His Words

The Journey to “COME AWAY”

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD (Isaiah 55:8).

The more breaths He allows me to take, the more appreciation I gain for this declaration!

Three years ago, I knew that God had put the desire in me to have a retreat for WITHIN Ministry. I saw it clear as day. My heart would beat faster whenever I would think about it. Ladies gathering for a weekend, seeking the Lord. Fellowshipping with one another. Hearts being transformed. Memories being made. I saw how it beautiful that would be! So I put it to prayer and put my hands to work.

Two attempts. Two different years. Two different approaches. None went through. I didn’t understand. Why wasn’t God giving me the go for the plans I had created that would allow close to 75 ladies to come together and grow in the Lord? Why would He continue growing this desire within me but thwart the plans I would create to execute it?

I began feeling like I wasn’t hearing Him anymore. I became discouraged and eventually tucked away the plans and tried to suppress the desire.

Then the weekend of November 15th 2014 happened. I was invited to speak at a young ladies’ “Sisterhood” Retreat in Texas. An intimate group of close to 25 ladies came together and encountered an amazing time in the Lord and with one another.

At one point, we were sitting on the floor going around sharing and laughing, when all of a sudden, it was like the eyes of my heart were opened! That moment, a clear understanding of this desire that God put in me illuminated. THIS is how the Lord wanted it. The word “INTIMATE” rang loud in my ears.

I slept that night with a revived passion for the WITHIN retreat because it felt like I finally heard God’s desire for the retreat. Not my understanding of how it should be.

Because truth be told…I thought it should have been 75 ladies. A large group. A lot of activities. A lot of structure.

I thought it should have been collaborated with other ministries.

I thought it should have been….

But God gently allowed blocks on the road from fulfilling those “should have beens” to what NEEDED be:

Intimate. Personal. Intentional.

And not because retreats can’t be a large group, but because that was not what God had desired for WITHIN Ministry.

And now I know why…

Three years later from when this desire was planted, “COME AWAY” retreat took place.

Words can’t and won’t adequately describe how the Lord met 20 ladies gathered in a lodge up in the Poconos Mountain the weekend of May 29-31st, but I will say this: We came, never anticipating what took place. We left, never to return the way we came.

His ways are truly higher than our ways. All weekend, I thanked God for loving these ladies SO much that He wouldn’t allow any other plan to go through because of the great plan He had prepared for them, since the foundation of this world! Mind blowing! How humbling to know that this ministry would be a part of each of these women of valor’s story!

God really does exceedingly and abundantly ALL that we could ever THINK or IMAGINE and I am forever grateful.

 I pray that you are encouraged by this. Even the desires that God puts within you must be heeded to the way HE desires for them to be done through you. Trust that He will guide you as you put your hands to work. Just make sure you obey when He says NOT now. And NOT this way, because here is what I’ve learned: He knows what He’s doing;-)

 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthian 2:9)



Here are some pictures from our “COME AWAY” retreat to give you a glimpse of what we experienced:



breakfast breakfast3 christina commisioning dea firstnight group jacyln jazmine lizandbecky momv names outdoor2 prayingforzenobia secondnight shiqeerah shiqeerah2 sign welcome bags worship3 dancing3



We left Charged as ChAYIL (Women of Valor)

We left Charged as ChAYIL (Women of Valor)

If You can…(Mark 9:21-23)

And He[Jesus] asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22“It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” 23And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief…(Mark 9:21-23)

This man was desperate.

Can you imagine seeing your son in anguish from being demon-possessed since childhood? Being thrown in the fire and water? Knowing that every day you woke up, you faced the reality that today could be your child’s last day?

He had heard of Jesus and all the miracles he performed and now, Jesus was so close. Close enough to hear his voice as he shouted over the crowd to get his attention.

And he did.

Finally, there was a glimmer of hope that his son could be healed. But fear gripped him. Perhaps it was because before he approached Jesus, he thought the disciples who had been with Jesus could have healed him. But that was a failed expectation. An expectation that he wasn’t completely sure if Jesus could meet as well, but he had to try. So he did and this is how:

“But IF You can do anything…”

Immediately Jesus responded to this man’s hesitancy.

“If You can?” All things are possible to those who believe. (Mark 9:23)

I don’t believe Jesus responded this way to condone this man’s hesitancy. I believe it was to simply remind him that while he faced the disappointment of failed expectations by man, Jesus’ ability is never confined to an “if you can” because He always can. It’s only confined to our ability to believe that He can.

So instead what He says to us is “If you believe.”

Now here is the part that I am constantly blessed by.  The man assures Jesus that he believes. AND at the same time, he still needed help overcoming the battle of doubt within.

 “I believe…but help me overcome my unbelief.”

Wow! What courage it took to say that to Jesus.

He could have simply said “I believe” to appease what Jesus had just said to him. But He couldn’t shake off the reality of the battle within that would remind him of all that he had been enduring for the past years. And because those memories would rise up, He knew that if Jesus were able to heal his son, then unbelief wouldn’t intimidate Him. Surely, He could heal him of that as well

I love the honesty of this man! I’m encouraged by it. And it allows me to get a glimpse of what an intimate relationship with God could look like.

As you read further on, you see how Jesus responded. Jesus didn’t scold him, He honored his honesty. He appreciated it and desired to use it to show Himself strong.

Here is what I have learned from this story:

 Jesus honors our humanity and in that, He honors our honesty. He honors our vulnerability in confessing our doubts at times. He honors our desire to want to believe Him while in the midst of facing our reality.

All of us experience different realities. And Jesus isn’t naïve to them. He doesn’t downplay them. He doesn’t laugh at them. He is compassionate towards them.

And in His compassion, He wants us to know that He takes delight in being Believed at Who He says He is and WHAT He says He can do in our lives.

While He wants desperation to drive us to Him, He doesn’t want fear to keep us from believing IN Him and most importantly believing HIM.

I encourage you to keep being real with Him. Keep standing on your belief while confessing your unbelief to Him. I believe that the more we do that, the deeper our relationship goes in Him and the more our unbelief will turn to belief.

 He loves us deeply and He longs to be so real to us. Keep giving Him the chance!

 May these words encourage you:

“If faith never encounters doubt, if truth never struggles with error,if good never battles with evil, how can faith know its own power? In my own pilgrimage, if I have to choose between a faith that has stared doubt in the eye and made it blink, or a naive faith that has never known the firing line of doubt, I will choose the former every time.” -Gary Parker (The Gift of Doubt)










This Way…#Psalm119:1-4

“You’re blessed when you stay on course,

walking steadily on the road revealed by God.

You’re blessed when you follow his directions,

doing your best to find him.

That’s right- you don’t go off on your own,

You walk straight along the road he set.

You God prescribed the right way to live…”


God’s way…it’s not for the faint hearted. I’ve wanted to quit. I thought it easier to entertain my own ambitions. And they weren’t bad ambitions. They were just MY ambitions.

But then I’m reminded that when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, I exchanged my life. I surrendered it. My life is no longer mine. I’ve acknowledged a greater story.

And this Story has a path set out for me. For you. That’s right…a path prepared, since the foundation of this earth. Hard to grasp in my finite mind.

There have been many paths that seemed right but led to the death of my mind. My spirit and my soul.

 But God’s way …it’s a way paved with love. A way filled with grace pits. A way guarded by mercy rails.

 A way  leading to healing. wholeness. wisdom.

A way of life. 

 Life ever-lasting. Life that keeps on giving. Life that fulfills.

And on this path, our lives are at the mercy of His leading.  On this path, there are imperishable treasures found in each step. They don’t fade, nor do they rot.

God’s way. We are blessed when we seek to walk on it. To stay on it. To share it.

God’s way.  It’s not for the faint hearted. Oh, but it’s so worth it.

Keep at it.

I have NO idea…But He does.

Happy New Year friends!

It’s 2015! I thought we would be in cool robotic looking outfits by now….but….I guess I can thank God that we aren’t! :-)

This time of the year always brings in excitement. New Goals. New Vision. New Things. New You. Just all together NEW!

The promises of “THIS is YOUR year!”

“This is the year of turn-around!”

“This is the year of manifestation!”

“This is the year of growth!”

“This is the year of…you fill in the blank.”

And I in no way want to sound cynical…it’s just that I no longer really pay attention to those sayings any more.

The truth is…

I have NO idea what this year holds for me. I have no idea what I will encounter. I really have no idea what to really put my hands to. So many times I’ve fallen under the pressure of forcing myself to envision something because everyone else had this vision and this goal and this plan.

Last year, in the beginning of the year, I fell into a period of anxiety and depression because I had allowed that kind of pressure to get the best of me. And how did I find myself?


I couldn’t put my hands to anything because I was so overwhelmed by all that I had on my plate and I felt like I had to keep doing more.

I learned a big lesson in 2014 and I vowed that I wouldn’t bring it into this year.

I vowed that every year, my vision will be to draw closer and deeper in the Lord, for that is where my life and everything pertaining to it flows from.

I vowed to remind myself that doing more doesn’t mean I mean more to Him.

I vowed to keep my visions and plans prayerfully before Him before setting out to do any of them.

I vowed that I will no longer drive myself to worry and anxiety because I couldn’t see what the future held for me.

Last year, fear drove me to a place I didn’t want to be. But I thank God His love drove me closer to Him so I could be wiser.

This year, I will no longer let fear drive me just because I don’t know what this year holds or I don’t know what direction to really go. And as weird as it sounds…I am excited about not knowing!

I will remain faithful to where He has planted me and rest assured that His Word will be a lamp unto my feet- giving me enough light to step in the right direction. I am at the mercy of His leading. That’s how much I need Him.

This is my verse for this year and I will hold on to it for dear life:

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

The peace that comes in knowing that my God has already paved the way is amazing. He’s gone where I will go. All I need to do is hold on to His hands and let Him take me to the uncharted territories that He’s charted for me. So I don’t need to be afraid or discouraged when things don’t seem to be going the way I had envisioned.

Ahhhh…such peace.

So here is to 2015…a year filled with faith adventures. A year where you can strip off the unrealistic expectations of doing more and learn to BE more in Him so you can DO more of what He desires for you to do.

I’m ready!




When God Doesn’t Tell You What’s Next….

In this faith walk, you get to certain points where you are clear on what God is doing and then there other times when you just have NO idea what His next step for you is.

It’s clear to me that God’s hand is on my life. And it seems like when God says in His word that we move from faith to faith, He knew that even when we know that He orders our steps, we will experience these real moments when we still question what the next step is.

And because He knows that this has been the thoughts and prayers of my heart lately, it’s just like Him to lead me to an answer that would shut me up lol.

The other day, as I was talking with Him, He led me to this scripture…

 “Be content in Obscurity, like Christ…” (Colossians 3:4 MSG)

And of course He knew I was going to respond with…what the what?

God, what do you mean you want me to be OK with not knowing what is coming next?? How do I remain content in sensing that shift is taking place but yet having no idea what that means? I mean…how else do I prepare if I don’t know what I’m preparing for.

These are real questions I have for God because yes, at times fear creeps in. it can be tough to desire to please God so much that you become paralyzed because you can’t see a concrete next step.

And all along, God is trying to tell me…(this is how God talks to me—He can be quite humorous ;-))

Be OK with being in the dark. Because if I’m telling you that I am the LIGHT (John 8:12) and you fix your gaze on me (Prov. 4:25), there is no way that you will remain there forever.

You don’t have to know everything. Believe it or not, knowing everything requires no faith in Me. Some things are better left unknown until I reveal them….Why? Because you will never live in the moment.

You can’t handle knowing everything. “YOU CAN”T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!’ (Sorry—it just seemed appropriateJ ) But on a serious note—Remember, My job is to protect and prepare you.  Knowing everything will probably cause you more worry than the simple act of putting your trust in Me to guide you. Learn from Adam and Eve. It was never meant for them to know everything, but look what disobedience led them to.

I know you better than you know yourself. It’s true. I kinda created you. And I know every bit of detail there is to know about you (Psalm 139).  Most times than not, you come to realize that what you wanted to know so badly at one point, you could have waited. So because I know that, I help you out before you even have to get there;-) (I’m a Good God huh?)

Remain focused where you are. Do you not see what I am doing in the midst of you? And within you? I’m building in you character. I’m giving you insight. I’m offering you wisdom. Stop living in the future that has yet to happen and probably won’t happen the way you already claimed in your mind it will. So just stop. Be in the moment so you won’t regret it later.

Learn as much as you can where you are. Remember when you used to work for the yearbook and you used to develop pictures in the dark room? What happened when the image was exposed to light too quickly—it messed up! In the same way, there is so much growth that happens in your season of obscurity. Focus on learning all that life will teach you right where you are.

Obscurity isn’t purposeless. Don’t be deceived by what this world says about not knowing what your next step is. You aren’t lazy. You aren’t a wanderer. Don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. You don’t have to lean on your understanding as the world does. Obscurity doesn’t mean you’re lost. It just means I love you enough to be intentional with you on what your next step is. It’s that important to me. So relax…Be content! You’re taken care of. Your days were numbered before one of them came to be. So why not let me  lead you through them?? (Psalm 139:16)

Whewww..well..God sure has a way of bringing us a peace that passes all understanding even when it means giving up our right to understand. He really  loves us!  So yes, I don’t know what the next step is. But I will not worry myself to fear and discontentment with where He has me NOW. I will—with the peace of God—be CONTENT in obscurity.

Psalm 34:17-18 MSG

“Is anyone crying for help? God is listening ready to rescue you. If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, He’ll help you catch your breath.” Psalm 34:17-18 MSG

One thing that I’ve learned about pain is that it hits us all in the same way. We may all have different experiences but the way it reaches the soul and causes brokenness is something that unifies us.

There is no worse feeling than to be in such pain without the ears of anyone to hear you. Help you. Love you. Pray for you.

And I am certain we all have been in that place…a deep pit where our cries sounded like hollow echoes from the depressing feeling that no one was there to fully listen.

But here is another thing I’ve learned about pain…it’s known by our Father and is relieved by Him and in Him.

Our cries may sound like hollow echoes to us but to God they are a resounding melody that moves Him even closer to us.

This passage in God’s word reminded me of His desire to never allow us to carry our pain. We are not meant to.

We are meant to cry out because He is meant to hear them. We are meant to be broken because He is meant to piece them back together. We are meant to fall because He is meant to pick me up.

He is always ready. Nothing we experience-pain, joy, heartache, confusion, depression, anxiety-NOTHING, catches Him off guard.

God is there.


Wherever you need Him to be.

Cry. Be broken. Fall.

He is ready.


1 Peter 3:3-4

“You adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

 As one who enjoys looking presentable, I admire fashion.  I like nice things. I like shopping. I enjoy dressing up. I enjoy wearing clothing that compliment each other and compliment me. I often joke around that it’s a lot more fun being a girl when it comes to fashion because we have so many options! Sorry men!! ;-)

Close to a 200 billion dollar industry, fashion makes a BIG statement in our world. Season after season—new looks. New styles. New lingo.

Everywhere we turn, we are told that what we wear, how we wear it, how we look—all these things play a part in how we are perceived and received.

And I admit that I have found myself trying to keep up with the fashion wave. There are times where I’ve spent hours (even days) trying to find the perfect outfit for an event—confession is good for the soul right?

And in that moment, it always seems urgent but when I take a step back, and really consider the amount of time I invest in my outer appearance, I’ve  become convicted at the reality that I don’t think I would spend that amount of time even studying God’s word. Praying. Investing in someone.  Or better yet, understanding what it means to have inner beauty. Character. Class. Modesty.

I had to ask myself, how much investment do I make in cultivating my inner beauty? How much am I willing to dig deep to find ways to develop my character or would I rather take longer searching for those perfect shoes to match my outfit.

I don’t knock the desire to look fashionable. I’ve just become more convicted and saddened by the gradual progression of how fashion consumes us. And takes the place of our identity. And worse, how the pattern of this world has caused us to believe that our worth is derived by the pattern of the fabric we have on.

It seems like cultivating inner beauty has become a lost cause in this world.  It’s been over powered by the enticement of outer appearance.

 Fashion has become more than a statement, it’s become a way of life and for some reason, I don’t know if that sits well with me.

I read this scripture as Paul reminds the women of the church to consider their beauty to be more than the adorning of their out garments. I don’t believe he was reprimanding the idea and desire of us women (and men) desiring to look beautiful or handsome, but he says, “It must not be MERELY external….”   

Merely external is indicating that there has to be more to us than how we look on the outside. Paul is asking them to consider the importance of our inner disposition.

A disposition that doesn’t perish by time’s definition of what is in and what is out. Rather; a timeless disposition that withstands the fads that come and go as fast as we blink. It withstands the hurtful words that don’t make you feel beautiful.

When was the last time you asked yourself about your inner disposition?

Our heart is what wins the heart of God. Not how much we spend weekly on our hair or nails. Not how expensive our shoes are. Not how well complimented our dresses are.

Yes, please be fashionable if you desire. Feel pretty. Adorn yourself with beautiful jewelry…

 But please—not at the expense of your inner beauty wearing away.

Cultivate it in the same way you cultivate fashion. Search for those things that build character.

Let not the world make you believe that spending THAT much time on your outer beauty is worth it.

 The beautiful thing about God is we don’t have to hide behind any masquerade.  The inner beauty that we receive from God is within our vulnerabilities, within our weaknesses. Within our failures. That’s where inner beauty starts with God. And then through His grace and love, He fortifies those areas so that we are strong in Him. That’s where the confidence arises from. The understanding that you are valuable despite what you have on.

My beautiful sister—my handsome brother, let not our beauty or handsomeness be MERELY external, but let’s look within us and ask God to fill us with the imperishable qualities that is precious in His site.

Acts 4:13

“Now as they observed the confidence of Peter & John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)


They didn’t receive their Doctorate in Divinity. Nor did they have titles in front or behind their names. They had never been awarded any plaque for their research in Religious Studies or had written a book published by Zondervan.

What they did have?

The Holy Spirit and the resolve in their heart that Jesus was real to them.

The religious leaders stood in awe of the eloquence that flowed from Peter and John’s lips as they declared who Christ was.

How could these men with no training speak with such confidence in front of those who were known to have gone through rabbinic schools and whose titles evoked fear and respect?

Peter and John had been with Jesus. They had taken on His wisdom. They had taken on His love. They had taken on His Truth.

They had been marked by His presence in their life.

What these religious leaders came to recognize that day was that being with Jesus had nothing to do with merit or status. But it had everything to do with the assurance of a relationship with Him.

I don’t need to have a doctorate in divinity to know that Jesus saves. I don’t need to be acknowledged to have merit with God

The confidence that we exude in how we speak about who God is to us will show people that we have been with Him. Not just have come in and out of His House but have made our hearts His home.

We have been qualified and equipped through Christ to be who He has called us to be in this Earth. That is our confidence. We need not be afraid of what we are not by society’s standards.

I’m sure Peter would have never imagined that he would go from being a fisherman to standing in front of influential leaders of that day to declare the Truth of Christ that “there is salvation in no one else (not even the money he was making through his occupation) and there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

I may be uneducated by the world’s standards, but I know God.

I may not have titles in my name, but I know God.

I may never receive any recognition, but I know God.

My prayer is that our lives will be marked with JESUS so that the world will know that we had been with Him.

Psalm 73:28

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good

(Psalm 73:28)


When David uttered these words, it stemmed from a heart that recognized that even as the King who had everything at his disposal, nothing could fulfill him the way God did.

In the previous verses, David gives account to how at one point he envied the wicked because it seemed like they had no care in the world. It seemed wealth came to them so easily. He couldn’t understand why they prospered while those who confessed God suffered.

I’ve been guilty of feeling envious when I see those who don’t know God prosper in their ways. I’ve been guilty of feeling entitled to blessings because I know God.

Then, David goes on to say, that it wasn’t until “I came to into the sanctuary of God; Then I perceived their [wicked] end.”

The presence of God in our lives is where we are truly awakened to the reality of our need for Him and the false perception that those who don’t know him portray.

When David utters those words…”the nearness of God is my good…” he was awakened to God as his portion. His fill. His everything.

Nothing could compare to being in His presence.

Yes, good may come in all forms. Wealth. Relationships. Success. Material possessions. Favor.  Status.

But NOTHING could have the same effect as the nearness of God. The very knowledge that we can be known by Him and He could lead us and guide us through storms and through meadows. The hope that anchors our soul. The purpose that stays once the things we “do” is stripped from us.

He is the only GOOD in me and for me.

These are the words I desire to utter.

Forgive me God when I find myself envying the prosperity of those who don’t know you.

From this day forward, I say…

Your nearness is my Good.  I am satisfied in that.

Isaiah 46:9-10 MSG

“I am God, the only God you’ve had or ever will have—    incomparable, irreplaceable— From the very beginning telling you what the ending will be, All along letting you in on what is going to happen, Assuring you,

I’m in this for the long haul,  

I’ll do exactly what I set out to do,’ (Isaiah 46:9-10 MSG)

Sadly but true, too much has become disposable in the eyes of our generation. We’ve stopped fighting for the things that matter because it’s easy to give up and find something else.

So if there is a grateful Praise I can offer up, it’s, THANK GOD He isn’t like that towards us! Can you imagine Him walking away from us because we got too difficult to handle or because we messed up again?

We are not the easiest of people to like, let alone love. We are moody. We are inconsistent. We are so unappreciative. I mean, sometimes I wonder how God could put up with us, but listen to what He tells us in His word,


“I’m in this for the long haul!”

Wow! How comforting are those words?!

We could all attest to the pain of having people giving up and walking out on us in our lives.

But God…

He is incomparable. Irreplaceable.

He knows hard work. Do you realize how long He has been pursuing us and how He continues to pursue us? Chasing after us relentlessly…aggressively with His love. Even in our disobedience, His kind of love commits to never giving up on us. His character won’t allow Him to give up on you. It won’t allow Him to let you go…you’ve been tattooed in the palms of His hands. He is in this journey with us for the long haul. When it gets ugly. He’s there. When it gets dark. He’s there. Cleaning up our mess with His healing. Bringing light with His Hope.

He doesn’t know how to forsake. He doesn’t know how to neglect. That is out of His character because He is love and if His love is unconditional, the He bears all. He must be committed by nature—no matter what! He only knows how to commit.

And in this word, He is reminding us that even when we give up on ourselves–Even when we throw in the towel and want to walk away from it all, He is still there with us. He’s in it for the long haul–catching our tears in those moments of brokenness. Breathing His life into us—reminding us that we still have purpose to fulfill. Come hell or high water, trust that He is not going anywhere. And He will do exactly what He has set out to do because I don’t know if you have heard but,

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom” (Isaiah 40:28).

What a mighty God we serve!!