My testimony: God blessed me with a job!

Waiting for God to tell you to move when your flesh wants to immediately jump up and attach itself to something is a huge fight.

The battle to remain still and unmoved in God’s Presence when there’s decisions that need to be made, is a challenge within itself.

That was me waiting on God to send me the job position He had for me.

I had family members tell me that I need to find a job fast so I could begin to pay bills, to just “find something until I get where I’m going”, and although I nodded my head in understanding, my spirit didn’t totally agree with them.

In the beginning of January, having just relocated back home, I began to work on my résumé with my former supervisor via email. We tweeked it to make me sound like a great employee for any retail job I applied for. I applied for about eight retail jobs, and all of them fell through..

Until January 27th..

While sleeping, I had a dream that my aunt, whom I don’t really talk to a lot, blessed me with around $300, which covered every bill that she didn’t know I had to pay for. At the end of the dream, I cried on her shoulder.

Then, maybe an hour later, I heard her in the living room of my other aunt’s house, where I had been staying, talking to her daughter. Mind you, I hadn’t seen this aunt since Christmas Day.

A couple of minutes pass by and I make my presence known to my aunts, I tell them I’m currently applying for another retail job, and then this aunt proceeds to tell me that her job, Chick Fil A, is hiring. She’s also one of the managers, so she would be able to put in a good word for me. Can someone say FAVOR?!?

So I apply on January 30th, and I did not hear anything from them for an entire month. For the end of January, and the month of February, I told God that I would not apply to any other jobs because I knew that specific dream and confirmation came straight from Him.

After this decision, I never truly received any other sign from God regarding a job, until February 8, 2018. The Sunday of this week, my Pastor had spoken to the worship team, of which I am apart of, and said he had a Word to speak over each of us individually. All week, we all were a little nervous and expectant of God moving in a mighty way.

Part of Pastor’s Word for my life went something like this… “I see God is opening up something new in your job/career.. (I fell out in tears at this point). You’ve been praying about something very specific, I see it…. God’s saying that ‘I’m going to grant you the opportunity to show what you can do, all you’ve been asking for is an opportunity and it’s coming soon..”

I.Was.Completely.Wrecked.

Until this point in the year, it felt as if God overlooked that one prayer request that I tried not to rest in, and this night, He spoke to me clearly through my spiritual Father.

During this entire month of February, I began seeking the Lord, day and night, which specifically consisted of prayer, journaling, worshiping, reading His Word, and openly talking to Him in my new room. (He had blessed my aunt with a house on my birthday). This waiting season really stretched my faith and trust in God. It also showed me how much the people around me really believed in the power of God.

I wanted God to do something through me that eyes had not seen and ears had not heard. Though I was swayed by people’s opinions in the beginning of February, God molded me into a firm believer by the nearly the end.

Yesterday, around 4pm, I received a call and voicemail from one of the Chick Fil A managers requesting that I come in for an interview the next day (today). I was sooo shocked, and I began to freak out and thank God! After my mini session of going ballistic, I called the manager back and scheduled the interview.

Though I have not gotten a call back yet, I know and believe in faith that the job is already mine, because of what my Father has shown me. This month has definitely made me more intimate with God, and I wouldn’t trade this precious time of being able to sit at His feet every day.

Let this encourage and bless you.

My story did not end when my suspension appeal was denied, but it was just the beginning of me being in God’s will for my life.

If God is calling you to do something that seems insane and crazy to yourself and to others, do it. Other people’s lives are dependent upon your obedience. It pleases the Father to see you obeying Him and He does not take it lightly.

He knows your struggles and how uncomfortable it is, and He knows that He’s going to get the ultimate glory from Your life. Make Him proud of choosing you today. No matter how many times you have to tell your flesh what to do, no matter how frustrating it gets, keep your eyes on God, the One who doesn’t know what failure looks like.

He’s always with you. He loves you, and He’s so proud of how far you’ve come.

Who is God to me?

There are many times in our lives when we may have heard God Be referred to as Lord, Abba, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Nissi, but who is God to us as individuals? As His daughters?

It still is taking me time, but I can definitely say my intimacy with God is stronger than it was a year ago, and how might you ask?

Hardship.

HOLD UP— So you mean to tell me, Shamari, that I’ve gotta go through storms in order to be intimate with God?

Yes, precisely.

Now, this isn’t to scare you nor turn you away, but it’s to help you embrace the trials and tribulations.

It was then where I really felt blessed by that Baptist Church saying, “He picked me up, turned me around, placed my feet on solid ground”.

It was only then that I understood Him as Jehovah Rapha- The God who heals.

In those moments, I truly understood Him as being my Father and not some huge God who gets angry when we sin.

Only when I went through seasons of pain, grief, anger, and bitterness with the loss of my mother did I finally understand Him as being a mother to the motherless.

He was my everything, and it took Him digging up every weed in my heart to truly grasp it.

It takes us to first be vulnerable to God, even if it means getting a piece of paper and writing out everything that you know you struggle with, and laying it at His feet.

Here’s the catch: once you lay it down to Him, you cannot pick it up again. You have to take back control and command your mind and heart to submit.

The first step towards doing this is getting a physical bible, with the translation of your choice, or use the free bible app, and grab pieces of paper or notecards and begin to write out scriptures that deal with the issues you face.

Trust me- the Word Of God is alive and there is scripture for everything. I would advise you to also look up Bible Plans on the app; you’d be surprised how many topics Organizations and Authors have created to give you the tools to fight back against Satan’s tactics to keep you in spiritual bondage.

The second step, once you’ve found those scriptures, is prayer. Now, I know that for some prayer can seem very intimidating, but with a step by step guide on how to effectively communicate to God and pour out your heart to Him, it will give you more confidence and help your prayers become more organized, but still intimate.

The three steps I take in prayer are- Gratitude, Repentance, and Reverence.

I start out pouring out how grateful I am to God for what He has done for me, what He’s doing within me, and how much I love Him. It not only prepares your heart and allows you to focus on God, but you take the focus off of your needs, wants and desires. This will teach you how to not treat God like a genie or like Santa Claus, but as your Father and your Lord.

The second, repentance. This is where those scriptures you wrote down can be interjected. Repentance is a confession of your sins, a confession of what has been brewing in your heart that you need to leave at the altar of God’s feet. This step requires total honesty and openness. Know this: whatever concerns you, concerns the Father. He wants to hear your heart. You cannot receive total healing if you’re not honest with your Father, your Creator.

The last step is reverence. After you’ve expressed words of gratitude, and confessed your heart, you honor and bless God. I personally take this time to thank God for listening and already answering my prayer (it takes faith to receive the answers and healing you so desire). I remind Him of how wonderful, faithful, and how mighty He is and has been in my life. I even go into specific detail of how He’s been all of these things. Overtime, this will create such a closeness and intimacy and love between you two.

You have to fight, spiritually, though. It will not always feel good to pray to God, but it is necessary. Not for Him to hear from you, but for you to hear and get instruction from Him. We need to hear from God every day.

One last thing I want to say: prayer is not always coming to God with a specific need. Sometimes you could just spend the entire time praising His name. Even if you don’t have the words to say, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit makes utterance for you. This means that He communicates on your behalf, He HELPS you pray as you’re praying. How amazing is that?

If you would like any additional help with prayer, I would advise you to read the book of Psalms. It is filled with praise, prayer, and even angry and desperate prayers to God.

I pray that you were blessed by this blog post, and if you have any additional questions, or you would like to give any testimony about how God has been working on your heart and answering your prayers, either leave a comment below, or email me at therelentlesspursuit777@gmail.com!

 

love, Shamari.

Life After College—Part 2

via Steven Furtick’s IG

“Shamari, the SAAS has denied your appeal”

Once I heard those words spoken to me, it already solidified what I felt God was preparing me for during the month of December. See, after I cried and repented to God and really start running back to Him, I felt that He was preparing me spiritually by giving me spiritual affirmations and friends that prayed for me. It was during this time where I had to ask myself, “if God doesn’t allow me to return to school next semester, will I still worship Him? Is He still good to me?” And during that month of Christmas break before returning back to school, He solidified in me that my identity rested in Him and not my academic career, or the lack thereof.

Fast forward after hearing these words and letting them sink in, i made up in my mind that I would still praise God with all of me. In school, I wasn’t able to fully serve at my home church, I missed out on birthdays, and I wasn’t able to have a lot of options when it came to healthy eating. I began to look at the positives. All these things I prayed to God for while at school, I had now.

You might ask, how did your family respond? They were very upset. I had a lot of them ask me questions such as, “So, what’s your plan now?”, i had to sit and deal with disappointed looks, and even questioning my relationship wit God. I knew that they would not understand my walk with God, nor be able to process the fact that God called me to something unconventional..

A GOOD OPPORTUNITY IS NOT A GOD OPPORTUNITY.

There were many times where I cried out to God in confusion and anger: “Abba, did You really call me to do this or did I just attach Your name to my own desire? What’s next? God am I really hearing Your voice? What is Your will for my life?” Over and over again, He calmed my soul by whispering to me that none of that truly mattered at the end of the day. I had to stand on the fact that though I did not know what the next day would bring, God was calling me to trust Him.

It was during this moment that God revealed to me, by way of a close family member, that everything I battled while at school was training ground for where He’s taking me next.

It was during this moment that the physical product of this blog was developed, My hunger for God increased, and I truly learned what it meant to cling to God’s word and not the words of my family members. I had to make up in my mind that I would be like Peter, and follow Jesus even in the uncomfortableness (Matthew 14:28-33 permalink).

Now I spend my days serving the Lord in my home church, All Nations Worship Assembly, as a greeter and part of the worship team; I write for this blog and poems that God speaks to me about; and I am working at my new job. God continues to build my patience and trust in Him every day.

If you would like to share your testimony of how God called you to do something unconventional, or have any questions on how I walk by faith everyday, email me at relentlesspursuit777@gmail.com 🙂

Power of the Tongue

Life and death lies in the power of the tongue.
Being in college, I wanted so badly to be like the rest of the black girls on campus who cursed unapologetically, and popped off at the mouth, who threw shade carelessly. BUT GOD CREATED ME TO NOT BE LIKE ANYONE ELSE BUT HIM.

Ephesians 4:2—“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”
verse 12(same chapter)—“Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”

Are your words building up the body of Christ or tearing them apart? That is the work of the enemy—to divide and conquer. We must examine our hearts.

Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak the truth IN LOVE. So many times, we bypass the last two words as if they aren’t just as important as the first three. Everything we must be in love, and since God is Love. EVERYTHING WE DO MUST BE IN GOD. Meaning, we must have God at the forefront of our minds when it comes to our actions, words, facial expressions (I was guilty of this one), and intentions of our heart. This doesn’t just apply to how we treat others, but how we treat ourselves.

The greatest commandments in the Bible are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength AND love our neighbor as we love OURSELVES. So many times we focus on loving our neighbor that we have not been intentional with loving and focusing on ourselves.

How can you drench someone else with the love of God but despise yourself? How can you plant and water seeds of love, trust, compassion and grace into other people but have left yourself dry and parched?

Biblical self love is not selfish. It’s more than face masks and massages and bubble baths. It’s the spiritual affirmations we discussed (if you haven’t read them, please check them out), and it’s also doing a Topical Bible Study on subjects such as: Fruits of the Spirit, Speech, Love, Grace, Mercy— things that the Holy Spirit has showed you as your personal struggles.

This is not me trying to embarrass you or make you feel hopeless, but I as your Sister in Christ must speak what the Word of God says so that you will then be held accountable by the Holy Spirit afterwards. This is all for your edification so you can learn to love God, love yourself, and then be able to love others.

I pray that you were blessed by this message. As daughters of Christ, we are to encourage and edify each other but that only comes after we truthfully and loving point out the parts of us that God is trying to prune.

I love you, and more importantly,even more so does your Father.

I Was Suspended from College-Part 1

When everything around you seems to crumble..

I picture myself calm in the eye of the tornado, the most chaotic and disastrous place to be, yet I am at peace.

That was me at the end of my Fall 2017 term in college, but it didn’t start out that way.

In beginning of the semester, late August, I was on fire for God. He had just given me another piece to my purpose, starting this blog. I knew that once He told me that, and once I returned to my college campus, which was five hours away from home, that my faith would be tested. I just didn’t know how much..

September 22nd, around 2am is a night I will never forget. Prior to this day, I had found out that a peer of mine had just lost his mother. This entire week, I had heard the Holy Spirit tell me to be real with Him, and I was so confused, until the middle of the night on that Thursday. My mind began to whirlwind on thoughts about my own mother, who had been deceased since I was two years old. As anger and confusion began to wrestle within my chest, I began to weep and scream into my pillow.

“Why did You have to take her away? Why did You bless her with a child, then another, and rip her away from us? Why didn’t she go to the hospital sooner? I want my mom!”

This began the two-month darkness period where God began to dig up issues of mine that were poisonous to my soul: low self-esteem, negative mindset, pornography, masturbation, and people bondage. During these two months, I began to isolate myself from my friends, my Christian Campus Organization; and, more importantly, God. But, prior to this, I told my friends the signs that I wasn’t okay and the first and most obvious is isolation.

See, I had gone through this season of darkness almost every semester before (I was a Junior during this time), so I knew how the cycle went: I would get far away from God, my grades would suffer horribly, and I would begin to think very negatively and isolate myself from everything and everyone that brought me peace.

After having multiple conversations with some friends of mine, they convinced me to go back to therapy, where my counselor and I worked on cognitive therapy to retrain my negative thinking cycle. In another post, I’ll touch on the importance of prayer and counseling.

It wasn’t until the last two weeks of December that I finally broke down and cried to my cousin, telling her there was a possibility I could be suspended from the college. She then begin to tell me all of the things I knew deep down inside, but my heart was too hardened to accept:

It’s okay. God is with you. He is good, and He is good at being your Father. He has not brought you this far to leave you. Don’t worry about your mother nor your dad’s reaction. You are fine. God is good and He is with you. Keep repeating that until you believe it.

I had to force myself to sit up in my bed and grab my bible that seemed unfamiliar in my hands. It was through reading this amazing book called Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst, and the Bible, and writing down spiritual affirmations that I could see God leading me out of the tunnel. In those two weeks, I tried my best to redeem myself in my academic career, but it was too late..

“Shamari, the SAAS denied your appeal..”

Find out in Part 2 the rest of my journey with following God in the midst of the storm!

Spiritual Affirmations for Your Mental Health

Before we go any further, I think it is vital as young women (and men) of God, we HAVE to know what the Word of God (the Bible) has to say about us. So, I will share with you some spiritual affirmations you can use in your daily life to fight against the negative thoughts and words that are used to speak against your identity in God:

(all scriptures are in the New Living Translation)

I AM ACCEPTED
• I am God’s Child because John 1:12 says, ““But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”

• As a disciple (follower of Jesus Christ), I am a friend of Jesus Christ because John 15:15 says, ““I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”

• I have been JUSTIFIED and I have been declared RIGHTEOUS because Romans 5:1 says, ““Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.”
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• I am united with the Lord, and I am One with Him in Spirit because 1 Corinthians 6:17 says, ““But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.”
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• I have been BOUGHT with a price AND I BELONG to GOD because 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 says, ““Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
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• I am a member of Christ’s body because 1 Corinthians 12:27 says, ““All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”
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• I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child, because Ephesians 1:3-8 says, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.”
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• I have been REDEEMED and FORGIVEN of ALL my sins, because Colossians 1:13,14 says, ““For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”

• I am COMPLETE/WHOLE in Christ, because Colossians 2:9,10 says, ““For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”
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• I have DIRECT access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ (which means you can talk to Him at any given time, convinced that He actually hears and responds to You in His timing) because Hebrews 4:14-16 says, ““So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
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These affirmations are for you to go to war against the negative thoughts that fill your head. Those are not of God and now you have tools to fight against them by clinging to the word of God. He truly cares about and loves you and is concerned about your mental and emotional health. May you truly receive the TRUTH that YOU (yes, you) are truly accepted and adored by Your Abba, Father.

Looking for the Lost

God is on a mission to send out His daughters and sons, so He can work through them to find His lost children. Our Heavenly Father is calling us back to Him. We are called to be the salt and light on this Earth. He has called us for a specific time and purpose, so how can we carry it out if we’re out of position? It’s time to go back to the feet of the Father, our Father. He’s willing and waiting for us to be intimate with Him. He sent His Son to give His life so we could then become adopted into His family (Ephesians 1:3-8). He rejoices over that one lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7) and wraps us in His arms when we return to Him (Luke 15:11-32). Let’s return back to the Father immediately, and with open arms..