Three Reasons Why You Can’t Move Forward

They hurt you. Badly. You feel like you’ve been hit with a ton of bricks. You’ve tried to move on and you want to be the bigger person. You want to move forward but you just can’t do it.

You can’t move forward because you keep looking back

“ Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:18-19
It is hard to move forward when the movie reel of what has happened keeps playing over and over again in your head. You can see it like it was yesterday.. the wounds fresh… the cuts are deep. And you keep looking back.
In Genesis, two angels tell Lot and his family to get out of town. It’s a bad scene. The whole town has lost their minds and it isn’t a good place to be. They tell them not to look back. His wife didn’t listen, and when she looked back, she turned into a pillar of salt. She died y’all. Right there on the spot.
When we keep focusing on the past, we can die too. Maybe not a physical death, but dreams, hopes, and joy can die. If we truly want to move forward, we’ve got to stop looking back. God is doing a new thing.. look forward so you don’t miss it.

you can’t move forward because you’re afraid

You can’t deal with something you’re afraid of. Fear is crippling. It binds us up and causes us to do crazy things. Sometimes we can’t move forward because we are just plain scared to. It’s easier to stay in this place. Sure, it may hurt and it may be miserable, but we are used to it. The Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt when it got hard on the way to the promised land. They were more comfortable with the idea of going back to bondage, then moving into the unknown before them.

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

you can’t move forward because you haven’t forgiven them

I know they hurt you and if I could reach through this screen and give you a hug, I would. Because being hurt by someone is no fun. It can leave us trapped.

“A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.” Proverbs 18:19

When we are hurt and don’t forgive, we build up walls. These walls keep us trapped. It is hard to move forward when you’re trapped in the past. We have to choose to forgive so that we can be free. Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. Make a choice today to forgive them so that you can be free to move forward.

 

 

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How to Pray Bold Prayers

Praying sometimes feels like a task on the to-do list instead of a way to tap into the power of our Heavenly Father.

I grew up in church and was ready to give my weekly prayer requests. Does anyone have an unspoken prayer request? Hands would go up everywhere.

Or what about when one of your friends come up to you and share a big problem they are facing? I’ve been guilty of saying “I’ll be praying for you,” and then forgetting to pray for them that night during my nightly prayer routine (Cue the hand over the face emoji).

Can you relate? If you can then I have good news! There is a better way. What if I told you that your prayer life didn’t have to be routine? It could be life-giving, encouraging and could bring water to your dry, dry soul?

There is a way friend. We can pray bold prayers and see God move mountains every single day!

Understand that prayer is a never-ending conversation with God

I learned at a very young age that prayer was an important part of the daily routine. We said our meal-time prayers and our bed-time prayers every single day. Saying these prayers taught me that it was important to pray daily, but it didn’t teach me to build constant conversations with God. Prayer is more than something to check off of our to-do list.. it is a lifestyle to embrace.

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Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT

To pray bold prayers, we must never stop praying. We must develop a habit of praying without stopping. This just means that we will talk to God continually throughout our day.. about every little thing.

Include scripture in your prayers

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12

We have no power on our own. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do nothing. 

But there is good news! God has given us his word as a tool to break chains and to fight against the darkness. In Isaiah God says that he sends his word out and it ALWAYS produces fruit. It WILL PROSPER everywhere he sends it.

We may not have any power, but we serve a God that has endless amounts of power. If his word doesn’t return void, then we can trust that when we add his word to our prayers, we will begin to see his power at work in our lives.

What are some things that you have been praying about but have not seen any improvement? Find a verse that speaks to whatever your need is and begin to add it to your prayers. You don’t have to have it memorized, write it down on an index card and repeat it throughout the day.

One that I like to use when I feel like giving up is Psalm 51:10 that says “Create in me a pure heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Say your prayers out loud

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There is power in our words. Have you ever been hurt by what someone has said to you? Or have you ever felt the joy of an encouraging word?

What we speak has the potential to become who we are. 

If our words have power even though we are powerless, how much more power will the word of God have?

We must speak our prayers out loud. Everything has to bow to the name of Jesus. When we use his word and pray in his name, the floodgates of Heaven will be open and he will pour out his blessing on us.

Saying  prayers out loud remind us that He is in control.

There is just something  so encouraging about praying out loud.

If you aren’t used to doing it, it will feel silly at first. Do it anyway. I promise you won’t regret it. Push past the awkward, and watch God move in a bold way as you walk in boldness in your prayer life!

Are you having a hard time praying because you feel like God let you down? Have you been walking through a hard season and don’t know how to pray because of your pain and confusion? I’ve been there and I wrote a devotional just for you! You can grab a copy of my Fifteen Day Devotional… Habakkuk- Embracing the Journey through Seasons of Pain and Confusion here.

 

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Why it’s Okay to NOT be Okay

We live in an Instagram perfect world. In the culture we live in, it has become increasingly easy to dress up our lives with a pretty filter and witty hashtag. But what do you do when you are really not in a pretty place?

Did you know that it is okay that your are NOT okay? You don’t have to work so hard to look like you have it all together. In fact, Jesus rebuked the ones who did that in the Bible.

 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish,[i] and then the outside will become clean, too.” Matthew 23:25-26

Why do we work so hard to clean up our outsides, while inside we are wasting away?

If you are honest, you are falling apart. Life has gotten the best of you and you don’t know where to go from here. Embrace this place… this is the place that God can do his greatest work.

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But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum? When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:16-17 

What if instead of prettying up our lives on the outside, we ran to Jesus with our messy insides?

 

We are not okay… and that is OKAY. Because in this not so okay place, we can lean into Jesus, knowing that he is our comforter and he will work all of this together for our good.

 

 

Are you struggling with the season you are in? Do you feel like you will never move away from this NOT so okay place? You can grab a copy of my Fifteen Day Devotional… Habakkuk- Embracing the Journey through Seasons of Pain and Confusion here.

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There is Purpose in Your Pain

Painful seasons are not fun. They are filled with emotions… tears… long conversations.. what ifs.. and why nots..
They are exhausting at best.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a no pain button? Like anytime we started to feel emotional or physical pain we would just press the button and it would immediately vanish?? Someone should invent that.. they would make a fortune!
Sadly, no one has, and the pain comes. It comes without warning and there we stand stuck in the middle of so many emotions and hurting like crazy.
Everything inside of us starts screaming, but on the outside we stand freakishly still.
This feeling of pain has been all too close in certain seasons of my life. One thing that it has taught me is that though all of our pains look differently on the outside, on the inside the hurt is very much the same. The raw, ugly, painful feelings are enough to take us under.
We’re not okay.. and if we’re honest this season is harder than we’d like to admit.
But somewhere in the midst of the hard, painful realities, there is Jesus. Somewhere Between the shouting at the circumstances and the screaming at the pain, his face calms the storm.
Seasons of pain are not easy, but I’m finding that the seasons of pain somehow bring peace. The hurt somehow opens our soul to healing. So even though pain is awful, we won’t fight it. We will embrace the feelings now, so that Jesus can bring us freedom from them later.
And maybe, just maybe, the pain will bring purpose.
I know what it is like to be in a painful season. In the most painful season of my life, I found this perfect little book tucked away in the Bible that literally gave me life through the pain. Habakkuk was so relatable to me during the worst time in my life.  If you are going through a hard season you can snag your copy of m Fifteen Day Devotional: Habakkuk… Embracing the Journey through Seasons of Pain and Confusion below.
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How to Find Grace in Hard Seasons

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a hard season? Like no matter what you do you can’t seem to get ahead? I’ve been there. Some seasons in life are harder than others. Sometimes I feel like I’m broken… Something is wrong with me.. I need a reset. Because in this season I missed it somewhere.

But then there’s Jesus. He tells me I haven’t missed it. The ship didn’t sail. I didn’t miss the mark.

Because see, there’s this grace that exudes from the hands of Jesus. This grace knew I’d be in this season and that I would feel this broken… This grace gently carries me above the rising waters.

The grace of Jesus picks me up and carries me when I know I can’t carry myself.

He knew I’d have this season. He knew that in this season, I wouldn’t be able to carry myself through. But he also knew that in this season he would get the chance to do a new thing.. to show me something I desperately needed to see, grace…

So in the hard seasons of life, I’ll raise my white flag and lay down my pride and pick up the grace of my sweet Jesus.

“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 NIV

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Five Verses to Help with Anxiety

Have you ever struggled with anxiety? Big or Small? I have and if I’m honest, it sometimes is a daily struggle. Merriem-Webster defines anxiety as being afraid or nervous especially about what may happen.

Did you catch that??

Being afraid or nervous especially about what MAY happen. MAY… not will… MAY.

Isn’t it crazy that anxiety is caused most of the time by things that haven’t even happened and in all reality may NEVER happen??? I think sometimes we walk in fear because we connect the pain we have felt to the fear of being hurt or damaged again. It’s hard not to be anxious during heavy seasons. Habbakuk understood this. If you want to dig deeper into the story of Habbakuk you can do that here. 🙂

So how do we combat these anxious thoughts? Pray. And then pray some more.

Here are my five favorite verses to pray over my life when I’m anxious.

1. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

This verse reminds us to stop and remember that God is listening.

2. “ Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your  life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:2-4

When we set our mind on things above, and remember that our life is hidden with Christ, we can release the anxious thoughts surrounding our situation.

3. ” Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

It brings peace knowing that God will not let us be shaken in a world that looks hopeless. He will sustain us through each circumstance.

4. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lordmake me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

Our minds run wild in the evening hours. I literally speak this verse every night before I go to sleep. It reminds me that God has me and he keeps me wrapped safely in his love.

5. “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Sometimes our anxiety stems from the battle we are facing. Speaking Exodus 14:14 over our lives reminds us that God will fight for us… and that takes the pressure of and gives us the freedom to walk in peace.

What is your favorite verse to pray when you are anxious? Leave a comment!

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Following the God of Promise

God is a God of promise. The Bible is filled with promises from our Father. The thing about following a God of promise… it requires faith. Today I was reading in the book of Genesis about Abram, later known as Abraham. Now there is someone who God made a promise to… and a pretty big one. But Abram didn’t see the fruits of that promise for YEARS!

Genesis 12:1-4

” The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.

Can we just take a minute to talk about the fact that God told Abram to leave basically everything he had ever known, to go into a land he had not yet seen? God said go to the land I WILL SHOW you… WILL SHOW.. Future tense y’all.

Then the God of promises gives Abram a promise.

And Abram went… He left everything he knew to follow God into the unknown trusting in a promise he could not yet see.

We all love promises right? I mean I want to take hold of the promises God has for me… 100% but am I really truly brave enough to leave everything I know to go after promises I cannot tangibly see??

I want to be.. I want to have that kind of faith. What made Abram able to walk out in that kind of faith? He was just a person like you and me. But God stayed close to him. In each new place, God spoke to Abram. God was constantly speaking to him and giving him the words he needed to step out in faith.

What is your promise from God? What is your faith walk? Today take some time to listen to the God of promises. Maybe he wants to speak a new promise over you, or maybe he just wants to reignite a promise in you from long ago. Either way, he is ready to speak over you and walk through each step with you.

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Why I Stopped Walking in my Calling

Have you ever found yourself feeling frustrated with your mundane life? You see other people around you and they look like their life is so much more exciting. Their family, house, job, marriage, and even their calling and gifts begin to make you feel inferior. You begin to pressure yourself to be that. You begin trying to conform to who they are… and you begin to feel miserable.

I’ve been there recently. I’ve been trying to fit into someone else’s box. I’m not ever sure why. It just sort of happened. Maybe you can relate.

The beautiful thing about our Father God is that when we begin to start to sway from the path he’s called us to walk, he gently and graciously brings us back. Don’t you love grace?

I began to feel frustrated with myself and if I’m honest, a little frustrated with God. Why is my life not working out? Why do I feel so basic? Why do I feel miserable? Why is this SO hard? (I’m just being super honest y’all.)

This is when God began to speak to my heart. He said “Jordan, your not walking in your calling.” “What? But I’m writing.. I’m blogging.. I’m trying God?” “You know I’ve called you to speak and I’ve called you to pour into your community. I want you to share me through blogging and writing, but I don’t want you to hide behind it.” Ouch.

You see, I didn’t know until this conversation that I had started to hide. I refused to walk in my calling because I got hurt… hurt bad. I was vulnerable with people. I was sharing and speaking. I was putting myself out there.. and they used my vulnerability against me. It hurt. It made me want to run and hide. And so I did. I guess somewhere along the way I just thought it would be safer to share my heart with you behind this computer screen, than  to have to sit down face to face and be authentic.

I stopped using the gifts God had specifically given me… and little by little I began to dry up. I didn’t even know it had happened. But it had.

It’s easy to put up walls, it’s nearly impossible to tear them back down. But here I am… slowly chipping away at the walls I let grow just a little too high. It’s a process and that’s okay. Because this tearing down process, it’s beautiful.. It’s in this place that God is able to speak to my broken, dry places and call them back to life again.

Maybe you’re here too. All dry and shriveled up with walls around your heart too high to climb over. Maybe you’ve been hurt… Maybe you’ve shut down… I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way. We can fight through and tear these walls down. It won’t be easy. Nothing worth having ever is. But the Lord will graciously lead us back to a place of peace.

~Can you relate to today’s topic? Leave a comment or send us a private message.. We are all in this together!

(Would you like for Jordan to speak at your next church event? Could your ladies benefit from this topic? Email us for more information.)

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When the World Looks Dark and Scary

It seems like every other day there is a new opportunity to be filled with fear. Natural disasters taking place all over… famines in third world countries… shootings… anger… chaos… mass chaos everywhere you turn…

With so many things going on in our world right now, there has been increased talk about it being the end times. I don’t know about you, but just the thought of the end times makes me feel anxious. Not because I’m not excited to see Jesus return, but because of the unknown. The Bible talks about the end days and how bad it will be.

In Luke 21 Jesus talks about the end times.

He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’[b] and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10 Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.[c] ….

16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.[d] 18 But not a hair of your head will perish! 19 By standing firm, you will win

25 “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.26 People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then everyone will see the Son of Man[e] coming on a cloud with power and great glory.28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

And it seems like we are in those times. And we get wrapped up in our heads wondering and talking and fearing the end times….

But the Bible also says in Matthew 24:36-44

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

And so today as I sit here and see all the news.. and hear all the fear… I’m asking God to speak.

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And He is reminding me…

He is reminding me that He is in control…

He is reminding me that we have an enemy of our soul who is desiring to steal our days with crippling fear…An enemy that knows that our human hearts are afraid of the unknown so he tries to steal our todays with fears about the “end times.”

He is reminding me that he has not given us a spirit of fear but of love.

He is reminding me that He is a good father.

He is reminding me that each day is drawing us closer to Him.

He is reminding me to pursue my purpose every day.

He is reminding me that history is filled with tragic events because we live in a fallen world.

He is also reminding me that Jesus is the hope of the world. We are the carriers of his light.

Tomorrow is never promised, but that doesn’t mean we must live in fear today.

Today is a gift. Today is our time. This is the day the Lord has made so let us rejoice and be glad in it.

So today, instead of being crippled by fear, let’s be encouraged in our faith. Let’s be reminded that in this world we will have troubles, but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome this world.

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The Faith Fight: Fighting for Faith with the Odds Stacked Against You

In life we go through seasons.. easy seasons.. hard seasons.. in between seasons.. Sometimes the hardest seasons are the unsure seasons. The seasons when you are faced with a choice.. there are usually a few options during these seasons, and making the right one is sometimes all consuming.

Normally in these decisional seasons, the easiest, safest choice is what we go with. But what if the hard choice is really the right choice? How do we fight to have faith to do hard things in a world that is built around keeping yourself safe?

In our society we are all about building a safe little life. 3 bedroom house with the fence, the perfect 2 children, a cute little dog, retirement funds and more! Not that there is anything wrong with that, but what does God say about life?

He’s far more concerned with our faith walk, than our safe boundaries. In fact, it seems that he’s always calling us to step outside our comfort zone so that we can see him move.

I think a lot of times we pick the safe choice out of fear. What will people think? This choice doesn’t make sense by our world’s standards.. But then God reminds me that he works best under pressure. When the odds are stacked against us, that is when God can show out the most. A lot of us are just too afraid to step out into that space. The unknown.. the scary.. the faith place.

The Bible is filled with stories of people who were put in scary circumstances but God showed out in those circumstances.

I want to see God show out in my circumstances. I don’t want to live just the safe life, but the life that sees God moves mountains, don’t you?

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So today, let’s choose the hard choice.. the scary choice.. the less supported choice knowing that our faith in God means that we aren’t subject to the world’s safe options. We can walk on water, stand in the lion’s den, and walk through the parted red sea.

 

 

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

 

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