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!

 

 

Prophesy Over Your Week

i_prophesy

Last night as I was in prayer and communion with God, HE gave me specific instructions after I brought my petitions before HIM. I heard HIM tell me to prophesy over my week in HIS name first thing in the morning to start this week off! This made perfect sense to me for I know our words have power and that God moves on our behalf when we have faith and are obedient.

Prophecy Prayer

Early this Monday morning, I prophesy to this upcoming week in the mighty name of Jesus. I declare and decree that this week will be filled with happiness and blessings. I will hear good news after good news. I declare and decree that I will be highly favored and blessed. Open doors of opportunity await me this week, and the devil is under my feet. No weapon formed against me shall be able to prosper. I declare and decree that God has already sent the angels who are assigned over my life to make crooked paths straight, guide, and protect me and all that pertains to me. This week will be one of great joy, victory, and vindication in Jesus name!  What I have been waiting for in the past few years will come to pass this week and by this week’s end, God will show up and show out in my life.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.-Proverbs 18:21

I prophesy over my family this week. I speak healing over my mom, grandma, and very close friend this week in the mighty name of Jesus. By YOUR stripes, they are healed! I speak favor, protection, and blessings over my husband and children as well. This week will be one of celebration with good news coming! When I receive it, I will not fail to give YOU all the glory and honor for I know that EVERY good and perfect gift is from above (and directly from You)!

…call those things which do not exist as though they did. -Romans 4:17

 

I speak these things in faith in the matchless name of Jesus! Amen.

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. -Isaiah 55:11

 

Peace During Transition

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Why is transition so tough for so many? I mean, the fact of the matter is, whether it’s a good or bad transition, it’s never something that seems or feels easy. This morning I began to feel guilty after a moment of sadness came over me since transition will be taking place in the Padilla household soon. Funny thing is, I prayed for it, I believed God for it, and it’s here. It is a good transition and we know every good and perfect gift is from above, so why is this so tough? Then it hit me as I was in communion with God over a cup of coffee. TRANSITION is tough because it always involves CHANGE! Change can be hard! Change can be great! But one thing is for SURE, CHANGE is inevitable!

 
For the past few months, we have been preparing for my son, Jacob, to go to trade college. We’ve done ALL the legwork that’s involved in this process (and boy is it a lot), and it’s finally here! In 7 days he will be off to this next journey of his life. He will be leaving home to stay at his school’s housing and is beyond excited to start this new season of his life. God has answered my prayers! For some reason, with all that being said, I became deeply sad this morning and began to pray as every single memory between us flashed before my eyes. I had to come to terms with the fact that my son, my first baby, a piece of my very own heart, was leaving. I reflected on all of our past memories, including our seasons of struggles to our seasons of great success! I thought of our times alone and how we would engage in long conversations, as well as all the countless times we fooled around and just laughed and laughed.

 
I began to cry out to God and ask for HIS forgiveness, after all, HE answered my prayers and here I was crying. That’s when I felt it. HIS perfect peace that surpasses all peace. It was as if HE took me in HIS arms and comforted me HIMSELF. Guilt, sadness, and worry left me! I felt consumed with PEACE and pure JOY! With tears in my eyes I began to worship HIM! I can’t explain it, but it was as if I heard in my spirit confirmation that change was in fact difficult, however, HE wanted me to know,

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to ME, and MY peace, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6

 

Experiencing-the-Peace-new-dimension.pngIn closing, because transition involves change, we can understand that there is something to leave behind and something to look forward to! The NEW!! God’s word is clear on moving ahead in life. His word says,

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. – Philippians 3:12

Closing Prayer:
If you or someone you know is going through a transition, whether it is a young person or parent, pray this prayer with me.

Father God, we come before you with a humble heart and thank you for today. You are worthy to be praised and honored. You are not a man that you should lie and we thank you this morning for all your promises and blessings upon our lives. We thank you specifically for the youth that are transitioning. We ask for Your divine hedge of protection upon their lives. As they transition in this season, Lord cover them, protect them, grant them favor, give them wisdom, knowledge, and keep Your word pressed in their hearts and minds alike.

Right now in the name of Jesus we cover them with Your blood! We come against every single lie, plan, or attack of the enemy upon their lives. We break every single generational curse, word curse, incantation, spell, and we call every plot and plan against them null and void in Jesus name. NO weapon formed against them shall prosper! Satan, you have NO power, NO authority over our young people and we stand in the gap with the POWER of the blood of Jesus to bind you and cast you out in the name of Jesus! We come against every mental battle over parents who have a youth right now in Jesus name. Every spirit of worry, anxiety, depression, sadness, and loneliness leave now in Jesus name.

We declare and decree our youth will walk in God’s divine transition for their lives. They shall find purpose in Jesus name. They will be the head, not the tail. We declare and decree right now that everywhere they walk will be blessed, and that God’s protection, blessings, favor, presence, spirit, and provision will be upon them. We declare and decree every parent reciting and reading this prayer will experience Your peace during the transition in Jesus name!

We thank You God for You never leave nor forsake us. We thank You for the transition and for the favor. Most of all, God, we thank you for Your PEACE! In Jesus Holy name we pray, AMEN!

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