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Controlling Comfort

So I was talking to a friend and the word “control” came up. She was walking me through an interaction she had with another friend and ended with, “that’s not controlling…is it”?

I’m typically of the adage, if I have to ask myself the question, the answer or response is likely the very thing I’m asking.

But this is my girl so of course my first thought is, “nah girl, that’s not controlling”. Eventually we moved on from this topic but for some reason the thought seemed to linger. So since I couldn’t shake it, I decided to explore it a little further. This was actually not the first time a friend had asked me, “am I controlling?”.

My response to the question the previous time was, “you’re helpful…you simply like to help people”.

Now some would probably say, that was a very “PC” response but I felt it was very honest. But despite my honesty,  it still led to yet another question…

When does a feeling of being helpful move to a feeling of being controlling?

Good question…so here’s what I found to be true…

If the recipient of this unsolicited “help” becomes rebellious, bitter or resentful, you’ve probably crossed that line. This can be seen more often than not with kids. You know, those kids that went off to college and went “buck wild”? Yes, that is still a word…but I digress. These kids despised the way in which they were brought up. With the rules and controls and pressure inflicted on them, it was only a matter of time…they were a ticking timebomb…a soda that you shake and as soon as you open it, the contents come spewing out…they couldn’t wait to be released. This is human nature. But not God’s nature.

We’ll come back to that thought. But before we do, let’s talk about another possible result of control.

Becoming someone’s crutch. Yes, the distant cousin of rebellion. In this case, the child never leaves home and can never keep a job for that matter. But why should they have to? You’ve made it very easy and comfortable for them. Their actions or lack thereof have no consequences…in their eyes. You are their fallback plan. They never fall or never fail because you’re right there to catch them, save them. But they also never learn, grow or mature. You stunted it.

So, I’m sure you would agree that these are both equally undesirable results of something that started off so innocent. I mean, our motives were pure and so was our heart. So how could something so pure end with something so not?

God.

Now I’m not suggesting that God was the result of it but perhaps the absence of God was.

This can be a very touchy subject simply because we all like to think we consult God and include God in everything. But do we really? I’ll let you sit with that thought for a minute…

In the meantime, let’s talk about how the previous scenarios play out in our everyday adult lives…

The same exact way.

The above scenarios aren’t too far fetched from what we may experience as young professionals, devoted husbands or wives, loving friends, and family.

But God. He can make the difference.

But if we know that, why is it still so hard to relinquish control?

Our sinful nature…the natural propensity of our flesh to go left versus right.

“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” Romans 7:19-20 NIV

So definitely nothing to beat yourself up about but definitely something to be aware of.

This was classic Trina. I lived a very unaware dating life. I often felt I needed to help God out. Yes, the man that made the moon and the stars needed my help with finding me a suitable mate. So what happened with that? A lot of falls, a lot of bruises, a lot of scars.

Now some things just come with life.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

But others were self-inflicted.

My fear of being alone led me to some pretty isolated places. My fear of failure resulted in me failing, my fear of letting go resulted in me falling. Where God intended me to soar, I was barely even walking.

But like a parent, God was always right there to pick me up, dust me off and comfort me so I could try again. But this time, not so much in my own strength but in His.

Instead of finding comfort in controlling my plan I began finding comfort in God’s uncontrollable, unpredictable and sometimes uncomfortable plan.

Open your hand…open that tightly clenched fist and allow God to deposit the strength needed to find comfort in being uncomfortable. This and this alone allows you to live a truly free and unrestricted life. This allows God’s power to operate in it’s fullnesss in your life and finally relinquishing your control for His.

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

Did You Ever Love Me?

Did you ever love me?

The words that somberly came out of his mouth during one of our last conversations. The words I was shocked to hear and honestly didn’t know how to answer. He hurt me and although the remorse of what he had done could somewhat be heard in the tone of his voice, it was way too much for me to process in that moment.

Two months?!?!…Two months?!?! Where were you? Who were you with? What happened? A whirlwind of thoughts and emotions running through my mind. So much so that I couldn’t begin to answer his question, I had too many of my own. Questions I don’t think will ever get answered. Not at the level in which I need. His answers, at best, would be vague and at a level that would allow him to save face.

Which still leaves me with, how do I begin to formulate a proper response to this seemingly simple question? Wouldn’t you agree this requires some deeper thought? At least, more than one might initially assume anyway.

So several days go by allowing me to get over the initial shock of the phone call, the question and also allowing me to vent to my girlfriends. After this, I was finally able to articulate what was in my heart.

My response…I loved the person I thought you to be. I loved the representative. The idea…the potential…but at this point in my life, that’s not enough.

Truth be told, it should have never been enough, because what that would mean is, I didn’t love me enough.

These are some tough, hard truths that we as women have to face sometimes. Truths that can often shatter OUR hopes and OUR dreams that we had for OUR lives. Notice I said OUR.

This can leave open questions that begin with when, what, and how? When is he coming? What do I do now? How are you going to work this out?

Only to hear silence…nothing…my hurt, my pain, my cries are so loud and You…where are You?

I’m here…

Where?

In the silence…in the seemingly nothingness…I’m here…Be still…Do you love me? Did you ever love me?

Of course…

Show me…with your life…with your trust and faith in the plan I have for you. It won’t look like others, it won’t feel like others but I am with you guiding you every step of the way. Will you trust me? Will you love me? With the same measure of trust and love you put in men? I am doing a new thing…trust and lean on me and me alone. Can you do that?

Yes…

Your willingness and obedience have freed you from the bondage of The What, The How and The When because you now know The Who.

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

 

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

Rep Your Church

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If you love your church, raise your hand, stomp your feet, jump up and down or simply say Yaaaaas, girl!

We know how to rep our favorite sport’s teams, so don’t you think it’s about time we started reppin God’s team?!?!  Contrary to popular belief, the church is still relevant.  My previous Pastor use to say, if your church ceased to exist, would your community miss you?

As Christians, we often remain within the four walls of the church fellowshipping with other “believers” when we need to be effecting change in other people and in our community.  We should be hitting the streets telling everyone we know that God is not dead, he’s still alive and he lives in me!

The church should be raising up and developing bold and fearless leaders.  The church should challenge you to change.

~

My church has challenged me from day one and continues to challenge me week after week.  I’ve been in church all my life so I knew “church” and have experienced “church”.  It became routine and something I was supposed to do.  Very little change was taking place in my life…I was constantly being defeated in different areas.  Then along came Elevation (big shout out to my fellow Elevators).  I loved the atmosphere.  It was the first time in a long time…maybe even the first time ever that I felt so free in worship.  I felt like I could be myself, unashamed….unjudged and I sensed that with all the uplifted hands, others felt the same way.  We shared in this liberating experience.

Well…Elevation was based in Charlotte, NC and I was 1.5 hours away.  So I had two options, commute on Sundays or sell my house and move.  Since none of these were really viable options at the time, I did the next best thing…I started listening to podcasts throughout the week…thank God for technology!  Eventually I did move, not to Charlotte, but the city I moved to happen to have an Elevation location.  I began attending but didn’t get the same feeling I felt before.  I continued to go back because the Word was still there but for some reason I still didn’t feel connected.  I could have easily followed this feeling but instead I signed up to participate in an outreach event, eventually began serving and also joined a small group.  My life has not been the same since.  I thought I had moved from religion to relationship earlier in life but the relationship that Elevation pushes for is on another level.  Their sole purpose for existing is “to see people far from God be raised to life in Christ” and they are fully committed to this purpose.  Even though I knew God for quite some time – I can actually say, I have been raised to life in Christ since attending Elevation.  I had a new perspective of who He was in me.  I became excited about church, excited about people coming to Christ and excited about serving.  When the weekend rolled around I was looking forward to Sundays.  It was no longer a chore, something I was supposed to do.  But it was now, I get to do this.  The 7am set-ups weren’t so bad because I was surrounded by other volunteers with the same excitement and passion for God.  We were a part of setting the atmosphere for the people who would later come through those doors and experience God for the first time or come to know Him again.

So why do I rep my church?  That is why I rep my church!

What about you?

Be Brave, Be You, Be Blessed!

~ForeverTrina

 

“…and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it”  Matthew 16:18 NIV

Killshot

Let’s give the enemy that “killshot”.  Let’s no longer be passive in the very real attack that he has on our lives.  Dude is serious about what he does and its about time we became as well.  The enemy has a very specific assignment and that is to kill you.  Kill your hope, kill your dreams, kill your spirit.  And guess what? We have allowed him because we refuse to pick up our weapons and fight.  The enemy is consistent with what he does, we need to be just as consistent, if not more.

David had a rock to slay a giant.  God gave us His word to slay the giants in our lives, we just gotta pick it up.

No more excuses….it’s time we wage war on the Enemy.

Fight with the Word.  Fight with Prayer.  Fight with Fasting.

Take your killshot!

Be Brave, Be You, Be Blessed!

~ForeverTrina

 

“…This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”  Mark 9:29

2016 Goals and Prayer

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After sitting down to write my goals for the year, I reviewed what I had just written and said, “Wow, these are some big things God.  Hmmm…I’m really shooting for the moon with some of these…are they realistic?…can they be done?…maybe I should dial it back?” Well…I really feel God looked at me and rolled his eyes…while shaking his head (which I’m sure he often does when it comes to Miss Trina) because immediately, the following scripture came to mind.

Mark 9:21-29

“…but if you CAN do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“If you CAN?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes”

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Well…with that said, I began to pray over my goals….

God, this year, I commit my goals, my desires and my life to you.  These things…”this kind” of blessing that I’m seeking will not be accomplished outside of you.  God, I’ve done it my way and have made small strides and incurred tons of bruises but God I’m ready to do it your way so I can make leaps and bounds! Understanding, that I will fall but I have you with me…inside me, to cushion the fall. In that, I will rest..in that I will finally “take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

Also understanding that you are not a genie in a bottle. What you allow in my life, good or bad is ultimately for your glory.  Though I may not always understand, this I do know, you will move heaven and earth to get me to see things thru your eyes….to move things in me…to move things out of me.

God, just like your servant said, in MY doubt, help me to believe. Do not allow me to doubt whether you CAN do it – I already know you can.  Allow me to walk in that simple fact alone. All things ARE possible!

Now God, just as you drove out the evil spirit, drive out doubt, fear, unworthiness, low self-esteem and any word or thing from the Enemy that is opposite of the Words you have already spoken to me. I WILL keep moving forward toward all that You promised. It WILL be accomplished through prayer and fasting. It WILL manifest this year.  Amen!  #sweet16

 

Be Brave, Be You, Be Blessed!

 

~ForeverTrina