Tag Archives: liberty

I AM THE NEW GIRL

11 Apr

I forgot what it felt like to be the New Girl. Sure, there’s something a little exciting about being the New Girl. Maybe the New Girl will be wildly accepted and instantly popular. Maybe people will find her mysterious but not threatening. Maybe the New Girl will find a place where she can grow and flourish…Or maybe the New Girl will just be that, another nameless face in the revolving door of the Christian church.

Today it dawned on me that I AM THE NEW GIRL! (insert dramatic pause)  This is a HUGE change. A few years ago I was very comfortable and active in my church. I felt accepted and welcome. I looked forward to Sunday worship and Bible study. I volunteered countless hours in the ministry. I studied at home so that I could be a better servant. I did this without hesitation because I was part of something bigger than me. I was part of a community. Fast forward to today….I am searching for a new community.  

Every Sunday I walk into a church and I don’t know anyone. I’m not a part of the group. I don’t have friends to sit with. I don’t know the pastor’s name, the church mission or the church beliefs. I don’t even know where the bathrooms are. I am the New Girl. Every week Christian community encounter visitors. There are enumerable New Girls I feel like we’re a forgotten group without a spokesman. So today, I’m speaking up. Here’s what I want you to know about the many New Girls that you meet.

1.       I want to belong. I want to be accepted.

2.       It’s not easy walking into a new church. Everyone has well established roles and I have to figure out where I fit in.

3.       I’m self-conscious. I hope that I’m dressed appropriate for your church. If I’m not please don’t point this out to me.

4.       I want someone to smile at me and say hello. It’s super important.

5.       I’ll need some help…I won’t know the words to every song, when to sit, when to stand or where the bathrooms are.

6.       I want to be appreciated but I don’t want to be singled out too much.

7.       I’m not a threat. I’m not here to take your church position. I’m also not the latest Jezebel to infiltrate your church.

8.       I’m nervous.

9.       I want accountability.

10.   I am a Christian. I’m forgiven. I’m secure in my salvation.  

11.   I have been hurt by church. So I might be a little apprehensive.

12.   I’m not into cliques. If you don’t know me that probably means that I don’t know you (just think about that).

13.   I love God.

14.   I want to learn and I want to grow spiritually.

15.   I might not come back. Don’t take it personal. Your church is awesome but it’s just not the place for me.

Unapologetically,

Arizona R. AKA The New Girl 

My Deepest Apology

23 Nov

IMG_2943 (1)

Today I went to church. It started as a typical Sunday…Praise & worship, offering, sermon. But this Sunday, my pastor had an altar call. For those who don’t know, an altar call is a prayer dedicated to specific needs. This doesn’t happen often. Whenever there’s an altar call I become very introspective. I start examining my life from my prayer life to social life. I look at my health and the health of my family and friends. Am I connected to anyone that needs prayer? It’s one of the few times that I’m 100% serious.

My pastor says, “If anyone needs healing in their body, please come to the altar for prayer.” I examined myself and realized that I’m not sick physically or mentally. People flooded the altar while I remained in my seat. Everyone is prayed for and returns to their seats.

My pastor moves to his next prayer. He says, “If anyone has a family member or friend that is sick. Please come stand in proxy for them.” I examined myself again.  Nope! I don’t know anyone that is sick. I’ve actually had miraculous healings take place in my family over the last few weeks. Again, everyone is prayed for and go back to their seats.

My pastor gives his final prayer. He says, “If anyone needs financial breakthrough, please come to the altar.” I perform a system check. Nope! I’m good. God has blessed my finances. Again, people are prayed for and return to their seats. And I’m standing waiting.

What was I waiting on? I expected to be in need. But in that moment, I realized that God has truly blessed me. I had overlooked how wonderful my life was. I had forgotten the miracles that God performed. I forgot that He’s continuously working.  I forgot that I am blessed. I forgot that I am healthy. I forgot that everyone around me is healthy. I forgot that I’m financially stable. I forgot about God’s goodness and I’m very sorry. I felt ashamed as I watched people in need of what I had taken for granted. I was ashamed of my ungratefulness. I needed to take a moment to say publically…Thank you God for blessing me above and beyond what I ever expected. I thank you healing my family. I thank you for protecting me and my family.  Thank you for changing my life. Thank you for healing my mind, body and soul. Thank you for giving me hope. Thank you for giving me your peace. Thank you for loving me even when I was ungrateful. Thank you for giving me another chance to say that I’m blessed.

 

Apologetically,

Arizona R.

 

Where Would I Be.

15 Nov

Where Would I Be

I began to write about the past 3 years of my life but as I reflected on the joys and heartache, the first thing that popped into my mind was this song. Not sure who wrote it but I grew up listening to these lyrics during devotional time at church.

“If It Had, Not, Been For The Lord, On My Side

Where Would I Be?, Where Would I Be? 

If It Had Not Been For The Lord On My Side

Where Would I Be? Where Would I Be?

He Kept My Enemies Away
He Let The Sun Shine Though A Cloudy Day
Oh, He Wrapped Me In The Cradle Of His Arms
When He Knew I’ Been Battered And Torn,

He Never Left Me All Alone
He Gave Me Peace And Joy I’ve Never Known
He Answered When I Knelt To Him In Prayer
And In Victory The Lord Brought Me This Way,

There’s not much I can say after that but THANK YOU JESUS!

Unafraid,

Christine K.

How Can We Both Be Victims?

14 Oct

As I am sitting here thinking about my life situations something HITS me… How can we both be victims?

I would like to share a small story with you if that’s okay.  I have a first cousin that I hadn’t spoken to in over 7 years.  We talked everyday. We didn’t go days without talking, but somehow we ended up going years without talking.  I can’t even tell you why we stop talking. All I can tell you is that I thought she was mad at me, and she thought I was mad at her.  Which wasn’t even the case. Wow the things that will happen when PRIDE steps in! And that’s when it dawned on me today how much I have allowed the devil to rob me of…

There was so many years of joy, peace, and love lost.  All because we was prideful and we both wanted to play the victim. Neither party wanted to humbled themselves to even see what the real issue was or even if there was an issue. How can we both be victims?  It wasn’t because we did anything to each other, but it was because the devil played his game.But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 GNT
Unashamed,
Toi

Rejection.

12 Jan

“Rejection is just God redirecting you into the right path.” We hear it all the time but is it really? I will have to admit, I don’t believe that wholeheartedly. I do believe it can be redirected properly when the individual being rejected actually knows how to identify it. Most people that face rejection don’t know how to deal with it, especially when someone is living in a continuous state of rejection.

Honestly, I would prefer to experience rejection than to be the rejecter. When faced with rejection you feel low, confused, unworthy, like a complete failure. However, that is not the case, most of the time; the rejected person has not done anything wrong.

God tell us that we are accepted when we first accept Christ as our personal savior. Christians take longer than we should to believe that scripture. Oftentimes we do things to try to “fit in” within the community of believers. The whole – I serve in church, I attend every bible study, every conference in hopes to feel accepted by that particular body. Some people even rub noses with the “elites” or give bigger offerings in hopes of being accepted or deemed worthy of positions. Sadly, their hearts are so far from God.

As Christians we are born in the image of God. We are 1st connected to him and he gives us the longing to be connected to others. But this has to be a healthy connection. We cannot lose our identity (or never find it) in hopes of be accepted by man. We should only desire to change ungodly behavior for God and yourself. Not others.

God is a loving and gracious God. He accepts us all. So why do we reject one another? I believe low self-esteem, fear, and pride on the rejecters heart.

And to the one experiencing rejection look to God. Ask yourself are you putting your self-worth, esteem and worthiness in someone else’s hands. Let me answer that question for you, YES!

Do everything unto God, let him order you steps. His love and approval is readily available to you as a gift. When sin entered in this world he loved us enough to send his son to die for you. No one else will ever do that for you. Aim to please God with your faith, back it up with actions and watch your life transform right in front of your eyes.

Be confident in who you are. Be brave enough to face adversity. Be strong enough to walk the narrow path God placed in front of you.

Just Be…

~Christine K.

I Choose Grace

9 Dec

I really need people to understand the difference between law and grace. I do believe that God gives us rules, boundaries and standards to live by. This is his way to shield and keep us protected (Grace/Mercy) I’ve personally learned this through trial and error, however, I’ve also experience that living under the law produced much anxiety, condemnation, and a distorted view of who God really is to me. Not really understanding Jesus finished work at the cross. His death, burial and resurrection freed me from the law because he was the ultimate sacrifice. I now can walk in liberty, power and boldness because of Jesus. The more I focused on his unfailing love I noticed that my behaviors changed. I no longer had the desire to do what I used to do. As Christians we walk a fine line and many people don’t understand or they abuse the gift of Grace. Paul said “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” God loves us no matter what! He freely gave us Jesus…Himself in flesh…offered up the ultimate sacrifice so I can live! So I choose to live and live FREE IN CHRIST! Not man made “rules” but God given rules (I really like to say boundaries) And if we really think about it God has less rules than man. 

-Christine K.

And We Know…

26 Oct

Romans 8: 28-30:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 And guess what. You have been called. Yes, you. The former drug abuser, backslider, and the rejected one. You have purpose. I wish I could tell you what your purpose is but only God can do that. He is the one who created and individualized the plan just for you. And guess what…the plan is perfect, purposeful and amazing.

9What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived. The things God has prepared for those who love him. 10These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.”

I truly believe it. Even when I feel stuck and my life is not moving at the pace I imagined. I always look back at that scripture. I want you to stop right now and take a look around at your surroundings. What you see and whatever is going on, it’s all temporary, whether it’s good or bad. Our life is ever changing and God is NEVER stagnant. He is always working on your behalf.

4He who watches over you will not slumber.

After reading Arizona’s previous post, I called and ask her if she was ok. As I was reading, I couldn’t help but laugh because I could see all her animated facial expressions as she was writing. (I’m pretty sure her keyboard was saying “ouch, I didn’t do it”) I believe she had what we call a “aha” moment. We’ve all had them. When it all just clicks, you just wake up and think “What in the world happen here?” or “It’s time to move forward.” I met that silly girl, 5 years ago at church. I believe without a shadow of a doubt God ordained us to meet.

When we realize that God is with us in every step of our lives, it gives us assurance. Through all the pain, hurt, success, rejection and acceptance, he is there telling us that there is purpose in each season of our life. If we just quiet ourselves and listen. He’s there telling us….

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Don’t settle.

Christine K.

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