Finding Your Purpose Along the Journey

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The two most important days in life are the day you are born and the day you discover the reason why.
— Mark Twain

So you want to know your purpose?

Good.

You were created to be a Daughter of purpose, to know and be known and to advance your Father’s Kingdom on this earth. It’s a mighty call and a noble one, too. No one else reflects the heart of God the way you do and it’s part of the adventure of our lives to learn what that looks like and to walk it out with Him. 

But sometimes we look at our purpose as a piece of pie and if we don’t dish out our piece soon, there won’t be any left for us. But that is not how it works in the Kingdom of God. There is enough in this world for every single person on the planet to operate in his/her purpose to the fullest right now. God is really that big. So relax, take a breath and give your worries, cares and concerns over to a Father who has bigger plans for you than you could ever dream of yourself. 

I’d like to propose the idea that our purpose isn’t simply a destination to be found and once we do, we’ve “made it” and now we can just die. But what if our purpose was more about the journey we take and how God is able to mold, shape and mature us into the daughters he had always intended for us to be? 

I'm not saying that you need to become someone else to be usable by God!  But what if the person God created you to be was already inside you, just waiting for a chance to be made known?


In your spirit, you are everything you could ever hope to be.


You are perfect, you are righteous, you are free. But the cares of this world, the mistakes we make and that are made to us, tend to cover and distort our image, not only to the world but to ourselves. We start to believe that we are the hot mess we so often feel like and if we could just obtain some sort of crazy purpose, then we will finally be someone we can be proud of... and maybe God will be too.  

But that’s just what the enemy wants you to think!


It’s not about becoming someone else, but it’s about getting rid of all the junk, baggage and concerns of this world so that our true selves can be made known and brought into the light. 


And that is when you begin your journey of purpose.

When you truly understand who you are as a Royal Daughter of the Most High God, then you won’t be chasing after a false sense of purpose, wandering around from place to place, seeking some sort of validation. But rather, you will walk with a courage that is not your own, fully convinced that the plans for your future are good and sure.

For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
— Jeremiah 29:11

There’s no reason to doubt God’s heart for your future if you know He loves you and is for you. You won’t journey towards something (or someone) if you don’t think it will be for your good. 

I challenge you to embrace the journey ahead.

Stop looking to the right or to the left. You will never find out what God has called you to do by looking at what God has called HER to do. Keep your eyes on the One who directs your steps and He will lead you down paths that will far exceed your wildest imagination. 

I think God loves taking ordinary people and putting them in extraordinary places.

That is why trusting God is so vital to finding and living out your purpose. You don’t want to find out what He has called you to do, only to try to make it happen yourself and fail. I don’t believe it’s ever too late to put your trust in God and He is more than able to restore the lost years back to you. But why not start now? Why not begin again today and leap wholeheartedly into the plans He has for you? 

You can trust God with your purpose because He is a good Father who loves you very much. The only reason you have dreams in the first place is because He gave them to you. He loves dream-chasing with us but first, we must become people who can carry those dreams in our hearts. 

God is not hiding your purpose from you.

As you seek Him first, your purpose will be revealed in that relationship, and it will continue to flourish as you continue to trust Him. Your purpose is a partnership between you and the Holy Spirit. So talk to Him every once in a while. You might find that His plans are even crazier than your own.

Dream well…

 

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5 Things the Enemy Doesn't Want You to Know About Who You Are

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Satan had made it his aim to distract you from who you really are and what the purpose of your life really is. It is his focused objective to lure you out of the path of strength, life, and authority and into a course of intentional destruction.
— Lisa Bevere, Girl's with Swords

One of the most common tactics of the enemy is to come against who you truly are, who God says you are. We assume, "That's too good to be true," or "Well I'm just not that holy… not one of those spiritual elite." We exclude ourselves from the love and promises of God and then wonder why we don't feel very close to him. 

You see, all of your power in this life is wrapped up in your identity - a royal daughter of God, fiercely loved, uniquely formed and vital to the greater story on this earth. But if the enemy can lead you to believe that you must earn this love (something we all make mistakes in), that there is not really anything special about you and your role on this earth is one more of an ensemble than a leading role, then you will not only live a below-destined life, but you won't even try! This is his plan. 

But the truth of your identity is not hidden from you, it's been revealed in God's word, scribed in heaven and resides on the inside of your spirit this day. You can know who you truly are and in doing so, unlock your power, purpose and the unique role that is your's alone to take. 

Don't let the enemy have the final say in your life. The only way his words have power over you is if you accept them into your life as truth. So here are five things the enemy does NOT want you to know about who you are. Go over each one and ask yourself if you truly believe it, if this is a foundation in your life. It's time the Daughters of God stop playing hostage to the enemy's lies and truly believe everything their Heavenly Maker says over them. 

 

1. You were created on purpose

You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside and my intricate outside, and wove them all together in my mother’s womb. I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex... How thoroughly you know me, Lord!
— Psalm 139:13-14

No matter how you feel, or what your circumstances might suggest, you are not an accident to God. You're not even a disappointment to Him, a sloppy seconds that He didn't see coming. Your heart was hand-stitched in secret and splendidly revealed to this world. Your Father chose you before the foundations of the earth and He never chooses incorrectly. 

There are plans written over your life and a purpose you were created for that no one else in this world was designed to do. Don't get distracted by what someone else has or what you lack, but begin to see with your own eyes what your King has revealed in you: a stunning glimpse into His own heart that only you can reveal to this world. 

 

2. You have a unique beauty to unveil 

You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes...
— Song of Solomon 4:9

I know this area of our lives is a tough one for most of us to fully grasp, but we must if we are going to be a light in this incredibly hazy world. No matter what you see in the mirror, no matter how frizzy or underwhelming your hair seems to be, and no matter what your Instagram feed measures up to, you have a unique beauty to unveil. Meaning you won't find it while searching out what everyone else has. 

God designed every detail of you and He decided that it was good. Do you really think God makes mistakes? That His creations would suffer from a lack of interest or follow-through on His end? No... He is the Master Craftsman and He doesn't make mistakes. 

On the outside, you are a magnificent creation, a holy temple set aside for good works, and a dwelling place for the Spirit of the Living God. Think about that; God Almighty decided to take up residence in you. And He said He would never leave you nor forsake you. He's in this for the long haul baby. Talk about commitment! 

You also have an inward beauty that speaks of the heart of your Maker. There is a piece of God's nature that can only be revealed through a woman's heart and another piece that you uniquely reflect. Don't dim His light in you because you wish you had someone else's. Shine His beauty and your's too will be revealed. 

 

3. You have a vital role to play in this story 

I believe that the attacks on your life have much more to do with who you might be in the future than who you have been in the past.
— Lisa Bevere, Girls with Swords

There is a much bigger story going on than the ones we obsess over. Good versus evil, love verses hate, redemption versus destruction. The story continues and you have a vital role to play, one that is your's alone to take.

The enemy would have you believe that there is nothing truly significant about your life on this earth. But he never wastes time attacking what he is not threatened by and there is something on your life that terrifies him. 

The attacks on your life have more to do with who you might be in the future than who you have been in the past. It's time we take up our swords and choose faith in the story scribed in heaven for us, bringing it into our reality. God wrote it, but we must choose it and we must continue to choose Him. 

 

4. You are sealed by true love 

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
— 1 John 4:10

One of the most sacred truths that the enemy wants you to never know is that there is nothing you could ever do to make God stop loving you.. even for just a moment, even just a little bit less. God's love wasn't based on your actions to begin with. After all, He did die for your sins over 2,000 years ago and I'm pretty sure you weren't around to earn that either. 

God's love is not a medal to be won, but a gift to be received. If I thought my husband only ever did stuff for me because he thought it would make me love him, and then when he did something wrong he pulled away from me, it would break my heart. How much more does a perfect Heavenly Father love us, His cherished creation? 

So here's a truth you can hold on to, God is bigger than your past. Stop giving it power over you. There is nothing you could do to make God love you more, just as there is nothing you could do to make God love you less. Yes, there are still things we do that may change the way we view God, but God's view never is shifted or foggy. He chose you and He'll never change His mind. 

The cross sealed your separation forever. There once was a separation between you and God (not one of His doing) but because of the sacrifice of Jesus, it no longer exists and there is nothing stopping you from a relationship with Him. No sin, no shame, no lack of good deeds can ever come between you again. 

 

5. You are crowed in royalty 

If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.
— C.S. Lewis

You were not created for this world - fallen, corrupt, sinful. But you are destined for another one, a new one that will be revealed to us soon enough. But until then, we are ambassadors for God, placed on this earth to combat the workings of darkness and reveal the true heart of our Father. 

You have authority over all the works of the devil and Jesus has given us His name to use in His place. You have a glorious future ruling and reigning with your Maker and there is nothing the enemy can do to change that. You are positioned not here, but seated next to Christ in heaven, a position of royalty and peace. The war is over and Jesus has won. Don't let the enemy fool you into thinking you are fighting a losing battle. You may have lost a few battles but Jesus has won the war. Cling to this and you will never be defeated. 

The greatest battles we will face in this life are the ones waging in our minds.

It says in John 8:32 that you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. But you see it's only the truth you truly KNOW that is going to produce freedom in your life. Cling to these five truths as if they were jewels, write them on the tablet of your heart, post them up across your mirror. Get these words down in your soul so deeply that when the enemy does come to deceive you, you won't be fooled. You'll be armed with truth, fighting your battles well. 

Don't focus so hard on what not to think about or what you should be doing. Instead, focus on what God says about you and your battles will become less about you and more about Him. After all, true freedom lies in knowing him. And as you get to know him, you might just start learning a bit more about yourself... your truest self. 

Fight these battles well.

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It’s time to awaken to who you truly are!

 
 

How to Create Vision for Your Year

Happy New Year!! Oh my gosh can you believe it's already here?  2017 was filled with so much more adventure and growth then I could have ever imagined! But it was also full of struggle and realizing that I might not have everything all together as I would like to think. (Anyone else?) But that's the beauty of life- it's not supposed to be a lazy river you passively float by on one of those donut shaped inner-tubes, but it's supposed to be a grand
 

Happy New Year!! Oh my gosh can you believe it's already here? 

2017 was filled with so much more adventure and growth then I could have ever imagined! But it was also full of struggle and realizing that I might not have everything all together as I would like to think. (Anyone else?) But that's the beauty of life- it's not supposed to be a lazy river you passively float by on one of those donut shaped inner-tubes, but it's supposed to be a grand adventure, pushing down the rapids and wondering what's around the river bend. 

So instead of just making a list of goals that I may or may not accomplish this year, I want to do something more, something that I can get excited about, something that will get me out of bed in the morning (especially the really cold ones) and motivate me to press further. I want to cast vision into my year, and not just goals. Because goals are great, but they don't have the power to propel you forward like vision does. Vision will move mountains, it will keep going when nothing else will and it will stir your heart up when you feel like you have no more strength left to give to your goals. 

Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
— Habakkuk 2:2

There is power in writing your vision down and keeping it before your eyes everyday. Some call it imagination, some call it meditation, but either way, we all are focusing our minds on something throughout our days, whether good or bad. So instead of meditating on our fears, struggles or how far away we are from our goals, spend time meditating on your vision. Don't look at how far you have to go or how much you've already messed up. Remember life is a journey and it all starts, and continues forward, with a single step. 

What is it that you want to accomplish this year? Maybe you want to start a business or go to the next level in your career. Or maybe you want to lose some weight or totally rock that vaca bikini. Or maybe you want to overcome a fear or insecurity that lingers around your heart. Whatever it is, you won't get there without taking that first step. God may not be showing you the whole picture (which I admit is something I tend to want or even think I need in order to move forward) but He is always faithful to show us the next step, and then the next, and then the next.

When you are seeking to walk in God's ways, you can trust that He is guiding you. You may not understand why He is leading you in a certain direction, but I can guarantee He has GOOD plans for you (Jer. 29:11). So don't be overwhelmed or concerned about your future. Take it one step at a time. Ask the Lord where He is leading you today and go forward without fear. You'll be amazed at the story that begins to unfold.

The very steps we take come from God; otherwise how would we know where we’re going?
— Proverbs 20:24

Because you were created to make a splash in this world and that means it's okay to not get everything perfect. Life is a journey, which means we will do a lot of growing and learning along the way. The story of your life is one you write everyday, so why not make it an epic tale where a hero and a princess battle life's struggles with all of the courage, strength and heart that their Heavenly Father gives them. 

The hero of your story has already done the rescuing but that doesn't mean you are off the hook. He came so that we might have life and life eternal (John 10:10). Don't waste the precious gift of an open book when there's so much in store for your future. Get His vision for you in your heart and let it be your life force as you move forward into the rest of this year. Live 2018 with so much passion and purpose that others will just know "There's something up with that girl..." So don't just make goals, create vision and watch as the pages unfold. 

Write well,
Jess

How to Bring God Into Your New Year Planning

When I was younger, I used to love making plans. Okay let's be honest, I was pretty obsessed with it. I mean, it was scary. I used to make a trail leading from my bed of all the things I would need to do to get ready for school. First came my outfit for the day. Then I would take a step and there were my shoes, then my hair brush, a little of this a little of that and BOOM... I was in my bathroom ready to finish getting ready for the day. This is seriously SO embarrassing to write! 
 

When I was younger, I used to love making plans. Okay let's be honest, I was pretty obsessed with it. I mean, it was scary. I used to make a trail leading from my bed of all the things I would need to do to get ready for school. First came my outfit for the day. Then I would take a step and there were my shoes, then my hair brush, a little of this a little of that and BOOM... I was in my bathroom ready to finish getting ready for the day. This is seriously SO embarrassing to write! Well, I don't do that now (Thank the Lord!), but lists are still one of my favorite things in the world. Sometimes, I'll even add really lame things to my list like "make coffee" or "fold laundry" just so I can have more things to check off my list! There's something about checking off tasks that just feels so good.

"I did that. I finished that. I accomplished this." It almost becomes like a drug or a high and at some point, I need my next fix. Then on the other hand, if I don't do a good job at checking off my list, I get discouraged and I tend to not want to do anything else. After all, I've already failed so much, what's the point? I'll just start again tomorrow. It's a back and forth, emotional rollercoaster of major productivity and absolute laziness. 

And now it’s the New Year, when resolutions and goals go on overdrive as we map out the people we want to be by the end of next year. Have you ever felt overwhelmed by it all? Have you ever finished writing out your list for the New Year only to realize you have more expectations than you feel you’ll actually be able to handle? It’s exciting at first, but then it becomes more of a burden as each box goes unchecked longer and longer, reminding us of how we’re not measuring up.

God’s word promises us a better way to live. He doesn’t expect us to handle everything in this life on our own, and that includes growing up and becoming more of the people we were born to be. That is why he sent us his word, to be a guide for our hearts, a lamp for our feet and a reminder that we are never alone.

And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your soul in scorched and dry places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
— Isaiah 58:11 AMP

We have a promise that God will guide us. But too often we’re afraid that we’ll miss where he’s leading us. We don’t have to be afraid that we’ll miss God. He is not only willing, but has given us his word to be a light to our feet and a lamp to our path… We may only see the very next step but once we take it, the next one comes into the light. He is always faithful and knows the road ahead.

He is our steadfastness, our hope and our promise of safety. But how can we be sure we’re following after him as we map out our plans for the year? Well, I’m glad you asked :) Here are 3 ways we can follow after his wisdom for our lives in 2018.

In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].
— Proverbs 3:6 AMP

First, we must acknowledge and recognize him. How much time do you actually spend recognizing God in your life? I know I struggle with this one so much sometimes. I’ll get my morning bible time in and then go about my life as if he was just one of those check marks on a list of “things I need to get done today.” I hardly recognize him in my life, in every area of my life, and then I wonder why I don’t know what he wants me to do. Life is full of obstacles that seem to block our way. But when we acknowledge his finished work in our lives and recognize his love for us, in the midst of our circumstances, we will literally see those obstacles removed from our path. He makes our way straight and smooth.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart.
— Psalm 37:4 AMP

Next, when we delight ourselves in the Lord, the bible says he will give us the desires and petitions of our hearts. Does this mean that God’s holding out on us? So, only if I give him the attention he needs then he’ll give me what I want? NO!!! Far from it. Our God has such a big heart for his people and he wants to see you walk into your dreams more than you do!

But in this life we have two choices: life or death. We can choose what we will set our hearts on and the enemy wants to get your focus off of God and his goodness and onto your current situation and what you don’t have right now. That’s why praise is so powerful- it completely destroys the works of the enemy and aligns our hearts with the will of our Father, which is to give us the desires of our hearts.

Don’t think that God is holding out on you. He is your biggest fan. Who do you think put those dreams in that heart of yours, anyway? As you lay out what you want to accomplish this year, make some room to simply acknowledge what God has already done for you and who he is in your life right now. Set a timer on your phone if you have to and just spend a few minutes thanking him. You’ll be amazed at how contagious it is! And you will literally begin to put power to your plans and attract the desires of your heart into your life.

Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
— Colossians 3:17 AMP

Now this last one can be a little more tricky, at least for me :) I’m the first one to write down some goals and think about where I want to be. But walking those out day after day, and putting my trust in God to bring them about, isn’t always my natural tendency. I tend to lean more in the direction of what I can do and accomplish rather than what He is able to do through me.

Yes, we do have a part to play. If you write down a bunch of goals this year and then do absolutely nothing to work towards them, then nothing will be accomplished. But, if we get in the habit of trying to achieve everything in our own strength, then we will fall short of the plans He has for us, which are always so much greater than what we plan for ourselves.

I was told growing up that if I could see myself accomplishing all of my dreams on my own, then I wasn’t dreaming big enough. God wants to do exceedingly and abundantly above all we can ask, think or imagine! Can you believe that? More than you can even think up in your mind. In everything that we do, in every goal we set out to achieve, and in every check box we cross off, let’s remember to invite God into the day and ask for his help, guidance and direction in our lives.

He has so much for you in this new year! If the enemy can just keep you distracted with duties, demands, or just how much you can do yourself, then he can keep you numb to God’s leading. But we don’t have to be afraid of missing out! We have his word, a light to our feet and a lamp to our path. So if we ever feel we’ve drifted a bit, we can just look up and keep going. He is always good and always faithful and always wanting to take you to the next level. Let’s make this new year the year we fully trusted God and let him direct our steps. Bring his power to your plans and watch them transform into a life well lived. 

Write these chapters well, 
Jess

If You Feel Like You Weren't Meant to Be Brave

 
I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been born in God’s thought and then made by God is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking.
— C.S. Lewis

We all want to be brave- to live a life so big and courageous that it inspires others to live beyond themselves for something greater. I can't tell you how many "Brave" themed Conferences I've attended, 5, 10, 15 Step Guides I've worked through, and books I've read cover to cover just trying to grasp a piece of the Brave pie for myself. But I usually finish feeling more frustrated, depressed and, well, exhausted than before. Am I the only one? I mean these women in the bible were CRAZY BRAVE! I don't know about you, but some of these chicks used to really intimidate me; women like ESTHER- storming the king's palace to save her nation, RUTH- leaving everything she knew behind her, MARY- giving birth to the Savior of the world, and let's please not forget JAEL (I mean did she have to kill that man with a tent peg?) They all did incredible things for the Kingdom of God but what we fail to realize is that we were created the same way.

We want so badly to be brave and to live a courageous life but we don't know how to get there. After all, the way this world paints a picture of bravery sets the bar so high that we know we'll never achieve anything quite like that. But what if the definition was different than what we thought? What if bravery wasn't something to be grasped, but realized? 

This world will try to tell you what being brave looks like, which usually leads us to frustration and exhaustion, never able to reach that goal that we so desperately want. But the truth is, you are God's courageous and brave daughter who the enemy is trying very hard to keep in the dark. The enemy doesn't want you struttin' your stuff around in confidence and courage! He wants you stumbling around, trying to find your way and forever striving for something you already have. Those things you struggle with? Those are NOT who you are. Your insecurity- that's NOT who you are. Your fear- that's NOT who you are. Your sin that you can't seem to break- that's NOT who you are.


When we begin to see ourselves not as victims trying to grasp victory, but rather as God's Royal daughters who have been equipped for every good work, then we won't own our struggles but will find the strength that lies within to live out the brave and courageous destinies that were ours alone to fulfill. 


You don't attack something you aren't threatened by, and the enemy of our souls would love nothing more than to convince you that there really isn't anything special about you, certainly not anything powerful or brave. But... when you do look inside to see all of the glorious greatness that resides within you, you will begin to walk in a bravery and courage that this world has yet to see.

Basically my entire life I've struggled with feelings of fear and insecurity. A part of me thought that once I got married and said "I do," then poof.. all of my insecurity would disappear into the great abyss of true love. Well, that didn't really happen.. at all. In fact it got worse! You see when you face your fears, you become fearless. So the enemy doesn't want you to face those emotions, he wants you to suppress them, attach yourself to them, and ultimately, find your identity in them. And that's exactly what I did. It's extremely hard to gain freedom from something when you see it as your identity. After all, you can't exactly break free from yourself now can you? 

But everything changed for me when I had a mini breakdown moment on a drive home passing by Garden of the God's park in Colorado Springs (I know, I'm blessed!) I was frustrated because I felt like I was doing so good with this whole insecurity thing and then WHAM! I would get insecure about something small and all those old emotions would rush back and I felt like all my progress was for nothing. Was this it? I mean was this the life that I'm supposed to look forward to? I couldn't understand why things weren't changing. But then God spoke this to me: 

"You are not an insecure little girl who is just trying to act brave, but rather you are my brave and courageous daughter who the enemy is trying to trick into acting insecure." 

Amazing. In that moment, I completely understood what He meant. This whole time I hadn't been viewing my actions as mistakes, I was viewing myself as a mistake. My insecurity became my identity, which in turn made any kind of forward progress impossible. 

It was as if I was standing at the bottom of this hill looking up. At the top of the hill was everything God had promised me, who He created me to be and the destiny I was supposed to fulfill. Then I would spend all of my time trying to climb up this hill trying to get to what God said about me, while life was throwing sucker punches and dirt balls my way, trying to knock me down and get me off course. But this was so very wrong. 

Instead, God was beginning to show me that I was already at the top of that hill with Him, looking down on life and all of it's murky circumstances. I was already brave, courageous, humble, patient, kind, driven, full of destiny, etc.. This was who I am. I could stand at the top of that hill and defend what was mine rather than striving for it. And those life punches? Well with one kick of my heal they would tumble down to the bottom of that hill where they belonged. This was what my Father was showing me, and I believe that He's wanting to show it to you too. 


You are not an insecure woman who is just trying to act brave, but rather you are a BRAVE and COURAGEOUS daughter of God who the enemy is trying to trick into ACTING insecure.


When you realize all of the power that resides on the inside of you, you will begin to see your challenges and struggles in a new way - not as a victim who is just trying to grasp victory.. maybe.. someday.. in the future. But, you will see yourself as His Royal Daughter, Poised for Purpose, Fashioned for Splendor, and Designed for Destiny. 

Together, let's write these chapters of our stories with bravery, 
Jess


Want to learn more about how you were created to be brave?

Check out the Becoming Brave Online Bible Study and learn to awaken the unique ways you were designed to bring courage to this world.