Category Archives: Personal Growth

The Importance of the Secret Place

My journey with Jesus started at the age of fourteen when I made my profession of faith. Although I felt His presence way before I knew what I was sensing, it wasn’t until I met Him in the secret place that everything became crystal clear.

Up until that point, I did everything a good Christian does. I went to church weekly, attended bible studies regularly, prayed when I thought it was necessary to pray, gave back to His kingdom, donated my time to help others, etc, yet something was missing. I didn’t feel connected like one does to their spouse, children and other loved ones. I wanted more. I needed more. I longed for more. So I asked God to show me what was missing.

I walked into a new church and I could feel something I had never felt before. At first I couldn’t put my finger on what was different but whatever it was, it was stirring something deep in my soul. Week after week, God started drawing me deeper through worship. He started to tell me things I had heard in faint whispers before but now those whispers quickly turned to a crying out, creating a flood of emotions in my heart. It was then that I realized God was using music to draw me closer to Him. Even as a sit here writing this the chorus of Closer is playing in my mind.

Pull me a little closer. Take me a little deeper. I want to know your heart. I want to know your heart. ‘Cause Your love is so much sweeter than anything I’ve tasted. I want to know your heart. I want to know your heart.

I began to set aside time every day to simply bask in His glory through worship. During those moments with my Heavenly Father, He has held me. He has comforted me. He has taught me the importance of spending time in the secret place with Him. Because there I meet Him face to face. There relationship is cultivated and watered and nourished, allowing a deep bond to form. There He shares His heart as I pour out mine through the lyrics of whatever song He was drawn me to in that moment.

I don’t know what it is about music but it has a way of helping me release what my heart is dying to say. Often it also happens to be the very thing God is trying to teach me in that season. I honestly could spend every minute of every day worshiping Him because He always shows up, giving life to areas of my soul that have been silenced by the world.

Your secret place may look very different from mine but no matter how it looks or where it takes place, find it and make time to visit there every single day. The greatest daddy in the world is waiting with His arms open wide to pull you in and build a relationship with you that is unlike anything you have ever or will ever experience on this side of Heaven.



Healed from the Spirit of Intimidation

This morning I was awakened at 4:24am with the words, “spirit of fear and intimidation” in my head. As I lay there thinking about what that meant and why God would wake me up at this hour to share it with me, it dawned on me. I shared a piece of my story yesterday where I told what happens when I face abuse after getting healed from that part of my past. I explained the disconnect between my thoughts and how my emotions manifest outwardly. God woke me up to reveal what is really happening in those moments and why I could never find complete healing and freedom.

He showed me through the teaching I shared below that the spirit of intimidation leaves us confused, depressed, hopeless, and causes us to lose our vision. But in Christ we are given a spirit of power, love, and sound mind, creating a boldness to speak truth and demand that spirit to flee in the name of Jesus.

I encourage anyone that has suffered from emotional abuse to watch this sermon. God used it today to break the spirit of intimidation off of my life once and for all and He will do it for you too!

Wonder Woman Come Forth

I want to take a minute to be candid about something I struggle with. I am a victor that was once a victim of abuse. The abuse was mental, emotional and spiritual and it occurred for such a long period of time that it literally changed who I was becoming. I went from being an outgoing, free spirit that loved being around people to an introverted, broken hearted soul that stopped believing that others cared about anyone other than themselves.

A few years ago I was able to get healing and have been slowly returning to the woman that was buried under tons of pain and suffering. But I have learned that although I have healed mentally, when someone attempts to control or manipulate me, I physically still respond as though I am reliving the abuse from the past all over again. In my head I know I am stronger and I don’t have to engage in dialog with the abuser but for a moment I revert back to that broken, beaten down woman I once was.

This occurred today but instead of entertaining the negativity that was spoken over me, I spoke with confidence and strength, denouncing the lies of the enemy that were attempting to destroy me.

I then heard God whisper that there is a Wonder Woman trapped deep inside that is ready to come out and show the world what she is made of. A woman He has been training and strengthening to fight a war worth fighting. A warrior that goes out and heals the broken by sharing her brokenness with others and revealing how He healed those areas. I even turned on the movie and it started at the very scene where she sees the aftermath of what evil has done. The death and destruction were almost too much to bear, but it fuels the fire within, reminding her of her purpose.

I don’t know what road you have walked or where God is leading you, but I do know He is using each and every battle we face to strengthen us for His purpose. We are becoming like Him so we can share Him with the world. So next time someone or something attempts to tear you down or take you out, remember who’s you are, stand tall, put on His armor and tell Satan to get behind you because you have a destiny to fulfill!



By definition, a scar is a mark left on the skin after a surface injury or wound has healed; a lingering sign of damage or injury resulting from suffering or trauma.

We all have them, some more visible than others. A reminder of something we would rather forget, but have you ever wondered why after the healing has taken place those scars remain? Are they intended to be a reminder to us or to those who come in contact with us, or both? These are questions I have asked myself for years, long after the events have passed and my scars take me back to the pain all over again when something triggers it.

Each traumatic life altering event I survived God left me with a permanent mark on my skin. I have three. They appear on my face and look like moles but flesh colored instead of being darker and more visible. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that it actually occurred to me that each mark coincided with very traumatic events from my past. I personally think God gave them to me as a reminder that what someone else intended for harm, He is still using for good to grow his kingdom.

But the scars that left the most damage can’t been seen. These are the scars on my soul that steal my joy, threaten my peace, and attempt to destroy everything God has worked so hard to heal in me. Even as a sit here trying to describe the damage that was done, I can’t even put it into words. The pain goes too deep. It is as if saying it out loud will somehow give satan power to use it to hurt me all over again.

If you have been abused physically, emotionally, or spiritually, you can grasp the depth of such pain. You know all too well what it feels like to be living life long after that chapter has been closed, thinking you are healed and to be completely caught off guard by something that takes you right back to the trauma. In that moment all of those fears and insecurities rush over you like a tidal wave, knocking the breath out of you, leaving you thinking there is no hope; thinking this is my reality and I will never be able to conquer these fears.

Romans 8:36-37 states, “Just as it is written and forever remains written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE ARE REGARDED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us.]

Conquerors through Christ!
Romans 5:3-4 states, “And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardships (distress, pressure, trouble) produce patient endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation].”

I recently watched a sermon on suffering that changed everything. What if our suffering is the very thing necessary to advance us to the next level of trust in God? What if that very suffering propels us into the very calling God created us for? And what if by sharing the story of our suffering, someone else finds hope in the midst of their pain?

Christ lives in you and me, calling us to be Jesus with skin on to those around us until His return. So my suffering, your suffering, every ounce of pain leads us all right back to where it all started: POINTING BACK TO HIM!

Gods at War: The God of Love


We live in a culture fascinated my love and romance. We see it everywhere around us: movies, tabloids, television shows, fairy tales. Everyone has a deep desire to experience the kind of love portrayed in made-up stories. There is no accident that we are drawn to such love. God created us with a desire to have an amazing love affair, but it was meant to be with Him first. When we seek to find love from an outside source instead of falling in love with Him, love can quickly become an idol in our lives.

One example that stands out to me is when I hear someone talking about searching for “Prince Charming” or their “knight in shining armor”. God is the only perfect love and we disappoint ourselves by looking for the perfect man among sinners. It is only when God is our first love that we can experience the type of love He desires for us. Anything less leads to unmet expectations, broken hearts, and broken relationships. No human was meant to meet all of our needs, but the lover of our souls can. Only He can fill the void.

Kyle Idleman says it this way:

Jesus My Identity

The God of romance came in and swept us off our feet. We fell head over heels for such a god. The music was playing. Our hearts were pounding. Our palms were sweating. Life was like a really corny, really wonderful movie that comes on TBS late at night.

We were in love with love, with the idea of a “soul mate,” someone custom-made for us. The two of us would create our own world and lock everyone else out. We would complete each other’s sentences, laugh at each other’s jokes, and stare into one another’s eyes.

But something went wrong. Once the giddiness wore off, we discovered that human beings are no more nor less than human beings. And ultimately human beings fall miserably short of being God.

No human being, we discovered, can meet all our needs. No human being deserves that much pressure. But Jesus can do it — Jesus our identity. It was wonderfully liberating to break free of the shackles of finding who we were in one person who could define for us what it meant to be alive. Jesus once said that no one has greater love than the one who will lay down his life for a friend. And then he proved it.



Gods at War: The God of Money


In Matthew 19, Jesus shares a story about a rich young ruler. The young man is asking what he must do to receive eternal life. Jesus simply tells him to keep the commandments, but the man states that he has done so and questions what he is lacking. In verse 21, Jesus responds. “If you wish to be perfect [that is, have the spiritual maturity that accompanies godly character with no moral or ethical deficiencies], go and sell what you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].” For those of you that know the rest of the story, the rich man left grieving because he wasn’t willing to give in all up for God. He treasured his possessions more that his relationship with Christ. Jesus then says this to his disciples in verse 23, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, it is difficult for a rich man [who clings to possessions and status as security] to enter the kingdom of God.” 

From “Gods at War” by Kyle Idleman:

Jesus My Provider

The god of money was almost irresistible. He spun tales of sports cars, luxury homes, and all the good things he was going to buy for us. Yes, we had heard the old refrain that money can’t buy happiness. We knew that. We had seen what it had done to people over and over.

But we were going to be different. We would know how to use the money without letting it use us. We didn’t want to buy happiness; we just wanted to rent a little pleasure. But somewhere it all went wrong. Somehow the god of money became a slave driver. 

He kept us running, following him, trying to keep him from getting away. We followed the green brick road until we longed to rest. We put our hope in what we might find at the end of the rainbow. We thought money would provide us with security, significance, and some measure of satisfaction. But strangely even when we had money we still felt broke. 

Then we chose Jesus and discovered that he is our provider. He provides everything we need. He provides us with security because he never leaves us or forsakes us. He provides us with significance because our identity and value are found in his love. He provides us with satisfaction because our souls were made for him. We discovered that God would meet all our needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 

I have personally lived in plenty and lived in need and I have to say that when I am in that place of need, I rely on God to keep his promises and meet those needs. He is my source. He is my focus. He is my everything.

Proverbs 30:8-9 says, “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, “Who is the Lord?”


Gods at War: The God of Success


How do you define success? Money? Fancy cars? A big house? Your position at work? The amount of stuff you have acquired? It is good to be driven, but are we driven for the right purpose? Who are we trying to make a success? Ourselves or God?

The author puts it this way: “success is when we achieve; blessed is when we receive. If we say “I’m successful,” we are giving the glory to ourselves. When we say “I’m blessed,” we are giving the glory to God.”

I want to give the credit to the one who makes it all possible. The one through which all blessing flow: GOD!

Jesus My Purpose

The god of success whispered to us, “Don’t you want to be king of the hill?’

“Which hill?” we asked.

“Any of them. All of them.” He smiled.

And we pursued a life of climbing, always climbing. Up hills. Up corporate ladders. Up lists. Up food chains. Up social registers. This god never had to make his case for what he was offering.

But along the way, climbing, working, earning, and achieving became ends in themselves. It was no longer about what we could do, but about whom we could out-do. 

If we were honest we would have to say that it wasn’t for the Lord or even for others that we worked but for ourselves.

And we had several unhappy surprises. One was that we hurt people as we climbed over them or elbowed them down the hill. Another was that we were always weary from the effort. Not to mention always wary of challengers to the throne. And the greatest surprise was that the top of the hill wasn’t nearly as great as we thought it would be. The top of the hill ended up being a pretty lonely and disappointing place. We wondered if maybe we had the wrong hill.

And then we discovered on last hill. But this hill already had a King, along with three crosses standing on it. And he extends us a simple invitation: “Come and follow.” And as we follow him he turns success on its head. The first will be last and the last will be first. The greatest among you will be the servant of all. Consider others better than yourself. To find your life you must lose it. 

And so now, we still care about success, but we define it differently. He has become our purpose. We live for serving him, knowing him, for pleasing him. That’s how we define success.