It’s Not Your Time

Me+Faith=ConfidenceinHIM, Spirituality
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Credit: uni-versul.tumblr.com

Today has been enlightening. I recently began to dive deeper into my word, to pray more, and to rely on my friends for sound advice. I had many questions pertaining to my career, my friendships, my love life, everything. When I tell you that God answers, He definitely answers. He might not answer the way you want Him to, but He answers in the way He needs to.

In my generation, there’s a stigma that you’re suppose to have everything together. You’re suppose to follow a certain process for getting that job or getting that guy or girl. It’s almost like you’re giving a part of your soul just to say that you have something, that you did something awesome. Why should we follow the “new” norm of doing things? Why do we make things so complicated?

If you’re not happy at a job, leave. If you’re not happy with your weight, go to the gym. If you’re not happy with the group of friends you have, step out and bond with new people. I know any of this is not easy. However, it is not impossible. I’m always reminded by Miss Aubrey Hepburn, “The word itself says I’m possible”. So, you can do anything that you set your mind to. Sounds cliche but it’s true.

If something does not happen right away, there are two reasons. Either it’s not meant for you or God just says that it’s not the right time. I’m guilty of this-feeling like I failed. Don’t you know as sons and daughters of God we are not failures? I certainly do. I’m confident in God that he has something greater in plan for me and for you. He has that job, that mate, that house (I for one wants to own some property), that confidence, whatever you desire for God to bless you with.

Jeremiah 29:11 says this,

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

This is confirmation that God’s plan is much greater and much more sufficient than ours. We don’t have to fear, worry, be anxious (guilty of this), or be ashamed of where we’re at in our lives now.

If we go throughout our lives with the mindset that all things are possible with God, I believe that our days will be better and almost stress-free (we’re still human). But, you have to put in that work (reading, studying the bible, praying diligently and consistently, surrounding yourself with people who are about Christ, and most importantly exemplifying that in your demeanor). It’s not easy, but in due time, you’ll know that it’s worth every tear, every obstacle, every fallback, everything that will try to come in between you and God.

You got this. You are relevant. You are important. God’s got your back. Remember that!

 

Much Love,

 

Christina

 

 

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That October Day….

#GodMadeBeautiful, I Am Invincible, Me+Confidence=FaithinHim, Mental Health Awareness

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Many of you follow my journey. I talk about the good, the not so good, and some ugly parts. As stated before, when I decided to blog, I decided to become an open book. In keeping with this promise, I am about to share something that only a few know. What I’m about to state may change your whole opinion of me-negative or positive-it’s your choice-although I may be shocked by some people’s reactions-just telling the truth

(Note:I am not using this platform for sympathy. I’m using this platform to heal, to encourage someone, and to bring light to mental illness-especially among the Y-generation. With this being said, here is my untold truth).

October 16, 2014 is such an important day to me. This is the day I regained consciousness. This is the day I was given another chance. This is the day that I stopped hiding. This is the day that God showed me that He indeed has my back. On this particular morning, I wrote my mother a letter basically telling her goodbye. I was so lost and so out on life. I was ready to transition-not wanting to deal with my issues anymore. I was so drained mentally, emotionally, and physically that the only option I felt I had was-to kill myself. Yes, I attempted to kill myself for the third and final time. I should have know better that it wasn’t going to work-after two failed attempts. I asked myself why God, why didn’t you allowed me to go with you? You know that I struggled so much here on Earth. Why can’t I be up there with you having no worries and living in peace?

His response-THIS IS NOT THE ANSWER. 

It’s safe to say that God was right. What He did for me at that moment-to keep me from drowning-He showed me how my family and friends’ lives would have been like if I left. Knowing how I am, I wouldn’t want my family and friends shedding tears for my selfishness. It’s unfortunate that many people succeed in killing themselves. I wish that they could have seen what I saw at that moment-to know that people truly care about them and that they are not alone. Most importantly, that they are cherished by their loved ones and most definitely, by God.

Fast forward to October 16, 2015- It’s officially one year since I was admitted to a behavioral health hospital on suicide watch. I tell you-the experience marked the beginning of healing-of confronting my past-of confronting all of the demons that showed their ugly faces much throughout 2014. I was finally able to let everything out during this period. I forgave, repressed feelings, and then forgave again. A lot of the hurt I endured is gone-I can honestly say this again, it’s gone. I don’t need to go back to the times in Orlando, at college, back home or in my new home state. I don’t need to discuss or focus heavily on the past (especially during my childhood) and all it entailed. Now, at this moment, my only focus is-living-living for His purpose for my life-to continue the process of healing-to be free from everything that has once brought me pain.

If you are contemplating taking your own life, I beg you PLEASE DON’T. I’ll repeat this again PLEASE DON’T. You can work through all of your issues, all of your concerns, all of your hurt and pain, all of the unknowns. You are NOT alone although it might feel like that at times. I know that it’s not easy dealing with one or several mental illnesses. I know that it’s hard to shake off those demons-heck I still have issues shaking them off myself. These demons will deter you from progressing….They will be in your head telling you that you can’t do it-you can’t be who you want to be-you aren’t capable of doing this and that. I tell you-these demons have kept me from living pretty much-they have kept me from connecting with people, from accomplishing goals, from working on myself, from being one with Him.

These are the proven ways I have shook these demons off and out of my head (some I have discovered recently-within the last few weeks):

  • Adult Coloring Books-These are the best investments. There are so many out there-I have the Creative Design-Mandelas Book.
(I love using vibrant colors-it makes me happy-I also slept like a baby  after coloring-it's so calming)

(I love using vibrant colors-it makes me happy-I also slept like a baby after coloring-it’s so calming)

  • Journaling-Any notebook, inspirational journal, or a sketch pad will work
  • Talk to someone that you trust
  • Get into your word-You don’t need to spend hours a day-seriously. Just a few moments-picking a devotional and sticking with that or getting on a particular plan will be fine.
  • Pray-I struggle with this myself-not knowing what to say or how to say it and doubting that God actually hears me- However, He does hears-He doesn’t respond the way you would want Him to but He does responds with greatness.
  • Get out of your comfort zone-This is still new for me-being more social with people-going to events I wouldn’t normally go to. It’s difficult reaching out to new people or trying out new things in a new city. However, you’ll never know how something work unless you try it out first.
  • Go to therapy-I go every few weeks. They are there to help you process things, to provide tips to help with the process, and to get down to the nitty-gritty about things.
  • Join a group-These can vary. There are groups of specific interest, youth/young adult groups, and support groups (like DBT-Dialetic Behavioral Therapy group). It does help being around others who are going through similar situations.

This is everything in a nutshell. I am available to talk to anyone who have questions, concerns, and insight.  As always, thank you for your support and for allowing me to flood your WordPress Readers, Facebook timelines, and emails with my thoughts and updates about my journey. 

Be blessed!

Much Love,

Christina

Meant to Be

Me+Faith=ConfidenceinHIM, Mental Health Awareness

7f89c0d1214e6cc881f3aba3cfaa50c3In the last couple of weeks, my life has taken a sharp turn. I went from being clueless to knowing exactly what I want. I allowed myself to do some soul-searching. I allowed my mind to go crazy. I allowed myself to experience trials. I allowed myself to have fallbacks. I’m saying NO MORE.

NO MORE criticizing myself about my current predicament. NO MORE worrying about what’s to come. NO MORE focusing on what’s not my life,which in reality is awesome. I don’t have the position I want. I don’t have the car I want. I’m not living in the city. I’m not in a relationship. I have a lot of DONTS. I also have a ton of DO HAVES. I have a place to live. I have a car. I have my bank account (although I would love to see more figures in it). I have great health. I have my sanity. I have my drive. I have my optimism. I have my courage. I have my beauty. I have my soul. I have GOD.

I’m grateful for these last couple of weeks. I learned that a lot is MEANT to BE. I shared this on Facebook a few days back about being offered a position as a Aftercare Pre-K teacher. One word-Torture. I haven’t cried, snapped (got really angry and shouted), or wanted to pull my hair out so much. What looked like a great opportunity, ended up being a great lesson. I realized that I deserve the best. I realized that everything changes, period. I’m not going to lie, I am bummed about what happened. I’m upset that I couldn’t show this daycare who Christina is and what I stand for. I couldn’t teach my kiddos the way I teach my girls on Sunday (giving them the same loving and caring Ms. Christina). I can’t do any of that because of egos, power trips, favoritism, different perspectives, and different approaches to teaching and discipline.

I state it every day, It is meant for me to teach. It is meant for me to be in a classroom. It is meant for me to be in grad school. It is meant for me to pursue my Master of Education degree. It’s just MEANT to be. This following quote summarizes my urge, the passion I have for education.

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Also, it is meant for me to continue with this blog-it’s mission to share my journey about becoming healthy in all areas-physically, mentally, and spiritually. Some say that when you exercise, endorphins come and you are happy. It is true to a certain extent. However, in order to experience pure joy and happiness, your mind has to be cluster-free and at a healthy state. It does not matter if I’m at the gym six times a week, on the 80/20 clean eating plan, and taking many health precautions. If my mind is not flowing properly (positive thoughts flowing throughout), then everything will be out of whack.

I am still on my journey. It just have taken some unexpected turns. There have been speed bumps, some roadblocks, and detours on this journey. I am happy nonetheless.

Everything that’s happened, that’s happening now and  that will happen, it is all MEANT to BE.

Be blessed!

Much Love,

Christina

Quench Your Thirst Thursday!

Me+Faith=ConfidenceinHIM, Quench Your Thirst, Series
Photo Credit: YouTube

Photo Credit: YouTube

Hey Ladies and Gents!

This is an introduction to my new faith-based series, Quench Your Thirst. I’ll give an in-depth diagnosis on the various life areas that are impacted by Faith. We are going raw on this one. Please note, if you are offended by anything that I state, my apologies in advance. I am not here to do that. I am simply here to share the truth, how my Faith impacts my life, and to encourage those on similar journeys. With this being said, let’s get started. 

This week I want to focus on-The Church.

Many of us grew up with the idea that the church was a physical building, which is true. However, the church is much more than an object. The church is us. That’s right, us. We (being God’s children-believers and non-alike) are the church. As I dive deeper into my word, I learn more about our purpose when it comes to His kingdom. We are here to draw more people towards him. Two things that God grants us is love and eternal life. Most of us know this, but are we living by this truth? Do we exhibit His teachings and His laws in our behavior? If we are to answer this question, many of us would say NO. If you say yes, then I’ll be curious as to how you do it. There is no way that we exhibit His love and his desire for us to have eternal life daily. We certainly do try. By no means does this makes us bad people. It makes us human. However, we don’t see ourselves this way.

When we become a part of the church, we develop this demeanor that we are better than others. We begin judging others based on how they dress or how they react to different situations. We begin to act as if we are God and it’s not right. We are not the Messiah. We are not the creator of this earth or the ruler of all things. We are individuals. Let me repeat this sentence-We are individuals meaning, we focus on one self (own demeanor, own actions, own appearance) while encouraging others to seek His kingdom.

 The verses that mostly resonates with me regarding the church is Romans 5:8 (NIV)

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

When I read this and received clarification about it-I thought about the Facebook conversation my family and I had on a picture (a woman wearing a tight dress that shows her butt and its imperfections).

There are some disagreements when it comes to attire (particularly with women). Yes, we are supposed to dress accordingly when we come to church. However if a woman continuously make the effort to come to church every Sunday and she only wears “club” clothes, who are we to judge her? She’s there get closer to God (like the rest of us). The main focus should be-to be closer to Him so we can experience eternal life. He loves her as much as He loves the rest of us.

How do we begin to be the church that God speaks of? How are we going to show His love and grace for each other? How are we going to encourage others to become a part of His freedom? How are you going to exhibit His truth?

One thing that we all can stop doing is gossiping about each other. We need to stop trying to ruin people’s reputations. We need to stop judging people based on where they live, where their children attend school, their attire, their views, and their overall demeanor (that’s not in agreement with ours).

We need to be uplifting. We need to be encouraging. We need to be authentic. We need to put the focus on bringing as many people to His truth. We need and should desire to have a positive impact on other people-espeically as the church.

Another truth-If we are to have the mindset like Christ when dealing with everyday circumstances, then we need to take the necessary steps to become the church (as He sees it).

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to exhibit His love towards others. I want to be that light that people notice because of Him. If we don’t do that, then who will?

Be blessed.

Much Love,

Christina

Move Forward (Being the Best YOU)

Health360, Me+Faith=ConfidenceinHIM, Mental Health Awareness
Photo Credit: theultralinx.com

Photo Credit: theultralinx.com

As I reflect back on the events of this past month, I can’t help to think about how much I have grown mentally and spiritually. (I have done some growing physically too-bad eating habits, not hitting the gym like I wanted to). I have finally found my peace with many things.

I realized that I can only do my very best. I am not going to have all the answers and solutions. I will fail. I will complain (not intentionally). I will cry. I will doubt myself at times. However, I can’t stay stuck on my problems. The majority of the time, I have no control over what happens. I’m learning to focus on the things that I can control. I’m learning to be patient with the process. I’m learning to let things and situations that are not for my betterment, GO!

I know many of us are figuring out our next moves. However, we are stuck on how to pursue the many things we desire. I’ve come up with some tips that I believe will help many of us to take September by storm.

I divided these tips based on different life areas of focus:

Career-If you are contemplating going for a promotion, changing companies  or getting into your desired career, the number one thing that you can do is to get connected with someone (like a mentor). Just talking to people on different occasions about my dreams (becoming an Early Childhood/Elementary teacher) has opened many doors. Also, take a different approach to “getting in the door”. It’s good to send ample resumes out. However, it is better when you take the time to hand-deliever your resumes to your potential employers. It shows them that you really want to work for them.

Physical Health-I have struggled with this one myself over the last couple of months. The main thing to do is to plan out your workouts. Mark down the time and class or regime you plan to do on a given day. Start off slow (you don’t want to be burnt-out by the second week). Get an accountability partner (either to come to the gym with you or to have on speed dial just in case you’re having one of those “days”). Most importantly, don’t be hard on yourself when you don’t hit that goal or don’t follow your exact plan. Also, make sure to get on a 80/20 type plan (eating clean 80% of the time, and indulging 20% of the time). It’s not easy (trust me) but it does help eating clean, unprocessed foods during the week. You’ll get the nutrients needed to deal with those long days at work or school.

Relationships-This area is kind of vague. A relationship can be interpreted in many ways. Simply, I’m speaking of making connections with people. If you are anti-social or struggle with anxiety (like me), make it a point to attend one event next month. A ton of churches have young adult groups. If you want to be extra bold, step out into your city, find something that interests you and go. (I might do this myself. Stay tuned for a potential post about it). Being connected with people is important to overall your well-being.

Self-Care-This doesn’t get talked about as much. The majority of the time we’re focused on making our goals at work or staying on top of our social calendar. All of these things are good. However, if you don’t take the time to relax (not doing a thing on a chosen day) or checking in with yourself mentally (affirmations, writing, etc.), you are going to struggle a bit. Also self-care entails of going to a designated group (for folks dealing with mental illness, working on their spiritual walk), having those annual, monthly, or bi-monthly check-ups at the doctor’s office, and spending much needed time for yourself (taking yourself to dinner, getting a massage, reading that book you put off all summer, many things that will become a post on its own if named). Don’t forgot to do the essentials-bathe, brush your teeth, have breakfast/lunch, etc. (Some folks who are in a depressed state do tend to not do these things which are a part of self-care).

Finally,

Spirituality-Many of us are followers of Christ. (I am not against anyone who follows another religion or not one at all). Whatever is the case, I hope that you are taking some time out of your day to connect to your “higher power”. If you are struggling in this area, the best advice I can give you is this: To join a bible study group, get into a devotional, or find a plan on the YouVersion app to get started. I do the Power Devotionals by Joyce Meyer and Her Binder Project, created by Morgan Harper Nichols (link here:http://thecentrecc.org). If you spend only five minutes a day, I am sure that you will feel better and will be successful throughout your day. I believe getting into your word or devotional is a great way to keep you grounded. So many things happen throughout the day (many we can not control). As long as you have to tools for handling situations, you will have somewhat stress-free days.

I hope that I am able to help (at least provide some advice) to someone today. Remember that everything is not going to happen overnight (I know cliche) but it’s true. Pray about it, talk about it (positively) with others and God, and keep reaching for what you want. If it is suppose to happen, it will happen.

Be blessed!

Much Love,

Christina

Far Away

Spiritual Realm
Photo Credit: jar-of-elixir.tumblr.com. I love this photo because it reminds of the amazing things God has planned for my life)

Photo Credit: jar-of-elixir.tumblr.com. I love this photo because it reminds me of the amazing things God has planned for my life)

Confession Time: I haven’t been writing posts for quite some time now. To be honest, I didn’t have anything to write about and I didn’t want to post for the sake to have something on here.


I finally figured out why I have some much trouble in my daily life. I can thank God for bringing this to light. I woke up early Thursday morning mostly because of my rude neighbors upstairs. (That’s another post on its’ own). I couldn’t fall back to sleep so I decided to get into my word. As soon I read the first part of the chosen scripture for my Her Binder Project devotional (great by the way), it hit me. The reason why I am unhappy with my current situation is because I am not content.

Content taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary: (Adj.) pleased and satisfied; not needing more 

I always want more. I always feel that I need more. I feel that I am not doing enough to move forward in my situation.

I worry about not being good enough. I worry about not having enough money or the latest trends. I worry about failing and not having the ability to get back up on my feet.

Worry taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary: (Verb) to think about problems or fears : to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen

Then, I began reading this very scripture and bingo, a light went off in my head:

Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) states: Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” 

The next morning (really a few hours later), I began my day with this new outlook of being happy and grateful about where and who I am at this very moment.

Although it seems as if everything is so far away, remember that God is working on something great. It’s all about remembering that God knows your heart, your desires and your progress. He is not going to look at you any differently.

This is a concept (contentment) that I’m patiently learning to apply in all areas of my life-fitness, faith, relationships, career, everything.

You are not going to be perfect. God does not expect you to be. You shouldn’t allow everyone else (especially when they don’t have their own stuff “together” to put that pressure of perfection on you). He says this in

2 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV): For be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in Him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you. 

Now, this is during the time the Apostle Paul was ministering to everyone in Ephesus about how Jesus Christ didn’t use his power to save his own life on the cross because he knew that God had a better plan for him.

This is the same for us. We can’t not worry and be content at the same time. It does not work like that and it is quite exhausting (I know this first hand).

The light is at the end of this long tunnel. It might not seem like it but I wholeheartedly believe so. God does not put us into situations that are overbearing. He wants you to depend on Him to help you through. He wants to help you get to the finish line. He wants nothing but the very best for you.

I know I rambled a lot today. I hope that this can help someone as it is helping me.

Remember to: Be jolly. Be grateful. Keep praying. Keep reading. Keep believing. Keep praising Him.

You are fearlessly and wonderfully made, therefore you can deal with all of the obstacles that are presented to you.

Be blessed.

Much Love,

Christina

Quarter of a Century

Feeling Blue, Spiritual Realm
(Photo Credit-Self; Having a ton of fun with my cocoa caramel frappe)

(Photo Credit-Self; Having a ton of fun with my cocoa caramel frappe)

Yesterday, I celebrated 25 years of life. I still can’t believe that I’m actually 25, but it feels pretty good to be a year wiser, LOL. The number “25” is important in our society. This number represents the age that we can rent a car without paying the $100 underage fee; it represents the fact that we have only one year left to be on our parents’ insurance (whether that’s car or health insurance); it also represents the age that we are suppose to have everything together like finances, having a career, being married or being engaged. This number “25” scares me to tell you the truth.

It’s safe to say that I fall into the category of being in a quarter-life crisis

Last weekend, I went home to Chicago. I enjoyed seeing family and friends and exploring the Magnificent Mile among other things. However, it was a bit overwhelming because of these following questions: “When are you going to get married?” “Are you currently in a relationship?” “When are you having children/Do you want children?”. I swear about 15 people asked me these exact questions and my response, “in a couple of years for all of this to happen”.  I know many of you get asked these questions as well.

Yes, I want to date. Yes, I want to be married. Yes, I want children of my own. I want all of these things. I also want to be financially stable, to be passionate in my work/career , to explore the world, and  to not live by societal values necessarily.

So, if I were to answer these questions today, these would be my responses:

  • When are you going to get married? (When I have been in a Christ-centered, intimate relationship with someone and we are both ready to commit to each other for the rest of our lives)
  • Are you currently in a relationship? (No, and I am not in a rush for one either. When I become interested in someone and they are interested in me, then it’ll happen)
  • When are you having children/ Do you want children? (I plan on having my own children in the near future-a few years or 10-dating, marriage, then a family; Right now, I have 20 girls that I adore and love teaching every Sunday. Also, my students are my kids—I am heavily invested in their education and overall well-being)

The truth is this: I don’t have a definite answer to what I want to do for the rest of my life. I made the choice to allow God to direct my path with what He believes is right for me. I know that it’s okay to not have everything in order. It’s okay to explore my options. It’s okay to just LIVE and not have any worries. 

Year 25 is about going with the flow, not taking a lot of things too seriously but being drawn closer to God and his purpose for my life, whatever that might be. If I’m suppose to date a certain someone, then hey, I won’t be opposed to the opportunity. If it’s going for my Masters, then I’ll do it. If it’s going on a Missions trip, then I’ll fundraise and get my passport ready.

Life proposes so many opportunities. Yes, obstacles will come but it’s how we respond to the so-called roadblocks.

Thanks to everyone who made my day very special and CHEERS to endless possibilities!

Be blessed!!

Much Love,

Christina