Just Forget About It!

This week I’ve had to face the fact that certain things in my life are the way they are because of decisions that I’ve made, both good and bad. So I’ve really been struggling with forgiving myself. Now I have a clear understanding that when I sincerely repent, God instantly forgives me, but forgiving India has proven to be a bit more difficult.

This morning I was laying in my bed and of course this was on my mind, so the Lord led me to a specific message in my book, “I’m T.O.U.G.H.” (Yes, I actually read my own book and yes it still ministers to me.) The message is called “Just Forget About It”, and I want to share it with you and I pray that it does for you what it has done for me! Apart of being T.O.U.G.H. is accepting your mistakes, taking full responsibility, and truly embracing the forgiving power of God. Just like I’m T.O.U.G.H. ENOUGH to make it through this, so are you!  So here it goes!!!

Just Forget About It

Micah 7:18-20 (NLT) Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of His special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago.

Have you ever wronged someone and then asked for forgiveness? And that person is compassionate and forgives you, but you have a hard time forgiving yourself. One of the hardest things to do is to forgive yourself when you’ve wronged someone. Occasionally I find this to be exceptionally true when it comes to my relationship with Christ. Because I reverence Him in the manner in which I do, it is hard to move forward after I have intentionally or unintentionally grieved Him. However, the scripture reminds us that when we repent, not only does He forgive us, but he throws our sins into the sea of forgetfulness. We can’t even make God remember. His love for us keeps no record of our wrongs. So why is it that God can forgive us, but we have such a hard time forgiving ourselves and moving on? It is the enemy’s desire to hold you hostage to your past mistakes, slip ups, and bad decisions. He desires nothing more than for you to get stuck in a place of regret and never move forward in Christ. This is why we are reminded in Romans 8:1, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” The scripture then says that because we belong to Him, His Spirit had freed us from the power of sin. This means that once we repent, sin has no choice but to loose its constraining grip over our lives. Now all we have to do is forgive ourselves. Today I encourage you to let go of past shortcomings. God has forgiven you and He doesn’t even think about it, so stop trying to make Him recall. Let our prayer be, “God thank You for Your forgiving power that You offer me. Now help me to let go of my past and forgive myself. I want to operate in the liberty wherein You have given me through Jesus Christ.”

By imtoughenough

What If God Treated Us Like We Treat Each Other

“What if I treated you like you treat others?” This is the question that God often presents to me. At first I use to attempt to plead my case to God (as if He doesn’t really know me) about all the “good” that I do. I told Him about how I’m a very pleasant person. I filled Him in on how I love to help people, and I couldn’t forget to tell Him how I’m always there with an encouraging word.

As the conversation went on, God reminded me that those were things I was suppose to do. He told me there was nothing special about any of that. There was no trophy or reward to be obtained for doing the basics.

Then God asked me, “Why are you having such a hard time forgiving such and such?” Why can’t you let it go?” And once again I started getting my “Johnny Cochran” on and I went to defend my actions. As if He needed it, I started reminding God of what such and such had done to me and how it made me feel. In the middle of my rant, God quietly whispered, “But what if I treated you like that?” Conviction instantly engulfed me!

He started to play back the film in my life. I saw the many times I’d hurt God. I was reminded of the times when I knew better and I chose not to do better. I began to hear conversations that I had with God where I made promise after promise but never fulfilled them. I got a whiff of all of the “Lord if you get me out this time, I promise I won’ts.”

And as I thought on all of those moments, I thought about how when I went to God and sincerely asked for His forgiveness, He freely offered it to me. Not only did He forgive me, but He forgot about it. He didn’t roll His eyes every time I came around. He didn’t sigh loudly every time I asked Him for something. He didn’t let negative thoughts toward and about me prance around in His head. He didn’t become standoffish. He didn’t start purposely avoiding me. His conversation with me didn’t become short and snappy. He didn’t stop talking to me altogether.

Instead, He opened His welcoming arms and loved me even more. So if God can do that for me, with all of my many flaws and mess ups, who am I not to offer the same love to His people? So take a moment and reflect on your own life. How would your life be if God treated you like you treat others?

By imtoughenough

God Did His Part, Now I Have To Do Mine

So the last time I blogged, I let you all in on how I had a setback but I was well on my way to major comeback. And yes, just to let you know, things are still looking up. This week I want to talk about not only getting delivered, but the work that it takes in STAYING DELIVERED. Is it me or does that seem to be the real challenge? When I was in the middle of my last messy situation, I found myself crying and pleading for God to deliver me. And guess what, He did just that! He delivered me. Now I just knew that since I was free I wouldn’t have the same thoughts and desires that I once had. I knew that the road ahead would not necessarily be easy, but I thought that I was through dealing with “that” situation. Clearly I was wrong.

Deliverance is defined as the action of being rescued or set free. Yes I’d been rescued. Yes I’d been set free. However, I didn’t consider that I would have to continuously walk out my deliverance. God did His part. He delivered me just like I’d asked Him to do, but now it is up to me to walk it out. Deliverance isn’t a one-time deal. I had/have to make a conscience decision that the muddle I was in no longer has power or authority to rule in my life.

Just because I’ve been delivered doesn’t mean that those ratchet thoughts don’t pop back up in my mind. Walking out my deliverance doesn’t mean that I don’t still have ungodly desires. Deliverance doesn’t mean that my flesh doesn’t attempt to rise up and act a pure donkey. What deliverance does mean is that I no longer give those things opportunity to fester when they pop up.

I have to continuously command my thoughts, words, and my actions to come under submission of the blood of Jesus. I have to continue to die daily, sometimes hourly, and occasionally minute by minute. Is this a difficult thing to do? At times it seems like I am fighting the battle of my life, but the more I spend time in God’s presence, the more I study and apply His word, the more I subdue and He arises in me, the less complicated staying delivered becomes.

I understand more and more each day that walking in deliverance has to be a lifestyle. It is not something that I can do in my own power. I can wish and want all day, but it is through allowing God’s Holy Spirit to have total control over every aspect of my life that I can stay delivered. Today in church my Pastor began to sing the old hymn “I Need Thee Every Hour.” Although I’ve heard and sang that song a million times before, it had new meaning this morning. It is because of Christ that I am delivered. It is through and in Christ that I will remain delivered.

I pray that something said in this blog entry has sparked or spoken something into your spirit that has caused you to desire Christ even the more. Have a great week!

By imtoughenough

My Success May Have Fooled Me, but My Setback Did Not Define Me

2014 has been a whirl wind year for me. In less than 365 days, I’ve experienced the highest mountain tops as well as the lowest valleys. On the first day of this year, I found myself lying in the middle of my friend’s bedroom floor weeping and wailing. I was in such a low place at that moment that I couldn’t even see my way up or out. Thank God for friends who know how to pray.

Less than a month later I was well on my way to writing and releasing my first published book. I shut myself out from the world, I prayed, I fasted, and I trusted God. And on May 10, 2014 I released “I’m T.O.U.G.H.!” Books were selling out. News broadcast and television shows were being recorded. Radio interviews were being conducted. Conference calls were being joined to hear my testimony. Speaking engagements and vending opportunities were being booked. And I was soaring on cloud 9,999! I thought to myself, “God you are really showing out!” This was more than I could have ever thought of or even imagined.
Now I’ve been taught right so as my life began to take off, I didn’t get the big head. I didn’t start to think it was all about me. I never stopped acknowledging that this was God’s doing and not that of my own. My team was strong. I had genuine, authentic people surrounding me that only wanted God’s absolute best for me. What could possibly go wrong?

During this time I made a crucial mistake. I let my spiritual guard down. Somewhere in all of the success, I didn’t guard myself spiritually (praying, fasting, spending quality time with God) like I know to do. One thing I’ve learned is that all the enemy needs is a crack or a crevice and he will swindle his way right on in. And that is exactly what he did. The moment that I stopped feeding my spirit like it was used to being fed, my flesh instantly began to gain power. I started entertaining things that I never would have entertained. I started allowing thoughts to linger in my mind that I know didn’t belong. I began lending my ear to conversations that I knew I had no place in. I started engaging people that I knew their presence in my life would not produce any good fruit.

So after all of that, less than 4 months after the release of the book, I found myself in one of the lowest and darkest places that I’d ever been in in my life. Here I was, a minister in training, an author, working diligently in and for my church, a teacher, and a role model, and I was ready to walk away from it all. I didn’t feel T.O.U.G.H.! I’d gotten myself into a super messy situation and I had no idea how in the world to get out. I felt like I was in quick sand and I was sinking and I almost had stopped even trying to escape. I didn’t really want to talk about the book. I stopped promoting it and I didn’t feel worthy to stand behind it. How could I tell others to be T.O.U.G.H. when my life was in shambles? I was scared of the path I was on. The people closest to me were concerned, but I just couldn’t seem to pull myself together.

I finally broke down and went to my Pastor, whom I’d been purposely avoiding. As I began to tell her what was really going on, like a mother, she began to correct me. As I sat there sobbing in her office, she told me to go home and read MY book, the one that I wrote. The next few days were extremely rough. I read messages in my book such as “When Moving Forward is Too Risky, but Going Back is Too Costly” and “The Blessedness in Brokenness.” And after a nice long, ugly crying session at the altar, I felt like getting back up and fighting. For the first time in months, I felt T.O.U.G.H.! As I continued to read “I’m T.O.U.G.H., I thought to myself, “Look at how God works. He provided the answer (the book) long before the problem was a problem.” That’s so typical of God, always preparing for what’s ahead.

All of this brings me to this place. I’m dead smack in the middle of a major comeback! My success fooled me in a sense that it had me thinking I was more spiritually mature than I really was. This setback has shown me areas in which I still have to grow up. It has revealed some things in me that I never knew were there, and now that I know what is really inside of me, I can allow God to really work it out of me. In essence, my setback has taught me more than it took from me. This setback did not define me. It was not my final destination. I’m back in the fight! There is too much that God has placed in me that His people and His Kingdom needs for me to lay down and die in this place. If the devil laughed at my setback, his skin is going to crawl at this comeback. I’m back in the fight and I’m feeling T.O.U.G.H.er than ever. I’m ever so grateful to God because He never changed His mind about me nor the work that He set aside for me to do.

So thank you all for taking this journey with me. This blog will not be “a “tell all”, but prayerfully, it will help me and you realize that we are T.O.U.G.H. ENOUGH to handle whatever life may throw at us. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship! Love you all!


By imtoughenough