Move from Fear to Hope…

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life. ~ John Lennon

Just like Franklin D. Roosevelt said it, The only thing we should fear in life is in fear itself because fear prevents us from living a full life. Fear can paralyze you in your tracks and prevent you from living out your dreams. We as humans can fear many things and not even realize it. We fear failure, love, loneliness, change, and the unknown. These fears can be unhealthy depending on how you respond to them. Stress is just another word for fear and we as humans allow stress to rule our lives today and this is very unhealthy because too much stress and fear can make us physically ill.

6 STEPS TOWARDS LIVING A LIFE FREE OF FEAR AND FULL OF HOPE

1. Evaluate your fears. 

The first step in eliminating unnecessary fear is to evaluate your fears. Ask yourself what you are afraid of and why? Once you analyze your fears it is much easier to keep them in check and keep them from holding you back in life. This way you decide what fears are necessary and which ones are unreasonable and acting only an obstacle in our lives.

“Love is the great miracle cure, loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.” ~ Louise Hay

2. Love for your own person. 

We must love ourselves first before we can love anyone else. I feel that loving ourselves is very important because loving yourself leads to positive self-esteem and self-confidence which assists us in overcoming our fears and will give us the courage to step outside of our comfort zone. By fully loving yourself you can obtain the courage necessary to face your fears head on and overcome them.

3. Learn to embrace and love life.

Next, learn to embrace and love life. If you love your life you are much more willing to take the chances necessary to live the life of your dreams. Remember that loving life opens doors for us.

“Don’t shrink your dreams. Super-size your courage and abilities.” ~ Karen Salmansohn

You must believe in yourself and make it happen. You have to keep trying new things and stepping outside of your comfort zone a little bit every day in order to work on your courage and self-confidence. Remember that practice does make perfect. You can achieve anything in life if you just believe it!

4. Trust yourself.

Another important step is learning to trust yourself. You must be able to trust yourself before you can trust the flow of life or others. If you do not trust then you will continue to allow fear to rule your life. Trusting yourself will empower you and bring about the positive things that you want in your life.

5. Let go of the past. 

The next important step is to let go of the past and not allow it to define you. Just because you failed in the past at something it does not mean that you will fail every time. Remember that every failure is one step closer to success. Forget about yesterday and focus on today. Every seed you plant today counts toward your future harvest!

“If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.” ~ Jillian Michaels

6. Stop worrying and start living. 

We need to quit worry about perfection and accept that we are human and we learn through trial and error. Just like when we were learning to walk it was not about how many times we fell but it was about how many times we got back up and tried again. As adults we have come to worry more about the bumps and bruises than our journey. We need to let go and not obsess about every little imperfection. I have learned to strive to focus on just doing my very best and learning from my mistakes. All that matters in life is that you give it your very best and live life to the fullest. The only fear should be fear itself. It is better to live with mistakes than to live a life filled with regret.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it is about learning to dance in the rain. ~ Author Unknown

Life Songs: for Alex

A list of songs that really mean alot to my heart and soul at this moment in time. Thought I would share the lyrics with you.

I Will Rise – Chris Tomlin

“I Will Rise”

There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well”

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
[x2]

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Even If

MercyMe

They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now, right now I’m losing bad
I’ve stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it’ll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can’tIt’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right nowI know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You aloneThey say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through…

Here Again

Elevation Worship

Can’t go back to the beginning
Can’t control what tomorrow will bring
But I know here in the middle
Is the place where You promise to beI’m not enough unless You come
Will You meet me here again
‘Cause all I want is all You are
Will You meet me here againAs I walk now through the valley
Let Your love rise above every fear
Like the sun shaping the shadow
In my weakness Your glory appearsI’m not enough unless You come
Will You meet me here again
‘Cause all I want is all You are
Will You meet me here again
I’m not enough unless You come
Will You meet me here again
‘Cause all I want is all You are
Will You meet me here againNot for a minute
Was I forsaken
The Lord is in this place
The Lord is in this place
Come Holy Spirit
Dry bones awaken
The Lord…

Beauty for Ashes. Isaiah 61:3

When my Bride and I were scheduled to get married, we were at church, and we had gone up to the front for prayer, and we were both feeling a bit excited and anxious as well. The lady who was praying for us, she prayed this prayer from Isaiah 61:3, God, give them the beauty the need for the ashes that have been on their life. Help them to rise up together, as the set out on a new adventure together. For us, it was confirmation for the both of us, at the time, and now, it is very real to us again, but for different reasons, and now, Our Creator is about to do something new and great in our lives together and in our marriage.

Isaiah 61:3 says, “to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Isn’t it beautiful that God says He can give you beauty for ashes? We love that. I think we concentrate on the beauty, but unless you give Him your ashes, you don’t get the beauty. There is a substitution plan here. There is a plan where you give Him your ashes. Then He, in return, gives you His beauty. We hold onto our ashes and wonder, Why doesn’t my life change? Where is His beauty? Well, where are your ashes? You held on to them and He couldn’t give you His beauty.

What are ashes? Ashes, I believe, are the wounded parts of our lives. Everybody has wounds; everybody has ashes–and all kinds of them. Sometimes they happen with a family member. There can just be every kind of a thing–a mate, your children, your job, your church. Ashes happen every place. Everybody gets wounded.

I think the hardest wounds to turn to the Lord are the ones you wounded yourself with when you have done stupid things.

When something is burnt by fire, what you have left is ashes; a soft, greyish-black powdery substance. Imagine how a person who has ashes rubbed all over his face would look.

In the spiritual realm, the devil rubs spiritual ashes on people. He can rub spiritual ashes on a person’s face, marriage, business, job application, or visa application. A single lady for instance who has spiritual ashes rubbed on her, would appear so unattractive to potential suitors.

Spiritual ashes signify or symbolize 4 things:

  1. A mark of disfavour
  2. Loss
  3. Spiritual dryness, emptiness, or death
  4. Mourning, grief, or sorrow

God promises us in Isaiah 61:3 that He will give us a crown of beauty instead of ashes. In the place of prayer, we are going to address everything in our lives that represents spiritual ashes.

PRAYER POINTS:

  • Father, please forgive me for every sin I have been indulging in that has robbed me of your beauty and glory.

Sin is a type of spiritual ashes that covers a person with filth and dirt.

  • Father, by the blood of Jesus, remove any ashes in my life that came as a result of besetting sins in my life. Let the cleansing power in the blood of Jesus avail for me today.
  • Wind of God, blow off every spiritual dust covering my life.
  • Father, remove spiritual ashes from every area of my life and replace it with your divine beauty and glory.  As you cover me with your glory, let uncommon favour be my portion (Esther 2, 12 -13, 15-17).
  • Lord, restore every good thing I have lost by evil fires the enemy sent into my life. Restore virtues, opportunities, promotions, breakthroughs and blessings I lost through evil spiritual fires.
  • Father, in a mighty dimension, release the fire of the Holy Spirit on my life. Set my spiritual life; my prayer life, bible study, faith and ministry on fire that there will be no room for spiritual ashes in my life. Make me a flame of fire for you not someone who is spiritually dry and weak. Let my spiritual life be alive with your fire not dead with ashes (Hebrews 1:7).
  • Father, baptize me afresh with the Holy Spirit. Fill me with the fire of the Holy Spirit so I am untouchable to any evil fire, dart or arrow (Daniel 3:26-27, Psalm 105:15).
  • I stand against every evil conspiracy and oath that has been taken to cut short my life or the lives of my family members (Acts 23:12). 
  • I declare that I shall live and not die. My family members will not mourn over me this year, I will not mourn over any family member.
  • O Lord, give me beauty for ashes. Turn my mourning to dancing. I refuse to wear garments of mourning, sadness and sorrow (Psalm 30:11).
  • Father, this year and beyond, let my life be full of celebrations, thanksgiving and rejoicing (Jeremiah 30:19). 

Rebuilding Trust with your Spouse…

Trust in an intimate relationship is rooted in feeling safe with another person. Infidelity, lies, or broken promises can severely damage the trust between a husband and wife. That, however, does not necessarily mean that a marriage can’t be salvaged. Although rebuilding trust can be challenging when there is a significant breach, it is, in fact, possible if both partners are committed to the process.

Picking Up the Pieces

It takes much time and effort to re-establish the sense of safety you need for a marriage to thrive and continue to grow. Recovery from the trauma caused by a break in trust is where many couples who want to get back on track can get stuck.

Research has shown that couples must address the following five sticking points in order to effectively move past a breach of trust:1

  • Knowing the details
  • Releasing the anger
  • Showing commitment
  • Rebuilding trust
  • Rebuilding the relationship

Whether you were the offending partner or the betrayed, to rebuild the trust in your marriage, both of you must renew your commitment to your marriage and to one another.

Know the Details

Even in seemingly clear-cut cases of betrayal, there are always two sides. The offending partner should be upfront and honest with information, in addition to giving clear answers to any and all questions from their partner. This will give the betrayed party a broader understanding of the situation. What happened, when, and where? What feelings or problems may have contributed to this situation? What were the mitigating circumstances?

Release the Anger 

Even minor breaches of trust can lead to mental, emotional, and physical health problems. Partners may have trouble sleeping or diminished appetite. They may become irritable over small things or be quick to trigger.

While it may be tempting to stuff all of the anger and emotions down, it is imperative that betrayed partners tune in and reflect on all the feelings that they have. Consider the impact of your partner’s betrayal on you and others. Reflect on how life has been disrupted and all the questions and doubts that are now emerging. Make your partner aware of all these feelings.

Even the offending partner is encouraged to express any feelings of resentment and anger they may have been harboring since before the incident.

Show Commitment

Both parties, especially the betrayed, may be questioning their commitment to the relationship and wondering if the relationship is still right for them or even salvageable.

Acts of empathy—sharing pain, frustration, and anger; showing remorse and regret; and allowing space for the acknowledgement and validation of hurt feelings—can be healing to both parties.

Building off of this, defining what both sides require from the relationship can help give partners the understanding that proceeding the relationship comes with clear expectations that each person, in moving ahead, has agreed to fulfilling.

Both parties must work to define what is required to stay committed to making the relationship work. In communicating this, avoid using words that can trigger conflict (e.g., always, must, never, should) in describing what you see, expect, or want from your spouse. Instead, choose words that facilitate open conversation and use non-blaming “I” statements.

For example, favor “I need to feel like a priority in your life” over “You never put me first.”

Rebuilding Trust

Together, you must set specific goals and realistic timelines for getting your marriage back on track. Recognize that rebuilding trust takes time and requires the following:

  • Decide to forgive or to be forgiven. 
  • Make a conscious decision to love by trying to let go of the past. While achieving this goal fully may take some time, committing to it is what’s key.
  • Be open to self-growth and improvement. 
  • You can’t repair broken trust with just promises and statements of forgiveness. The underlying causes for the betrayal need to be identified, examined, and worked on by both spouses for the issues to stay dormant.
  • Be aware of your innermost feelings and share your thoughts. 
  • Leaving one side to obsess about the situation or action that broke the trust is not going to solve anything. Instead, it is important to openly discuss the details and express all feelings of anger and hurt.
  • Want it to work. 
  • There is no place in the process for lip service or more lies. Be honest about and true to your wishes.

Once the above points have been taken to heart by both sides, talk openly about your goals and check in regularly to make sure you are on track.

For the Offender

As the person who compromised the relationship, it may be hard or even painful to be reminded of your wrongdoings. Remember, though, that the above steps are essential to the process of repair and recovery. As you work on them:

  • If you are the one in your marriage who lied, cheated, or broke the trust, your partner needs you to show that the errant behavior is gone by changing your behavior. That means no more secrets, lies, infidelity, or anything else of the sort. Be completely transparent, open, and forthcoming from now on.
  • Be honest. Work to understand and state why the bad behavior occurred. Statements such as “I don’t know” don’t instill confidence or help you get to the root of the issue.
  • Take responsibility for your own actions and decisions; defensiveness will only perpetuate the conflict or crisis. Justifying your behavior based on what your spouse is doing or has done in the past is also not productive.

For the Betrayed

While moving forward hinges a lot on what your partner is able to show you, remember that work that you do also has a lot to do with your potential success. As you proceed, day by day:

  • Actively work on understanding why and what went awry in the relationship before the betrayal actually took place. While this won’t help you forget what happen, it may help you get some answers you need to move on.
  • As hard as it may be, once you have committed to forgiving your partner, work on providing positive responses and reinforcement to help give your partner consistent feedback to things that please you or make you happy.
  • Know that it’s also OK if you do not want to continue the relationship after considering the above steps or beginning them. Just be honest with yourself, and your partner and don’t go through the motions just because you feel that is what is expected of you as a devoted partner.

For the Couple

While there’s independent work to do, remember to:

  • Listen completely to one another.
  • Remind one another that you each deserve open and honest answers to your questions about the betrayal.

Rebuilding the Relationship

Once couples have committed to rebuilding trust, they must work on treating the relationship like it is a completely new one. Both sides must ask for what they really need and not expect their partner to simply know what it is they want.

Do not withhold trust in this new relationship, even though it is with the same person. Withholding trust out of fear or anger will prevent you from emotionally reconnecting with your partner. This keeps your relationship from moving forward in a healthy way.

Instead, work toward rebuilding the relationship by doing the work required in building trust and rebuilding a mutually supportive connection. Come to an agreement about what a healthy relationship looks like to you both. Some examples include establishing date nights, working on a five year, ten-year and even 20-year plan together, finding your love languages, and checking in with your partner about how you feel the relationship is doing or if it is living up to your expectations.

Remember that all relationships require work. Even the closest of couples have to work hard at renewing the spark while working to grow in the same direction together, year after year.