By: Shakiya Mackall
If we were to evaluate the first half of 2020, I'm sure we can all say it looked different than what we imagined. From a global pandemic to the uncovering of racism, this year has brought on a lot of things. But even in the midst of all of the turmoil, we can still have hope. You may be thinking, but how? Honestly, I have asked myself that question. Personally, when hope would try to spring up, it was often choked by another heart-wrenching discovery in our world.
It honestly felt like I would take one step forward, but be knocked down two more. This was recurring until the Lord began to speak to me about my focus. Because let's be honest, we tend to take our eyes off God in the midst of disaster. In no way is this condemnation, because I have been there more than once in just these last few months. So if you have found yourself in this space, please give yourself grace.
It is so interesting how the Lord works. Being the loving Father that He is, He often prepares us for the things to come. Oftentimes even without us knowing. Earlier this year (pre-pandemic), I had a vision. In this particular vision, I saw a clear blue jewel. I found myself looking at the jewel in fascination not only for its size but it's color; it was something I don't think I've ever seen. The shade of blue was so unique I can barely describe it. Blue often represents freedom, trustworthiness, wisdom, joy, and strength. The closest gem I can try to describe would be an aquamarine, which ironically is the birthstone of March. And can you believe that March is considered to be a month of war?! In moments like this, I have to look up to God and say, wow! I didn't understand why He gave me this vision until these things came together and then I realized how we ALL faced some sort of battle during this time. But the Lord reminded me that to win a war, you must have hope. And that He is that Hope.
See, when we truly see God for who He is, we can experience the hope found in Him. In the midst of being bombarded with everything the world throws at us, we can look to Him for that peace. And as we put our gaze on Him, we can see that there are more sides to Him outside of the limits we give Him.
He can be whatever we need Him to be at that moment. Whether that is: Strong tower, Healer, Provider, Father, Savior, Miracle worker (Insert yours), know He can be that for you.
Be encouraged in knowing even in this time of crisis; He is being exalted.
Shakiya is a content creator and social media influencer who is passionate about faith, beauty and lifestyle. On her platforms which includes a blog and YouTube channel (Purity Vanity), she inspires women to grow their faith, maintain their inner and outer beauty, and balance this journey we call life! She hopes by doing so, God’s daughters will realize their true beauty in Christ and how much He loves them.
By: Tamika Mahomes
One of the most common questions I get is as a Pastor's wife is do I feel the need to be perfect.
And while the answer I could easily give is no, and carry on with the persona that I do not deal with this type of struggle, I am here to share the truth that I like many others often struggle with, the need to be perfect.
But the truth is, the need to strive towards perfection I have found is not limited to my role as a pastors wife, but rather my walk as a Christian.
I wonder, if I don't respond a certain way, will I cause someone to miss Christ?
If I get upset or let things bother me, does that make me less of a Christian?
If I fall short, will I lose my witness?
If I make a mistake, big or small, will I miss it, will I miss someone, will someone miss Christ?
Have you been there? Have you wondered? Have you found your strive to perfection is one that is missed?
Maybe it's not your relationship with God; maybe it's your parenting, or perhaps it's on your job, or even in your marriage.
Whatever it is that you are striving toward, whichever role you are looking to be perfect it, I want to share this truth with you...WE ARE NOT CALLED TO A LIFE OF PERFECTION!
I know that truth might be hard to grasp, I know that truth might be hard to understand, but the only person who calls us to perfection is US!
I love this verse from Philippians 3:12:
"I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me." (KJV)
Did you catch that? Paul didn't say that he was perfect, and he didn't say that we are called to any level of perfection, but he says, I follow after the one who is. And out of my relationship and love towards the one who is perfect, I strive to be more like him.
I don't know about you but, that gives me hope, that reminds me of truth, that tells me that I can lay down my desire to strive to be perfect, and I can instead press toward the one who is! Walking in perfection, is not my job, walking in perfection is not your job, there's only one who is perfect, and that is who we strive towards.
So friend, If you are reading this, I encourage you right now, to stop striving toward a title we are not called to, and instead, look to Christ, and find rest in Him who is perfect!