Thursday, April 20, 2017

Aggression Meets Purpose

You have to be aggressive. These words that my mother spoke to me days ago rang in my head until they finally struck a chord.

If you're hitting some turbulence right now be aggressive in getting through it. Hearing my mother tell me: "the deeper you allow your circumstance to consume you, the harder it will be rise. You have to be aggressive." was an awakening for me.

Many times we get discouraged, distracted, and fall deeper into our circumstance and we miss the fact that while the victory is already won, it is completely up to us to be aggressive and step into what God has for us.

pursuing one's aims and interests forcefully, sometimes unduly so.

I've noticed that when it comes to vision, purpose, and identity a lot of us don't have as firm of a foundation as we should. This is where aggression meets purpose. If God has placed a vision so fervently on your heart, it is completely up to you to be a aggressive in making that vision come to life. If you want to seek God and learn about your purpose & identity in Him, you must be aggressive in finding Him. Here are 3 (simple) ways I learned to be aggressive in seeking God and rediscovering purpose:

  1. Pray (without ceasing): Position yourself in such a posture that allows you to speak to God and hear from Him. Maybe for you, this is stepping away from distractions (like social media or certain friendships/relationships).
  2. Seek God: Immerse yourself in His word and in worship. You'll find that He speaks to you in this way. Learn more about who He is -- His character, His ways, and what He's already done.
  3. Surround yourself with a community of believers: Find people who are eager to pour into you, and who are able to guide you in your journey.
You have to realize that more aggression equals less fear. When aggression meets purpose you'll find that you can't easily be defeated. You'll have a desire to constantly push harder until something great happens. Imagine how unstoppable you'd be if you never took no for an answer, ignored nay-sayers, and consistently pressed forward in His presence? Whooo! Praise break, praise break!

As my friends and I like to say: no excuses -- just results! ;)

" should simply keep on doing what you've done from the beginning...Keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God Himself willing and working at what will give Him the most pleasure." - Philippians 2:13 

Photography by Tiffany Jewels


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Great Expectations (The Quarter-Life Crisis)

Hey, loves!
I've been MIA for a little as I try to recoup from some of the curveballs this season has thrown at me...(otherwise infamously known as the "quarter-life crisis" (QLC)). This is something I've always heard about, but never thought I'd experience myself. I like to think of myself as someone who is driven, in control, and has high expectations. I've always been quite in touch with myself, confident in who I am (and who God says I am), and focused on my goals. Ironically enough, these are the types of people the QLC comes after the hardest. And honestly, it can feel debilitating.

I wanted to share some of the lessons I've learned in my experience. Maybe you're a twenty-something trying to navigate through QLC, depression, or anxiety. Or maybe you're just in an uncomfortable situation. (Read more about what to do in discomfort here).

4 Tips on Getting Through the Quarter-Life Crisis

  • Actions speak louder than words thoughts: In this season your thoughts can become completely distorted...going against everything you've ever believed about yourself. I had a conversation with my dear older sister recently where we tried to figure out how to combat negative thoughts (aside from obvious affirmations). Sometimes this is easier said than done. So what I've tried to do is change my actions so that my thoughts become aligned with whatever behavior I'm engaged. (Rather than allowing my thoughts to influence my behavior). For example, if I'm feeling visionless I'll intentionally pull out my vision board, turn on my laptop, and begin actively working towards my goals. If I'm feeling doubtful of who God says I am, I'll pick up the phone and speak to someone who affirms me/reminds me of my beautiful ideal self. (I'll talk more about this in another bullet point). 
  • Think like Christ, so you can believe like Christ: Okay we're back to thoughts. This is where positive affirmations come into play as well as great expectations. You have to make a conscious effort to see yourself as Christ sees you and to see your future as Christ sees it. (He promises to give us an expected end and He plans to prosper us...God is not tryna play us).  As soon as that negative thought creeps in, reject it and renew your mind instead with what Christ tells you. I always find comfort in knowing that His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. But we still need to make that effort to meet him there. I found these verses extremely helpful in renewing my thoughts daily.
  • Surround yourself with people who live a life that reflects your aspirations and (Godly) expectations: This is what I meant by having friends you can call and speak to when you're at your lowest points. Find someone you trust and pray with them often. Read scripture with them and share with them. Get a mentor who can teach you, pour into you, and reaffirm your purpose and your identity in Christ. Sometimes it's just a matter of hearing who God says you are that can build you up.
  • Speak Out: Talk about your experiences and get to the root of the problem so you can get rid of it. Mental health matters but I know not everyone has access to mental health practitioners/Christain therapists. If you fall into this category, again, find some you trust and speak out. Journaling is also a great way of speaking out and releasing thoughts. 

As cliche as this sounds, I am fully expectant that this season of my life will turn into a glorious and victorious testimony. At times I do feel discouraged, but I'm grateful for the community I'm surrounded by and the people who intercede on my behalf. Have faith, no matter how discouraged you feel. Cherish this with me: He who promises is faithful, and it will come to pass. (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Photography by: Melissa C. Olguin
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