember writing it from a place of struggle, discomfort, and even lack of confidence. The one thing I did know during that time was that I believed God and although I may have doubted ME, I never doubted HIM!! So to flashback, I wrote:

These past several weeks have been nothing short of blessings, favor, new beginnings, and I can’t forget, STRETCHING! I just started a new job on August 27th, 2018 and it involves helping first time moms with parenting and ultimately, the mission of the agency is to prevent child abuse. I’m blessed with this new job because I know it aligns with my calling from God. I’m favored to be the one chosen to complete the team, and I’m walking in the new because many aspects of this job is unfamiliar to me. I’m feeling stretched because, to be very transparent, I’m uncomfortable.

As I was praying and having a moment with God, I heard HIM say, “Evelyn, you are being stretched! You’re being stretched beyond what you think is even possible.” I felt that in my spirit. I hunched over, grabbed my belly and cried and told HIM, “I feel YOU ARE stretching me GOD. I feel the pull, the tug, the discomfort! I want to quit. It’s hard God. It’s a lot! I don’t know if I can do it! It was easier where I was. Maybe I made a mistake! I need YOU God, I need YOU!!” I cried and I heard again, “I am STRETCHING you daughter!” I feel as if HE’s assuring me that I will look back and know that HE allowed the stretching for where HE’s taking me, even though I can’t picture it right now! I sense that if I would have known specific aspects of the job prior to accepting the position, I wouldn’t have taken the steps of faith towards it. Now that I’m here, when I overcome it, I will know that I not only survived it, but excelled at it because of HIM!

Immediately after my intimate moment with God, I began to look up the definition of the word STRETCH, being that HE kept placing it in my spirit over and over again during that time with HIM. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of stretching is, “To be capable of being made longer and wider without tearing or breaking.” MY GOD!! The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines stretching as, “To amplify or enlarge beyond natural or proper limits.” I’m blown away to say the least! So God’s telling me that I am growing in length and width, but I will NOT break! He’s telling me that HE’s enlarging me in different areas beyond proper limits or the natural! Wow, so if it’s beyond proper limits and beyond the natural, then what God is doing in my stretching is SUPERNATURAL! It confirms that I may be strained, learning new things, and even in a place outside my comfort zone, but I will overcome it all and when I do, I will know that it was not by my strength, but HIS that I was able to see it through and ultimately, be great! Glory to GOD!

Supernatural: Of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe especially : of or relating to God. (Merriam-Webster)

During this time, I’ve had to leave my place of complacency and enter into the unknown. I’ve gone from knowing the ins and outs of where I was, to a new position where I have to learn everything from scratch. God reassured me that HE knows I have been uncomfortable, that I acknowledged it in the beginning as a blessing but am now going through a tough transition. He understands that I feel it would have been easier if it was how it use to be or where I was, but I am being STRETCHED, and when HE is done with me, I won’t look or feel  like I once did. I will be stronger, wiser, smarter, and ready for the NEXT level…

 

Fast forward to today, and as I reflected on this writing from just 3 months ago, I already see what GOD has done in and through me in this new place! I’ve learned all 3 new software programs and gained knowledge of specific parts of the programs that I have been able to share with more seasoned co-workers. My supervisor jokingly called me a Guru of one of the software programs a week ago at our team meeting, and I heard God say, “SEE!” My God! I’ve received notes and thanks from families letting me know the difference I have made since I began working with them. I have been welcomed by co-workers and they have been very verbal about my strengths and my passion. My supervisor sees my worth, encourages me often, points out my strengths, and leads by example always. Most of all, I feel the growth! I am no longer lacking confidence, no longer feeling out of place, or struggling! I know who I am, a child of the MOST HIGH God, and I know why HE sent me here, to pour into the lives of mothers, children, and families! I know that this was no coincidence or mistake. HE knew what I carried, even when I doubted myself! He knew I could and would overcome one of the biggest challenges in my life and because of it, I now am looking even further, for if God got me through this, there’s nothing I can’t do with HIM on my side!

Image result for for with god nothing is impossible

Today, God wants someone to know that you, too, are being stretched!! Stretched beyond what you thought was possible, stretched beyond the natural, stretched wider and longer WITHOUT being broken! So STRETCH man or woman of GOD, STRETCH! Be still and KNOW that HE is GOD! Pray, believe that with God nothing is impossible, and then go out and do! Stretch HE says, STRETCH!

 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed… All of this is for your benefit…That is why we never give up… For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.-2 Corinthians 4:8-18

A Letter to You

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Dear You,

I wanted to let you know, I FORGIVE YOU! I forgive you for not being there for me when I needed you MOST! I forgive how you slandered my name behind my back (even though you didn’t even know that I was aware of it). I forgive you for not clapping for me when I won in life, for being so engulfed in yourself, that you didn’t take time to see about me. I forgive you for each time I tried to reach out and you did something to push me away, for wishing and praying on my downfall. But most of all, I forgive you for not loving me by the evidence of your behavior, although I’ve always loved you.  I…forgive…you!

God reminded me that if I forgive those who sinned against me, HE, will forgive me (Mark 6:14). I need forgiveness daily, so Lord, I pray You continue to heal my heart and strengthen me in YOU!

Sincerely,

Evelyn

 

HE is Preparing a Table for ME

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I witnessed something that puzzled me recently. I said to God, “Look at that God! After all that has been said and done?!” Then, what I heard next, encouraged me immensely! I heard in my spirit, “Don’t you know that I prepare a table for mine in the presence of their enemies?!” I thought, “Wow!” Immediately following this moment I heard, “I am also preparing a table for you in the presence of yours!” My God!

God showed me a flashback of individuals who at one point or another, turned on me, spoke ill against me, tried to change other people’s views about me based on their own insecurities or jealousy towards me, and those who have literally tried blocking blessings from me. I heard in my spirit, “You need only be still and know that I am GOD! I will not forsake MY people and I WILL prepare a table for you in the presence of your enemies. Continue to do right, walk in humility, and continue to trust ME and I will CONTINUE to vindicate you!” I don’t know who else needed to hear that, but I am sharing it because HE told me someone else did! Praise God!!

In the meantime, I will do what I know pleases HIM. Walk in love, forgive often, and trust HIM in all things! If this hit home for you, receive it in Jesus name! Most importantly, remember HIS word reminds us:

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.-Romans 12:19

He cares about everything that pertains to us. The Word says,

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.-Psalm 56:8

God bless and walk in confidence for you belong to the King of Kings, the Most High God!! He will never leave nor forsake you! Nothing goes unseen by God! He sees all, knows all, and can do ALL!

Vision: See It, Write It, Take Steps Towards It

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Vision

Vision is the act or power of seeing, and envision means to picture oneself, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Have you ever envisioned something for your life? I mean, really saw yourself walking in it?! You know, like imagining yourself in your dream job or career, thinking of all the wonderful characteristics your future husband or wife will possess, seeing your new home in your mind, envisioning the very day your child will graduate school or start college, or even envisioning yourself totally and completely healed from that sickness, infirmity, or broken heart?! In this season of my life, God has allowed me to see and share with you how HE gave me vision, how I wrote the vision, and how I took steps towards the vision, which ultimately resulted in me being able to see those things that I once only envisioned in my mind, actually come to pass.

See the Vision

I want to encourage someone today that if you can envision the better for your life, you can receive it! God’s word reminds us that HE has a plan and purpose for our lives. His plan is to prosper us and not to harm us. His plan is to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). So pray and ask God to show you what HE has for you. For if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us and the things that we ask for in prayer, believing, we shall receive. So pray and see!

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. –Proverbs 29:18

Write the Vision

In a place of brokenness, but total trust in GOD last year, I wrote a letter to my future self. I wrote about where I currently was and what I was facing in the moment. I wrote what I was believing God for with regards to my husband’s healing, my son starting school, my marriage, and even the new I was believing God for in 2018. I backed up my petitions with HIS word because I knew HIS word is true, infallible, and powerful! God is NOT a man that HE should lie, so I was confident, and even though I didn’t know how it was going to happen, I knew it would.

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time;But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, it will not tarry. –Habakkuk 2:2, 3

Steps Towards the Vision

I now realize what happened after I wrote the vision in a letter form to my future self. Those things I put before God remained in the back of my mind throughout the year, and therefore, guided my steps moving forward. Writing my vision down on paper allowed for a visual and in a sense, assisted me in putting my feet to action towards it. I took several steps of faith in this past year. I tried things I usually wouldn’t have because I knew God was working on my behalf and I didn’t know how my blessings were coming, I just knew they were. So, without realizing it, I put another biblical concept into action, faith and works (James 2:20)!

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. -James 2:26

 Reflecting

Looking back now, I see the goodness and faithfulness of God. Yes, I am able to read and rejoice about how God found a miraculous way to get a kidney donor for my husband. Yes, He was able to transition my son into his new school and help him find his niche and be excited about it in the process. Yes, He brought us many NEW things and new starts in this new year, but that’s not the part that truly touched my heart. It was that, even in my lowest place, God allowed me to SEE greater and because I followed HIS principles, HE came through on HIS word. I didn’t know that in the moment, but He’s granted me access to flashback and see it now! He had a plan the whole time. He had away of escape in the distress, and already had plans to prosper me in the future. God is a good God. I praise HIM and give HIM all the glory for everything good in my life!!

Vision for Your Own Life

What do you see for yourself? Are you envisioning things in your own future right now? Do you see increase, promotion, healing, new beginnings, ministry, friendships, marriage, home ownership, travel, learning a new skill, or even mending a relationship on the horizon? Remember, prayer and relationship with God is key. Once you have true relationship with Christ, HE will steer you in the right direction and give you vision for your life.

Each and every one of us are different and have our own stories. We all have our own walk and our own areas in which we need to not only see the vision and write it, but take steps towards it. I pray you are blessed and that HE stirs up vision for your own life.

 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Faith WITH Works is Alive

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During prayer I told the Lord, “God, YOU said faith without works is dead and I’ve had faith and been taking steps of faith! You see me, You know it!” Then I remember saying as it came to me, “So if faith without works is dead, then faith WITH works is ALIVE!”

These are some synonyms for the word alive according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: active, functioninggoing, livingop-eratingoperational,  running, and working.

God was reassuring me not to worry because HIS word is out there moving, aligning things, and on my behalf, going, functioning, and working! Thank You Jesus, for my promise is ALIVE because of my faith AND works!