I know it has been a long while since I last posted (i.e. March). The pandemic was intensifying and toilet paper was flying off the shelf (weird? I believe so). I thought that things would eventually pass but boy was I wrong.
At the start of the quarantine lockdown, I thought I would be at my peak in creativity. I thought that I would be a creative machine. A pandemic was not going to stop my optimism.
Well I was wrong. I got weary, restless, bored, and lost interest in things. Looking back (while still in the pandemic), I felt drained. I dealt with a lot of setbacks and disappointments during the quarantine. I felt empty and depressed. The anxiety of the pandemic and the rise of racial tensions made me feel hopeless at times. The weight of seclusion and helplessness came heavily and I shut down hoping that I would have the energy and the will to write and be creative again.
Blissful Lesson: You can’t pour out what you don’t have.
I allowed myself time to come together. To rest. To recharge. To just feel better. So I stopped writing. I had to find joy and contentment again. I was not blissfully me so who was I to tell people to be positive. So, seven months later, I feel better. And I desired to write again to you.
I want my writing to be organic, not forced, from a place of authenticity and love for you all. So it was not intentional but something I needed to do.
I’m back. I have missed you. A lot has happened. The world is uncertain and going crazy right…am I right?
But in the mist of the chaos, I wanted to come back with the medicine of encouragement and Jesus Christ.
In recent weeks, the Coronavirus has been running its course causing social cancellations, social distancing, self quarantine, new cases each day, and uncertainty in the economy and life as we know it.
God has ways of getting our attention. We can see that clearly. He can strip all the excess and distractions until we are at the end of ourselves. Where we are at the end of our ourselves, God steps in.
God never lets anything happen without a purpose and reason. No season of life is without a lesson.
Trust. Yes, trust.
God is stripping away the physical securities for us to draw closer to Him. It’s like a back to basics. Trust God in every part of your life: your health, your family, your physical body, and your decisions. The things of this world is temporary. It is really clear.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.-Psalm 9:9-10
It is important to value and be a good steward of the blessings in front of us. Slow down. Take a look around. Value what God has given you. Maybe the lockdown and self-quarantine is the wakeup call. Stop looking at the temporary and look to the eternal: God.
The future is uncertain but God is a certain, constant force to keep living in this day in age. Trust in God. He provides all things and works in all situations. His provision is real and certain.
It’s ok to be scared. We are human. We have emotions but it is important not to stay there. Trust in the God who will comfort and provide in many ways.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.-Psalm 56:3
Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Trust in God’s unchanging power and provision. God’s got us and will see us through
Imagine a father and expectant mother traveling miles to the father’s homeland to be counted in the census. A child was to be born. It was not the unborn child’s choice to travel to this foreign land but was a part of God’s greater plan. It was God’s will for the child to born in his earthly father’s homeland.
The unborn child’s parents were not accepted with a warm welcome or reception to the finest room/hospital. It was a dark night in a city with no vacancy. But there was a stable and a feeding trough for the unborn baby to sleep in.
Then, the mother delivered the Greatest Gift to humanity.
To some, the long-awaited prophesy was fulfilled. To others, He was a threat and some “foreigner” who came to cause trouble.
But this immigrant child, laying in the manger, was the hope that drew smelly shepherds and kings from other lands. An outcast would save the souls of man.
I wanted to write part of the Christmas this way because Jesus loves the immigrants because He was one. He knows what it was like to have a poor reception and to be counted as nothing. The government didn’t like Him, a child who did nothing wrong but be born. God gave this foreigner, Jesus, an ordained purpose.
So don’t look down at other foreigners/immigrants/ children of immigrants because you don’t know what God can do through them. You never know where angels can be.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.-Philippians 4:11-13
Not every circumstance is perfect. There are good days and bad days but each day God gives you is a blessing.
I have been saying for a while, I am in the in-between season of life from law school to real world. Well now, I am in the season of adjustment and adapting. I am still working towards being a licensed attorney by taking the Bar in another jurisdiction. After failing the Bar for a second time, I really had to take a step back and reevaluate this plan I imagined. My plan was not working. But the problem was, it was not God’s plan up until this point.
The big question I struggled with was: Am I content where I am?The truth was: I wasn’t. I wanted my come-up and it was this elaborate plan to get my independence on and live it up! I thought it was better for me to live away from comfort permanently.
But I realized that God gave me the opportunity to be content and independent from my family when I was in law school. I learned a lot about myself in Florida being a young, independent law student in that season. I was content with my life there and God allowed that time for me.
Now, after April, I had to learn how to get that content spirit back because I just wanted that life again. But as I started to look around, I saw that I had provisions to be content about that I did not have in Florida.: First off, I had my support system with me instead of six hours away. Second off, I had my basic necessities: food, clothing, shelter for FREE (can I get an amen?). Third, I had my church home and pastor who is one of my mentors close by. Fourth, I still had the same talents and gifts I had before but I just needed to tap into it where I was.
Sometimes, you have to really look inside yourself and pray for God to reveal the joys you forgot you had. I wrestled with that this past summer but now I am in a better place looking to the future. I am still grinding and hustling but still growing in contentment. I have been more active in finding the joy in the present. I take each day at a time.
I learn contentment every day. Every second, every moment. Whether I am serving at my church, serving my family, or serving my community, I learn the peace of contentment that surpasses all understanding. It keeps me balanced and sane.
God is holding my moments: today, tomorrow, and forever. I just have to learn to be present and thankful in every season.
I encourage you to find true contentment in Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. You can never go wrong with His love and power. He has never steered me wrong though I steer myself wrong. His grace is sufficient in everything. His peace can be your peace.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
It is daily to exercise your contentment muscle but you can do it. Speak of your blessings (even as simple as waking up), talk to God (He is listening), and be thankful. It will not fail you and God will not fail. Therefore, I thank my God for every circumstance to be content.
I know what you are thinking why would I enjoy rejection. Well I am glad you asked, Bliss Fam.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.- 2 Corinthians 12:9
Don’t get me wrong. Rejections hurts. But that is what grace is for. Though I do not see grace physically, I do feel it through the Holy Spirit working from the inside out.
Whether it is people, opportunities, or other things, grace covers those weaknesses and shortcomings. And grace creates strength, protection, and resilience in the situation.
Perfect example, I had someone in my life lie and hide from me for months. In other words, I was ghosted. There was no explanation, just silence for several months. Then out of the blue, I get a text saying that he wants to talk. Well, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Of course, my sister was my emotional support when he called. He dropped major bombshells that shocked me but not to my core. (On the other hand, my sister was pissed and annoyed for me). When it was my turn to talk, I was candid and honest, handling the situation with grace and poise. I called him a coward and expressed how his lies hurt me but did not damage me. No really, I had moved on without him. Yes, I was rejected but it did not hurt because God’s grace covered the temporary rejection I experienced from someone I cared about.
Everyone has experienced that hurt of rejection in one way or another. But it is how you react that makes the difference with grace.
Now with that situation with Bianca ten years ago, it would have been different in the pitiful way. You see, it took me a long time to figure out how to handle rejection. I was quite the people pleaser who took criticism and rejection TO THE CORE. My head would spin and go crazy over someone’s else rejection of me because I wanted to be loved by everyone…like Oprah popularity love. God knew that desire but He really broke me and humbled me by revealing what and how the rejection would work out in my favor for His purpose.
Rejection hurts but it also humbles you. It humbles and grows you in ways you never knew. You may not see it right then and there but God will reveal it. There is a purpose for rejection.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.-Romans 8:18
Granted, I am still growing and learning grace in the mist of rejection. But it is manageable through Christ because His power covers it all.
Don’t worry, no pop test here. Trust and believe, I would not blog to give you readers an exam. But life surely gives us tests. Lots of tests. You have either survived a test, are about to enter a test, or will enter a test down the road. It is inevitable but manageable in God’s eyes.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.-James 1:1-8,12
In my favorite book of the Bible, James, he is writing a letter to the scattered tribes of believers. They are being persecuted for their faith and it seems helpless. The tests are actively crumbling and discouraging these early Christians. But, James chooses to encourage and strengthen them with how the testing is not for pain but for growth.
Trouble does not last forever but you cannot fight with your own strength. God’s strength and power covers the multitudes of trials, pains, hurts, and disappointments. Perseverance comes from daily wisdom and walking with the Lord.
I wish I could say you get instant answers and be fine but it’s not. It takes the faith where you cannot see but believe. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.-Hebrews 11:1. The reality is that faith is relying on something greater than the physical. In James, it says to believe and not doubt because you will be susceptible to the worldly chaos of life.
Jesus was tested but he followed God’s wisdom in His Word. It is about staying in Scripture and knowing the truth of your struggle is NOT in vain but for a great purpose.
I am in a season of the in-between. I have experienced two steps forward and ten steps back in repetition…constantly. Even in the setbacks, I always have to remind myself that the struggle is greater than feeling defeat and hopelessness. I do believe my miracle and blessings will come TENFOLD. God has not brought me this far to leave me.I have survived and endured through so much. And the Enemy has not taken me out. I am still the Daughter of A King. And in the great words of Jacob, I will not let go until you bless me. (Genesis 32:26) The Enemy is working hard because something greater is on the horizon. I have seen God use my tests for someone else down the line. I have been able to pour into others. I would not have had the ability had I not gone through what I went through.
Conquering the test of life is ALWAYS beyond the visible. God is in the inner-working. He knows the grand scheme of your struggle. It is to prune and to shape your character. I will say again, nothing is in vain.
Do not give up. Keep going. You will pass the test and conquer.
And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?-Romans 8:30-32
You conquer because God is on your side. All of us encounter opposition. It’s inevitable but you know what? You have something that prevails overtime against any foe: Jesus Christ. Jesus already conquered sin and death. He gave Himself for humanity. Which means whatever obstacle, in Jesus’s name, is handled.
Let that sink in for a moment…
You already have whatever God has in store for you. God knows the desires of your heart. He knows and supplies all of your needs.
You conquer because He conquered. Keep going. Keep fighting. Keep persevering. You will make it.
I’m not a vision board/manifestation board person but I do like to list my goals. There is something about putting it down on paper that solidifies the dream.
I recently made a God-centered Goals List with my concerns and the Scripture as evidence of what God says about that particular topic. Kinda like “God, you said this so I am asking for that in my life.” My law school background formed this idea.
The reason I made this list was in anticipation for a revival conference I would be attending with my family as part of our annual family vacation. My parents have watched this Haitian Pastor, Gregory Toussaint at the Tabernacle of Glory for years and have always wanted to attend this 40 day revival. This pastor has the power of God on Him and he is truly anointed.
During this 40 day revival, there would be time in the service for prayer. Did I say that it would be at least an hour? Cause it was. And you cannot be seated. You have to walk around and declare your prayer requests. You must come boldly.
So for this, I wanted to be prepared. I really thought hard about what my prayer requests. Not that I did not know what to ask for but not to treat God as a genie but as a child humbly asking for guidance in life.
As I have said, my season of life has rocked my world and it feels sometimes that I have no place to go. But I need to look up. So I wrote this 5-page list of prayers and Biblical evidence. I tell you, it was like preparing for battle. It was important not to write my goals but be ready to come BOLDLY with them to God.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.-Proverbs 16:8
One thing to keep in mind: God has the final say in your goals list. You can want a million dollars but only God can give it if that’s His Will for your life.
My advice for writing a God-centered Goals List:
Be vocal and conversational. God is a personal God. He is your friend and cares. Yes, He knows everything but He still wants to know from your mouth.
Be honest and real. When you write, think of it as telling the closest friend you have “I need help. I am struggling.” God wants to know how you feel.
Use Google or Bible Apps for scripture references. I don’t know every scripture in the Bible by heart but God made resources to pinpoint what you want to say.
Here’s an excerpt from my God-centered Goals List:
Attorney Dreams– Lord, I know you did not bring me this far for me to be nothing. Lord, allow me to the attorney you would have me to be. To administer justice for those who cannot speak for themselves. To assist where I can. To discern the law. To honor your law. I know you have the means and ways, the employment, and the doors you will open. Open this opportunity to serve your people.
“Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits.Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.-Exodus 23:6-7
Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—the Lord detests them both.-Proverbs 17:15
To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.-Proverbs 21:3
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.-Proverbs 31:8-9
Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.”-Deuteronomy 1:17
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.-Micah 6:8
In him we were also chosen,having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.-Ephesians 1:11-12
Remember, this is a personal, intimate conversation with Jesus. There is no perfect way to write this but God will see your heart when you surrender your needs to him. He says in His Word to “Ask and Receive.” Be open to writing it out and praying over them. God hears you.
With June being my birthday month, I wanted to share my favorite words of wisdom from the Bible. They have spoken more truth in my faith. Scriptures of wisdom, discernment, and empowerment. It does shut me up. Though I have read them many times, it brings new light in whatever circumstance I face.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.-Proverbs 3:5-6
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.-Ephesians 3:20-21
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand;the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.-Psalm 121
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.-Philippians 4:13
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?-Romans 8:28, 31-32
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.-Philippians 4:6-7
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -Galatians 2:20
I hope you are encouraged and challenged by my list. What scriptures have brought you this far?
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.-1 Peter 1:23-25
Not every plant is a perfect, beautiful bloom that lasts. Not all plants and flowers in your garden stays. In the order of life, things die and darken, the flower petals lose its color, and fade into dust.
BUT one thing remains: Christ.
Like grass, in the grand scheme of life, everything fades. Nothing lasts forever. People change. People die. In one moment, your ally is now your enemy. Finances change, jobs are lost, relationships turn for the worst, you hear the diagnosis, and every change you can think of.
Yeah I know…Bianca, you are a Debbie Downer…
Well I’m not always writing to paint a pretty picture; I am writing to be real with myself and you all.
Nothing in this life is permanent except for Christ. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. There is security and stability in the mist of uncertainty.