Friday, December 14, 2018

Blood, Sweat and Tears

Dear readers, I’ve had quite the week my dears. I want to share this strong word with you. It blesses me each time I read it and I’ve read it a lot. I want to internalize this word. I want to be able to think of it whenever I need it most. I feel I need this reminder daily. Every day I need to know that I’m making a difference in this world. That who I am makes a difference in people’s lives, and in my own life as well.

My dear sweet elementary school friend Joy, came back into my life a couple years ago. I happened to see her at the place where she works. We talked for a bit and then I had to get going and she had to get back to work. I didn’t even think to get her phone number. It was raining that day. When I got to my car I prayed, “Lord please help me connect with Joy again and get her number.” I started driving away and who walks in front of my car but Joy in the rain, no umbrella, and a frown on her face. I rolled down my window and said, “Hey you want a ride.” She got in my car and we talked for a good hour and I got her phone number. So when I saw Joy this week, on my birthday what a treat, I gave her a great big hug goodbye. She said to me, “you know that day in the rain I felt like it was all falling down on me you brought him (Jesus) back into my life that day.” I almost cried when she said that to me. This is what I wrote in my journal after that. I remember that day, I hadn’t gotten Joy’s number and I prayed to God for me to connect with Joy again and she was walking right in front of my car. Answered prayer. Our hearts were open to him and each other that day.

It’s days like this that make the struggle worth it. It makes pushing through even more worthwhile. I won’t lie. It’s tough. But victories are hard things. They are hard because they are worth it. Some things can only be bought with blood, sweat and tears.

They are worth it.

I promise you.

Because once it is finished the result is priceless.

Genuinely Yours,

Amy Z.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Do you want to show up or be a no show?

Dear reader, I’m coming to you from a place of just being human. Some days I don’t think I can make it, but I make it because of Christ. Sometimes I’m anxious about going to work but I go anyway. Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed. I get out of bed anyway. There’s been something ingrained in me from a very young age to now. Even when I was bullied I showed up for school anyway. Even when I knew it was going to be hard I went anyway. I showed up for school. I showed up for job interviews. I showed up to drive on the freeway. Again and again I kept moving forward because I fully believe it is better to show up than be a no show. I show up for my life each day even when the days are hard. I would rather show up then be a no show. Jesus helps me show up for my life every day. I can’t make it on my own.

I so want to be free from all the worry that cycles through my mind every day. Some days it doesn’t stop. Some days I just want to give in to it but Jesus won’t let me. A knowledge of Christ won’t let me give up because I am an overcomer because Jesus lives in me and he’s an overcomer. I just want to say if you’ve been a no show in your life it’s never too late to start showing up. Don’t let the enemy win. Don’t let your discouragement win. Keep getting up. Keep moving forward. I promise you Jesus will not leave you. From experience I can say it was never as bad as I thought it was, once I started moving forward. I had created a mountain in my mind. A boulder of fear was an obstacle in my path. Once I started moving forward I saw the fear was merely a pebble in my shoe. Something I could step on and brush aside and move past. I promise you, you can move past what’s holding you back. It may look like it’s blocking your path but just keep on the paths of righteousness. That blockage has to leave in the name of Jesus.

I know that I am set free and one day I can just brush the worry aside. I have been able to do that it just creeps back up every now and then. It’s an old habit that I no longer want to give ear to. I no longer want to give the worry a foothold in my soul. God’s promises are so true. They are true for me and they are true for you. He promises never to leave us or forsake us. If God never leaves us, then why do we worry about what’s to come. He is right there beside us every single day. I just don’t know why I can’t keep that fact in my mind when the worry comes. Regardless I’m going so show up anyway.

What do you need to show up for this week?

What boulder is blocking your path?

Will you choose to let the fear win or will you keep going anyway?

What’s your personal mantra?

Genuinely Yours,

Amy Z

Friday, November 16, 2018

No Action No Change

Dear reader, I’ve come to the realization that I want change without action. For example, I wrote a book called Set Free Through Christ Who Strengthens Me, I want a literary agent to pitch my book to a publisher. I have to write a query letter to send to an agent. I’m fully capable of writing the letter, but I haven’t yet. I have excuses like, I work full-time and don’t have the time. It’s not that I don’t have the time, it’s that I don’t make the time.

I can’t expect change without action.

I want change to come so I need to start taking action

How about you, dear reader?

What do you need to take action on today for change to come?

Genuinely Yours,

Amy Z

Friday, November 9, 2018

What's Your Stone?

Dear Readers,

                How many of you have faced giants this week in your lives? Did these giants fall? I so want to come to you from a place of victory. I thought that going to the church encounter would cause my giants to fall. They haven’t fallen yet. But I believe I am one step closer to living a set free life. As each layer is pulled back, as I become more aware of what is weighing me down, I can shed the weight and leave the burden at the cross. I heard my pastor say once, what’s revealed is healed. So the encounter and the days leading up to it showed me the burdens that I bear. I’m not sure how to leave the burdens at the foot of the cross. It seems so easy. Just set it down, Amy. That’s what I keep telling myself but it’s like getting rid of an old heirloom. Something that you’ve been holding onto for years. I have a vice-like grip on anxiety even though it doesn’t do me any good. How do I leave it at the foot of the cross? How do you leave your vices at the foot of the cross?

                First of all, you need a resolve that says, giant I will no longer cower at the sound of your voice. Giant, I will no longer allow you to stand before me day after day telling me that my God doesn’t love me and won’t stick up for me. Secondly, recognize your giant. What do you dread each week? What is it that keeps you up at night? Thirdly, face your giant. You must stand before the giant and declare his defeat. For me, it would be saying this, anxiety you no longer have a place in my life, you have to flee in the name of Jesus. Lastly, pick up your stone. Your stone is what will make the giant fall. I don’t know what your stone is, but mine is the word of God. All week long when the anxiety comes I’ve been battling it with the word of God. My verse that really stuck with me and that I kept in my pocket all week was,

                The Lord will be your confidence and keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:26 ESV

                I also pray a lot. When the anxiety comes I pray for the Lord to help me keep my focus on him. I do positive self-talk. I remind myself that the Lord calls me precious. I’ll tell myself no one is trying to hurt you, you are ok. I also try deep breathing sometimes. There’s many different things you can do to face the giants and make them fall. My giant is anxiety but I know that God is bigger than my anxiety. I just need daily reminders and to stay in God’s word to live a victorious life.

What’s your giant?

What’s your stone?

What is bigger than your God?

Who can defeat our God?

If God be for us who can be against us? Romans 8:31b

Genuinely Yours,

Amy Z

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Confidence in God

Hello dear readers! I went to an encounter at my church this week. There was a session called baptism in the Holy Spirit. Pastor Paul prayed for us to be baptized by the Holy Spirit. He told us to hold up our hands if we felt the Holy Spirit. I didn’t feel anything so I didn’t hold up my hands. I had felt an emotional block to some of the sessions that we had. Several people came over and prayed for me. I just had my eyes closed and just waited to feel something. I finally felt some emotions stirring when one of the ladies praying for me said to let it go. I’ve got to tell you dear readers, I was holding onto a lot that I didn’t know I was holding on to. Finally after several minutes of prayer I started crying. I wept from deep in my soul. I let go of all the emotions that I had held back. I let go of the anxiety, the worry, the fear. I fell out in the Spirit and just laid on the floor and just cried. Two of my dear sisters sat on each side of me holding my hand telling me to let it go and that it was ok and praying God’s peace over me.

So I thought that after all that I would feel peaceful, thankful, full of joy. I just feel normal. Feeling normal is great for me though. I don’t feel anxious which is awesome. I was writing in my journal about this and I told myself I’ll know if this is real and true on Monday morning when I wake up for work. If I have anxiety or if I feel normal. There was a scripture on the page I was writing on.

The Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:26 ESV

This verse really speaks to me. God is with me. I can be confident in Him. I don’t have to consider what Monday will bring. I just have to put my faith in the Lord, that he will keep my foot from being caught in the snare of anxiety. I have truly let go of my past and all my hurts. The encounter cleansed me from unforgiveness, sin, anxiety and other things that I was holding onto that were not good for me.

So I feel like David. When he went to slay Goliath he had confidence in the Lord that He would be with him and deliver Goliath into his hands. David only needed a stone to defeat Goliath because God was with him. Therefore, I need only a stone to defeat those things that I let go from me picking them back up. My stone is the word of God. I will hold onto the scripture I mentioned because the Lord is my confidence.

What’s your stone?

What’s your giant?

Genuinely Yours,

Amy Z

Friday, October 26, 2018

There's Freedom in Dreams

I have a dream. My dream is that one day I will be completely free from my past. I dream that one day I will be completely free of fear, anxiety, doubt and worry. I believe there is freedom in dreams. I believe that when we think of our dreams it stirs hope in our hearts. I’m so thankful that with Christ our dreams can become a reality. It is only with Christ that we can live a fulfilled life. I’m so grateful that I gave my heart to Christ. I didn’t give my heart to Christ because I wanted something from him. I gave my heart to Christ because I finally understood that I was a sinner. I finally knew that I needed a savior. When I gave my heart to Christ I just fully understood how much I needed him. My walk with Christ has been such a blessing. Layer by layer my past has come off my hardened heart. Christ is still working on this heart of mine. I know that he always will but I believe eventually he will no longer need to pull back the layers of my past. I believe that together we can live in the present.

I dream of the present. I can almost feel a cold breeze touching my skin helping me to live in the moment. I believe there is freedom in living in the moment. Right now I feel free because I’m in the moment with you dear reader. I’m pouring my heart out to you hoping that something that you read here will touch your heart, and help you change for the better if you need to. I’m free when I write because I’m living in the moment. I love living in the moment, but I’m still working on how to do that. I can’t spend every day and every second writing.

So I need to know, how do you live in the moment?

What’s your dream?

What gives you hope?

Let’s try our best today, right now, to live in this moment, together.

Genuinely Yours,

Amy Z

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Living Word is a Matter of the Heart

           Why is the living word a matter of the heart and not just a matter of words on paper in a book called the Bible? Because the word is alive and well. Jesus is the word and he breathes life on dry bones. How many of you feel thirsty in a dry land? How many of you know there’s something more out there even though you feel like you’re just missing it? Jesus is just a breath away dear reader. Call on him and he will be there in whatever circumstance you face. When I faced suicidal thoughts and despair Jesus plucked me out of the situation and helped me every step of the way. I went from my mind and heart being broken to being free from all that despair. I am now thriving at life. I spent a lot of my life just surviving day by day. Now I’m thriving in a career that I love that has benefits and retirement. I plan to retire from my career one day. I didn’t think I could thrive and it didn’t happen overnight. It happened one step at a time and one choice at a time. I chose life again and again. Sometimes I stumbled but Jesus was always right there to help me get to the next step. It’s like I was on shaky ground before, especially in my mind, but Jesus didn’t leave me the way he found me.

So too is he there for you, dear reader. He is looking to you to call out to him. He will reach down his hand and pull you out of your despair little by little until you look back at how far you’ve come and there will be a great chasm between you and who you used to be.

I feel like a whole new person. I love what my friend said. She said she compares me to who I used to be a year ago and that Amy is nowhere to be found. She doesn’t compare me to others, she compares me to who I used to be. It is a marvel to behold who I used to be compared with who I am now. I’m far better off now than I was a year ago. I’m getting stronger day by day and getting closer to the woman God called me to be.

If someone tried to convince me that Jesus wasn’t real I wouldn’t believe them. It’s not a matter of just the Bible. It’s a matter of the heart. I’ve seen Jesus at work in my heart and my life. I have changed from who I was. I still have challenges that I have to face. I am human after all. I struggle with anxiety, but God is helping me day by day to get through it. I have less anxiety now than I did before. I just believe that if I keep putting one foot in front of the other something good will be on the other side. It has to be. There has to be a brighter day, a better tomorrow. I believe a change of heart is coming my way because of my love for Jesus. The struggles that I face are real but I am never to face those struggles alone. Jesus is always with me. I love him so much and I’m so grateful that he’s been by my side in so many ways.

What about you, dear reader? Are you struggling to find meaning in what you’re going through? Jesus may not provide all the answers but he does embrace you with love, grace, and mercy. The living word is not a matter of the mind it’s a matter of the heart. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers, you can turn to the one who does. Are you struggling to believe that Jesus is real? Do you struggle with believing Jesus is there for you just like he’s there for me? What challenges are you facing today? You don’t have to say a big long drawn out prayer. You can just say Jesus, help me and he will. What is the condition of your heart in this moment? Are you feeling worn out or in despair? Just say help me, Jesus. He’s there truly. I’ve seen him at work in my life and I’ve seen him at work in the lives of others too.

What’s your matter of the heart?

Who are you longing to be?

Where do you long to be?

Are you in a situation that feels hopeless?

It’s not.

Hope is hand in hand with Jesus waiting for you to reach out and call on him.

Genuinely Yours,

Amy Z