Dear Breaking Bread Family,
I sat in deep reflection yesterday as I examined my life and the lessons that I’ve learned, and those lessons that I keep bumbling. One thing I know is that all though I may grow tired the moment that I verbalize it, that tiredness becomes my reality. I started this part of my spiritual journey in 2008 and it grew into this blog in 2009. I needed to return to my “roots” and my foundation through the scriptures. I had strayed and it was apparent in both my personal and professional life. I didn’t know how to fight the enemy’s attacks because I had forgotten my training from childhood.
Over the past three years I’ve taken occasional breaks and hiatuses thinking that it was needed in order to “breathe” and connect more with God. That is not what God called me to do. I simply gave in to the verbalizations that I was “weak and tired”. But it was not the burden of my service through Breaking Bread. I convinced myself that it was. No. It was the chaos of life around me. It was the drama I willingly walked into and became consumed with that easily distracted me. I had convinced myself that I was “tired”, “drained”, and “exhausted” from spending the one to three hours each day reading, studying, praying, reflecting, and then writing my post for this blog. When actually each day I invest in my study I am recharged, focused, and emboldened to press forward.
At some point last year I tried to develop a schedule where I could commit the time to create multiple posts and then schedule their publishing dates for release. It was working well until the drama said “hey Natasha do you want to get consumed with this nonsense over here?” and the mental attacks soon became my verbalized prophesies. It is true that “what you think about and then speak about, you bring about“. It is not in the thinking that we create the havoc in our lives. It is once we verbalize those thoughts, claim them as truth, that they then become our truth. Whether good or bad, positive or negative, our words spoken aloud become our reality. The more you say it the more concrete it becomes.
So today I declare that my storm is over. The rain, lighting, and thunder has stopped. The clouds are parting. I can see the sun shining brightly. I can hear the birds chirping. No matter what I’m going through personally or professionally I know what God has called on me to do through Breaking Bread. I know that it has made me a better student of God’s Word in many texts, not just the Bible. This journey has helped me to be more receptive to other approaches to that big mountain that all of us climb to be closer to our Creator and His Truth. My walk through Breaking Bread has made me stronger and it has enhanced my level of discernment. It has helped me to see the wolves in sheep’s clothing. It has helped me to tune in and listen for God’s voice above all others.
I have to constantly remind myself of something my father used to always tell me, “…the closer you get to God, the more you are attacked by mortal mind (the enemy)…” and dad explained that the more involved he became in the church, the more leadership roles he took, and the more involved he was in his studies of Christianity, the more he was attacked. That attack is first and always mental. Then it manifests through the speech and actions of others–and your own. If your mind and heart are not steadfastly focused on God and the big picture you can find yourself caught up in the drama and chaos. You can find yourself pulled off of God’s path and your plans derailed.
There will always be times when the enemy is trying to convince me that God doesn’t love me, is ashamed of me, and won’t protect me. But what about those thoughts that I stir up based on my insecurities and fears, are those not as powerful or more powerful than the enemy’s attacks on me? I would say yes they are. I would say that my self-talk will either make or break me, that I can speak forward my blessings or speak them out of existence. I can claim sickness or I can claim health. I can claim poverty or claim wealth. I can claim loneliness or claim a life that is filled with the embrace of loved ones. I can claim death or I can claim life. I can claim pain or I can claim recovery. I can claim defeat or victory. What I claim is my statement about God’s power and presence. When I claim the negative I am saying God is limited. When I claim the positive I am saying that God is all-in-all, omnipresent, omnipotent supreme, omniscience.
We are what we say that we are. God has wondrous plans for each of us and every time we claim something that goes against His plans He merely waits for us to claim what is Truth. He postpones the blessings because He sees that we don’t yet have the faith to believe wholeheartedly His Truth and promise. Why give us something we don’t believe is possible–we will only ruin it. So He waits for our open minds, hearts, and arms to place before us what we are ready to receive.
I’ve been in a rocky space for several months. My life plans were derailed, my dreams seemed to be squashed, and the “rug” was snatched from under me. The pain at times felt unbearable. I would have moments of declaration that I am God’s child and no one and nothing could change that. I would have moments where I could feel the Light shining on me and I knew all would be well. But my faith would be challenged by words and actions of others that seeped inside of me and my thoughts began to manifest the words I spoke about myself, my life, my career, my future, and my health. It has been a tug-of-war for my soul. It has been a battle to remain planted in the present with arms opened wide, receptive to God’s blessings. It has been a battle to fight against the darkness that needs for me to cry tears of sorrow, be depressed, be broken, be angry and bitter–that darkness needs to feed off of my negative energy so that it can grow and consume me. But God is a constant reminder that it is He that has the power and glory. It is He that provides me with all that I need and He is the potter that molds me.
God has been sending His servants to speak to me, to remind me who I am and to Whom I belong, and the mission that God has placed before me. Just the other day one of God’s servants told me, “Natasha your storm is over…don’t talk yourself into a holding pattern anymore…” and they continued to speak those words over me knowing that my mind and my mouth kept saying the opposite. We spoke for almost two hours that day. God was speaking through this person, waking me up from this nightmarish dream. That call did not end until the servant heard me verbalize with conviction that my storm was over and that I was ready to resume my spot, reclaim what is mine, and move forward on the path that God has placed before me.
That day I said I would resume reading Joel Osteen’s book “I Am”. A book that I’ve picked up and sat down countless times. Not because it’s poorly written or is absent from the truth. No, not at all. This book is powerful and poignant. God used Joel Osteen magnificently. But remember what I said about those thoughts in your mind that attack? Those thoughts had me put down Joel’s book multiple times since last October when the book was gifted to me for my birthday from my aunt Valerie. I also put down a book on abundant living that a friend gave me last year. This year I purchased, briefly read, and then put down a book on forgiveness and freeing self from anger. All three books are exactly what I needed to and still need to read, consume, and embed in my thinking so that I can verbalize my truths and God’s Truth. But I chose instead to consume books on fantasy, mystery, and yes–drama and chaos. There’s nothing wrong with escapism. It builds our curiosity and creativity. But it can be a no-no when you’re going through a rough time and you’re finding yourself spiraling into darkness and struggling to maintain control. What I need right now are layers upon layers of God’s Word rolled out in various ways through various people. I need reinforcers that encourage my positive “I Am’s”. I need sources of God’s Light and Truth.
I share all of this today to say that sometimes we must look back in order to look forward. Rather than feel burdened by the responsibility of writing new content each day for Breaking Bread, I’m going to focus on listening to God. There are days when He tells me to look back on previous messages that I’ve shared. There are moments in time from the past that are still so relevant now. There are times when something didn’t make sense but now they do. There are scriptures, prayers, and reflections from the past that are “on point” today. That is why I am focused on consistently reintroducing previous messages that I’ve shared over the past seven years, while also listening intently to God when He directs me to other scriptures that I have yet to study through this medium.
Today I will share a message that I wrote in 2010. When I clicked on the message my mouth parted and I smiled. It spoke to me today with as much if not more feeling and depth, and relevance as it did when I first wrote it. It is exactly what I needed to read and recite aloud. Remember, it is not just what we think it is what we speak aloud that manifests, forms, and shapes our present and future. We read and study the Bible, a book written thousands of years ago, to help us in our present so that we are prepared for the future. My study, your study, should be a layering of messages shared in the past with newer messages shared in the present–as we approach different situations and look through multiple lens we can then see the applicability of Truth from various angles.
I am determined to rewire my speech to correct the negativity that spews out about myself and others, no matter how harmless or insignificant I may think that it is. Even if the words are truthful I have to be mindful of the fact that the moment I speak something I then play a role in its manifestation. Words have power when spoken. I’m not striving for perfection. I desire internal peace. That is only possible when I make the effort to declutter my life and the thoughts that I speak. Who wants to be around a negative person? Who wants to be around a person who mopes around looking glum and defeated? No one except other miserable people, because misery loves company.
Our biggest enemies are ourselves.
I don’t know about you but I want to be blessed and feel blessed at all times. I want to feel God’s loving light shine on me. I want to feel the peace within. I want to smile brightly and dance and sing as though no one is paying attention. I want the freedom of the innocent child I once was– before “I can’t“, “It’s impossible“, “What if I never…“, “It’s too much to handle“, “Why me?“, and “What did I do to deserve this?” became familiar phrases in my life.
So look for today’s Breaking Bread message to hit your inbox and appear on my site within the hour. Yes, I’m back folks!