You are Free, So Why Can’t You Move Forward?

You are Free, So Why Can’t You Move Forward?

Have you ever wondered, “if I am free, how come I can’t move forward”? Moving forward in freedom means that you have to remember you are free! After the Israelites left Egypt, they started complaining that they had it so good when they were slaves. When they were slaves they had food to eat and were taken care of. As entrepreneurs or women or mamas or just humans in Christ, you have to remember you are free. You are no longer a slave. God took care of that for you by dying on the cross. Thank you, Jesus! So often, so many of us go back to a slave mentality. A slave mentality tells you that you are to be fearful, hoard, think we never have enough, and live in a posture of lack. So, if you are free, why can’t you move forward?

As Christians, the Bible tells us we are set free! Have you ever wondered, if I am free, how come I can't move forward?

Believe and Achieve: Belief vs. Knowledge

You are free, but do you believe you are free? Believing and knowing are two different things. When you know something, it is an understanding of knowledge. For instance, you can know God, but having a relationship with him is different. So do you believe God; do you take him at his word and stand on his promises? When things get hard, will He will pull you through? Your belief needs to be stronger than your disbelieve. 

Your Past Will Set you Free

To move forward in freedom, you have to break the strongholds of past trauma. If you have experienced trauma, which most of us have. You have to revisit the trauma to move forward. Revisiting the past might be painful. Up until now, maybe you have been masking it, pretending that everything is fine when it isn’t, or even following behavior that doesn’t align with what God wants for you. The gift in all this is that he is waiting for you to lead, broken, humble and raw. Because sis, when you get to that point where you just can’t put on the mask anymore, God comes in, picks up all your broken pieces, and puts them back together for his glory. He uses every experience, every struggle, and triumph to teach others through your brokenness. God has already given you freedom, broke every bond to a former life you had, so stop holding yourself captive from the abundance that is waiting for you. Start doing the things he called you to do, so he can give you the life he already created you for.

Learn how to Move toward your Godly Purpose

Go through it to grow through it 

You are free, but you will go through trials. The first few verses of James demonstrate, being joyful when your faith is being tested. He wants us to know you can grow in endurance and build a strong character that can withstand anything. So, sis, trials are part of being human. If you never suffered, you would never know how to endure, how to be patient, how to withstand the things that are to come, and ultimately how to lead others back to Jesus. 

As Christians, you have to go through some stuff to follow the path the creator has set for you. No one said following Jesus would be easy. You are set apart. You are the minority trying to lead the unpopular idea to the ones who will listen. 

Give up to Get

In Galatians 2:19-20, Paul says, “for when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never keep God’s approval, so I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ”. The idea of dying to something to be made new is Jesus’ upside-down approach doesn’t make sense in the world, but it does for the Kingdom. A life with Christ is dying to yourself over and over. The hard part is figuring out what you need to die to, then letting go of all the ways the world taught you and following His teachings. It sounds so simple, but to actually walk with Jesus for the sake of the journey is hard. 

Giving up the control you think you have will take courage and strength. I pray for God’s supernatural strength and his hedge of protection for your journey. The way to be lead by Christ is to continually die to yourself. What do you need to die to today? 

Conclusion

You are already free in Christ, so let go of any insecurities or past trauma in order to move forward into the life God planned for you. Let God dwell inside you so that you may know the direction you are supposed to go. Let community, prayers, and your foundation in the Bible build you up as you pursue your Godly purpose.

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Your Past Doesn’t Define You

Your Past Doesn’t Define You

Shame. Regret. Inadequacy is how I lived internally. I let my past mistakes define me. God has a way of pulling your deepest secrets to the light. He transforms your worst mistakes into His best glory.

On this particular day, I remember cleaning and listening to worship music. I felt a spirit wash over me. I slowly got down on my knees and asked God what this feeling was. With Jesus near, tears streamed down my closed eyes and ran onto my cheeks like water at baptism.

This was one of those divine intervention moments, I thought to myself. Jesus was calling me to take a hard look at my life.

Just then, God showed me who I really was.

His daughter.

His chosen.

His beloved. 

However, I saw myself as a mistake-making 20 something version of my old self. Holding on to all the shame and guilt that went along with those mistakes. Up to that point, I let the past define me.

Can you relate? Have you been saddled with the weight of your past, unable to let it go?

Defining the Past 

For nearly two decades, I let the past define me. I held it close like I was playing a card game, careful not to show anyone my cards. Building up walls so high, I closed myself off from who God was calling me to be.

My past left me with a hidden shame. It felt like I was wearing a mask that made it hard for me to see who I really was.

It was easy to get to the point where the past defines you. Yet, even harder to let it all go.

Identity Crisis

An identity crisis is not knowing who you are in Christ. Which was my problem at this time. 

I realize now that the only cure for an identity crisis is spending time with the one who created you. Before I spent time with God, I thought he was judging me for not being obedient to God. I honestly thought I was not worthy of his love. 

The truth is we are his creation. He continues to pursue. 

Past Mistakes 

In the book of Acts, we meet Saul headed to Damascus. His purpose was to capture his enemies (the disciples). Saul had an encounter with God.

The encounter shook up everything he knew about himself and the direction he was going.

When God appeared to Saul, every transgression melted away. He was transformed in God’s image.

Further, Saul’s name changed to Paul, and then he spent his life being an ambassador for Christ.

God used Saul (a murder) to proclaim His word.

I find it fascinating and encouraging that God used Saul in such a profound way.

God will continue to pursue you. God does not care about your past mistakes as much as you do.

Don’t Let Mistakes Define you 

Think about your past mistakes. What are the horrible things that you think everyone will hate you for if you told them? What mistakes keep you up at night, keep looping in your head, causing you shame?

Those are the mistakes you need to confront with God by your side.

You need to acknowledge that you did them; without attributing any feeling to them.

Those mistakes don’t define you.

Think of acknowledging your mistakes as God’s way of starting your journey to healing your soul.

God knows you made mistakes. However, he doesn’t want you to bury yourself in the negative emotions that you feel.

Instead, forgive yourself.

He Forgives your Mistakes

The healing part of forgiving yourself or someone else starts when you take the first step in reaching out to God.

When you ask God to forgive, you become a new creation in Christ. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 says I am Redeemed, therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here. 

He has already forgiven you and me. God’s job was to die for your sins, so you could find life in him (1 Peter 3:18.) The good news is that you do not have to hold yourself in bondage anymore. 

Reuniting with Christ, who died on the cross, helps you trust him to wash away the mistakes you’ve made. 

Essentially you are giving up the control you thought you had and submitting to God. 

Your Defining Message

Once you let go of the strongholds the past has on you, you can walk in your truth. You now can work through the shame, hurt resentment, or whatever you attributed to the past.

When you finally realize your past mistakes don’t define you, they have no power over you. Then, you can stand in your truth and help others live their Godly purpose. Let your past mistakes be your message. Let your old stronghold be the connection you offer a friend who is suffering. Your new message is a light of encouragement for someone else. You can speak truth and love to your past, making sure it has no place in your future.

In conclusion, letting your past mistakes define you leads to an identity crisis. Remember, God sees you as His beloved daughter, not as your past mistakes. Let Jesus walk alongside you. When you do, it is easier to forgive past mistakes. Moreover, God can heal you for his glory. In doing this, you can deliver His message and glorify His kingdom.

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Sara Chinakwe profile picture

Sara Chinakwe is a Christian writer who believes every woman has the power to live out God’s plan for their lives. She enjoys helping other women shed the negative lies they think about themselves in order to live out God’s truth. Sara resides in Sacramento California with her husband and two kids. You can subscribe and read more on her blog Livingafaithfullife.com

How to Stop Being a Perfectionist

How to Stop Being a Perfectionist

When I set out to be a writer, I didn’t realize I would also learn how to stop being a perfectionist. I didn’t believe I was good. It took me three years of blogging to feel comfortable sharing my work.

Y’all, this is after graduating High School and college, writing numerous papers, and starting a successful home-based preschool business. I don’t say that to list my accomplishments, but to say, from the outside, it looked like I was doing well.

It looked like I could do anything. Inside though, I wasn’t confident.

I didn’t see my full potential the way God did or maybe everyone else around me. I second-guessed every decision and, as a result, stayed stuck in the cycle of “it has to be perfect”.

Even in writing my first devotional, I stopped and started many times. I worried that the message wouldn’t resonate with you. Or worse yet, after leaving my heart on the page, it would get trampled on.

Years ago, I wouldn’t have had the courage to write anything and share it. I limited myself.

Why?

Because I was scared, not confident, and striving to have it be perfect.

So, how do you stop being a perfectionist?

Somewhere along the way, I realized three important things

I had to follow God

When you follow God with your whole heart, mind, and body, he leads you to where he wants you to go. Have you figured out yet what God wants for your life? Not yet, join the Live Your Godly Purpose Workshop Series.

When you are ready to listen, he continually shows you how to move to the next thing He wants you to do.

Am I still scared?

YES!

But I know that by not listening to God’s call, I am limiting myself and the desire he has for me. I feel like I am sinning against Him when I don’t listen to his desires for my life.

Another thing to realize when you want to stop being a perfectionist…

He wants to give you an abundant life.

To take what God is offering, you have to step out on faith even when it’s hard and scary. God is calling you to what he desires.

When you allow God to dwell in you, you are transformed and then; able to share abundantly with those around you. 

Once you realize that you are worthy of all that God has for you, God will show you exceeding abundantly more than you could ever have envisioned. (Ephesians 3:20)

He does this because he loves you so much and wants to show the world who is really in control. You can’t do it on our merit. It is when you trust and listen to God’s call for your life that he gives you the life he has planned for you all along.

He knows our plans

When you learn how to stop being a perfectionist, you will begin to rely on God. Since God created you, he has the best plans for you and your future. It is your job to follow him and find out where he is leading you.

However, since the beginning of time, society has struggled to keep following God. Since God knows your future, you know you can trust him.

Do yourself a huge favor, go ahead, and shed the lie that you have to be perfect right now.

God knew you were going to struggle. He knew you would mess up. God is teaching you from your mistakes. He isn’t looking for you to be perfect, only to love him the best way you can.

Sis, when you think about being perfect, remember God knows we will fall short, mess up, or even stray.

He also knows that he chose you, calls you, and loves you beyond measure.

So start to lay down the need to be perfect because he loves you anyway. In doing that, a layer of yourself can peel away, revealing more of the you that God created.

The Road to Recovery

The Road to Recovery

As I ponder the phrase “on the road to recovery”, the word that stands out the most is “recovery”. In the word recovery, I think of someone in a healing state of being. You can be in recovery for surgery, alcohol, or substance abuse. However, oftentimes we don’t often talk about the recovery of the mind.

Living a Faithful Life Vision

The whole vision of living a faithful life was a result of having gone through my own road to recovery. At this time in my life I was so deep into depression I couldn’t see God’s light. God was able to fill my cup just enough to keep me going.

Filling our spiritual cup is no easy task, it takes a desire and openness to want to be fulfilled. During this time I remember being in constant communication with God.

The Holy Spirit led me to reconnect with him through the creative process. Often times it is in the stillness and creativity where we find God filling our soul. Things like painting, gardening, writing and just sitting in the silence are ways to create a connection with our heavenly Father.

Like so many of us, the only way I could have gotten to the light was to have gone through the darkness.

Lauren Frost at creativerecovery.net is no stranger to living in the unknowns.

In fact, she built an entire life coaching business out of helping people find their way out of stuck or dark places and leading them to the light.

What is a Life Coach?

A life coach could be exactly what you are looking for. A life coach helps you move forward. Unlike a therapist, who focuses on the past and what happened in childhood to move you forward. A life coach focuses on where you want to go and moves you forward. I hear you saying, sounds interesting. Keep reading to hear more.

Creative Recovery

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting and now working with Life Coach Lauren Frost, from Creative Recovery. Lauren’s hope for creative recovery is to move you forward and turn up the volume in your life. She’s not looking for perfection but deeper awareness for your adventure ahead. Lauren Frost is a warm and welcoming individual with her heart fixed on helping you discover and move forward in God’s call for your life. She will be your biggest cheerleader and advocate, offering to link arms with you and God to guide you through the hard and confusing parts of life.

Lauren has the ability to meet each person she coaches right where they are and helps them with actionable baby steps or big leaps to get to where you are meant to be.

Lauren not only has avenues for adults to grow and develop but children too. Her creative approach to recovery is tailored to the specific need of the individual. Lauren offers a 30-minute free coaching session to see if coaching is the right fit for you.

The Road to Recovery

The road to recovery could be a long one involving peaks and valley’s ups and downs. It is through the darkness we find the light. I am here to remind you that you are never alone, let Lauren at creative recovery link arms with you to guide you to the best version of yourself.   

More about Lauren

Lauren Frost is a life coach who believes in your breakthrough moment. She will help guide you through barriers that keep you stuck and brainstorm creative ways you can move forward in your road to recovery. Her flexible coaching style allows her to work with clients worldwide. Lauren resides in Sacramento, CA with her husband and dog named King Dozer.

I had a chance to interview Lauren, click here to watch the video

Getting Your Health in Check for God.

Getting Your Health in Check for God.

Have you ever thought getting your health in check could be hindering you from your best life with God?

If you desire to be a better steward of your body and overall health here are 4 things to help you on road to getting your health in check.

Is your health standing in the way of your best life with God?

1. Know that God is with you in the Journey

The Bible says our bodies are temples (1 Corinthians 6:19), that we are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).

God loves us so much that he sets us apart, creating us each for a unique purpose. He also gives us free will to use the gifts he has given us to further glorify his kingdom.

God wants us to decide how we will honor him.

Practicing good health allows us to start a health routine with Him. This is great news, because we can literally control what we put into our mouths and how often we move our bodies.

Since God is always calling each of us into a deeper relationship with him it’s a good idea to start aligning your mind and body to honor him. Since our mind and body are connected, when we use good food to fuel our body our mind is also being fueled. This helps us honor him; when we are healthy we can do His will more effectively.  

2. Drink more water 

When I’m busy my water intake always seems to take a back seat. To reset my habits, I get out my 32 ounce Arbonne water bottle and drink at least 3 of them every day. Drink at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water every day to slim down and feel your best!

3. Stay active 

Another thing to getting your health in check is working out. Staying active takes a big hit from time to time. I have never been a gym person, I am more of a work out at home, yoga, go for walks and bike rides, type of gal.

But oh man, when I’m busy, distracted or have too much on my plate working out is the first thing that falls by the wayside. When I’m not working out regularly, my mood, confidence, and motivation take a nosedive. 

4. Get my nutrition in check

When I’m not eating right, my body knows it (and lets me know pretty quickly). If I’m not eating clean, I get more headaches, have less energy, get pimples, and start packing on the pounds and feeling sluggish and heavy.

Want to reset with me?? 

Are you ready to start a new health routine, one that focuses on the biblical aspects of health and nutrition while staying strong and healthy?? (You got this, but I’m also right here to help you)

Join our private Facebook Group here

Arbonne has this 30-Day Healthy Living Challenge and I’m jumping in! If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s basically just replacing 2 meals a day with delish protein meal shakes, then eating “clean” for your third meal.   It also comes with all the supplements you need to kickstart your body back into shape, including detox tea and lemon-ginger body cleanse (both are super gentle but effective), prebiotic/probiotic to support a healthy gut, energy fizzies with b vitamins and antioxidants, and more.  It’s basically everything you need to reset your gut and overall health, and IT’S AWESOME. Plus it comes with group coaching (via FB or text), accountability (me + thousands of others!), recipes, shopping lists and more. I’ve done it several times before and can’t speak highly enough about it – you’re gonna love it!    

Wanna do it together??  

We have a fun accountability group of people starting two times a month and you get a free gift of your choice with your purchase.  

Have any questions about it?  

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Come on over to our private Facebook Info Group for all the details, or simply email me at sara@sarachinakwe.com if you have questions or want to jump in with me and I’ll help get you going!

It’s 30 days… you can do ANYTHING for 30 days!

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Hey, I’m Sara, a Christian writer who believes every woman has the power to live out God’s plan for their lives. I enjoy helping women shed the negative lies they think about themselves in order to live out God’s truth. I reside in Sacramento California with my hubby and two kids. You can read more at sarachinakwe.com

How can Christians put Faith Over Race?

How can Christians put Faith Over Race?

Recently my nine-year-old experienced first-hand racism. Another child told him something hurtful about his race. Unfortunately, some people believe ignorance and hatred have a place in the world. However, as Christians, our job is to put our faith over race. After my son experienced this ignorant remark I wondered what else I could do as a Christian parent to help my children navigate this world.

After a week of prayer and research, God led me to this question. What does it mean to put our faith over race?

Faith over Race

In the sermon, A Biblical Response on Race Tony Evans looks at faith over race through a biblical context. He explains that Jews and Samaritans didn’t like each other much like groups today might not like each other.

Despite the hatred Jews and Samaritans had for each other Jesus, being a Jew meets the Samaritan women at the well (John 4:1-9).

He does this to show the disciples that it is okay to embrace another person’s culture, even though they may not think or believe as you do.

Jesus decided to make this point at Jacob’s Well which was believed to be common ground for both the Samaritans and Jews.

It is when we are true to our faith first that we are able to see people as Jesus saw them. The woman at the well had no husband but 5 lovers. Some of us may use words like “damaged”, “unloveable” but Jesus looked past all that and simply saw a woman who could change her situation if given the chance.

Unity at the Well

Jesus did three important things at the well to teach faith over race.

First He showed up. Often times people say the first step in anything you do is showing up. Just by being there she and the disciples had an opportunity to see how to embrace someone that was different than them.

Second, He validated the woman at the well. He talked to her, was in proximity to her and engaged in conversation with her. For this time in history, an act of this nature was never seen or heard of especially of people from Samaria. How often today do we turn a blind eye to people that are different from us or that we just don’t care to be around. We tend to blatantly ignore groups of people because we don’t understand them.

Third, He advised the woman at the well. At first, the woman had no idea the man next to her was Jesus. Until he started saying things that only the one true Messiah could say. He advised her on who He really was. Although we aren’t Jesus, we can certainly advise or have conversations about Jesus and what the Bible tells us.

The Skin You Are In

Revelation 7:9-17 talks about the tribes of many nations. When we are in heaven it seems we will still be in the skin we are in. God specifically made each one of us the color and skin tone He wants us to be. For this simple fact, it is so important to love the skin you are in.

Faith over race is when we teach our children to celebrate their heritage and be proud of it (not boastful) because God gave us the opportunity to be in the skin.

We all have the opportunity to choose to put our faith over our race and love one another for our differences. Taking the time as Jesus did to find common ground with someone who you normally wouldn’t, has a long-term impact on unifying and uplifting another person.

What will you do today to put your faith over race?

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Sara Chinakwe profile picture

Sara Chinakwe is a Christian writer who believes every woman has the power to live out God’s plan for their lives. She enjoys helping other women shed the negative lies they think about themselves in order to live out God’s truth. Sara resides in Sacramento California with her husband and two kids. You can read more on her blog sarachinakwe.com