“You can’t be holding on to the past and at the same time have open hands to receive what God is trying to give you in the now.” – Devon Franklin
For a long time I lived for the validation of others. Subconsciously and unintentionally, but that fact still remains. But God, over the past three years, has shifted my mindset and grown me in ways I was not expecting. This growth has been painful, stressful, and at times, more than I thought I could handle. Yet, I am still here. Still changing, still growing.
Change is here.
I’ve spent a lot of time in second place. I’ve let other people place me there, or I’ve unintentionally placed myself there trying to be the best for others. Trying to be everything for everyone but myself. No more.
I’m 9 days away from 30. Honestly, I was feeling bad about it. There are certain goals and accomplishments I haven’t reached that I thought I would have by now. So, I’ve been throwing myself a pity party over the course of the past few weeks.
However, as I was packing up my apartment today, preparing for my move, I realized that this is an opportunity for a fresh start. It’s a time to leave the hurt, the anxiety, the fears, and the bad memories in the past. I’m moving on. As I packed, I began to throw away things that were cluttering my life. Things that I’d been holding on to that I should have been let go of. As I packed and tossed, I felt better. I felt confident in my decision to move forward and let go of the past and some poor decisions I’ve repeatedly made, especially involving others.
In this season, I’m choosing to be selfish. I’m choosing to do things my way, in my time. I can no longer be in second place. That is not my ministry. So, if you see this bold new Justin, you better act according or get out of my way. It’s my time.
One of the most valued lessons I’ve ever learned has come over these past few weeks. That lesson was strengthened by a conversation I had with a friend today.
These past couple of weeks, God has been gathering me. Every time I turn around, He’s teaching me a new lesson, convicting me in areas that I’ve clearly missed the mark in.
Over the weekend, I traveled to Austin, TX to participate in the African American Book Festival. It was definitely a major milestone to be able to speak to a room full of book lovers and fellow writers, and to present my latest book “A Vision of Victory.”
Hey guys! It’s been months!!!! (We will talk about that later!)
So, I ran across this message on Jonathan McReynold’s instagram. Watch all five parts. My reaction is below.
What didn’t strike me? Wow. For one, replacing bad habits with good habits. I’ve never heard that scripture packaged in such layman terms. I’ve always read it and even had it preached to me at the surface level. But for him to take it and make it practical is what helped me. Everything isn’t angels and demons. Our demons are camouflaged in our behaviors, our patterns, our habits, our choices of friends, our thoughts, and even how we treat people.
When we seek to replace all the bad in our lives (whatever that bad may be). We, only then, have more room for God.
I’m convicted. Literally, every morning I ask God to fill me up with his spirit. But how can he while I’m limited His space? Wow. Smh.
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head…. As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.”
For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
I woke up this morning troubled. After taking a self-assessment of my emotions, I came to realize something I’ve known for quite some time but have been reluctant to address for whatever my reasons were.
My reality is that I am not living the life I want to live. I’ve spent the last eight years moving from Houston to Los Angeles to Atlanta and, now, back I’m Houston. When I woke up this morning, I felt incomplete, as I have for a while. As always, I thought about moving.
Pause! I told myself. What are you running from? I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not that I am running from anything, I am trying to run into my destiny.
The are dreams God has placed in my heart that I am not fulfilling. In the midst of me trying to sustain a comfortable lifestyle, I’ve sacrificed those dreams at the expense of my own fulfillment.
As I was texting my thoughts and feelings with my partner, I had somewhat of an epiphany. I will never be fulfilled living as I am – going to work everyday, attending church, hanging with friends. Those things are good and I have accomplished a lot in my life up to this point, but I am not in the position God wants me to be in.
Until I make changes to my life and start turning my dreams into a reality, I will always feel a void, like I am not where I am supposed to be.
I was reading through my notes and came across something I wrote back in November and it spoke to me on a new level. Figuratively speaking, I’ve been pregnant with ideas for long periods of time – God ideas. This pregnancy is overdue, but it’s birthing season.
There is a shift that is about to occur in my life. It’s scary because I do not have all of the answers. I do not have everything planned out. However, I do know God is the author and finisher of my destiny. That means, even though I do not have all the answers, I know the Man who does. His plans are to prosper me, to give me hope and a future.
As I have been transparent and honest in my truth, ask yourselves, friends, what dreams have God placed in your heart? What ideas are your pregnant with? Take a self-assessment and ask yourself are you doing everything it takes to accomplish those goals.
Here is where you start.
1. Meditate and pray that God reveals His vision for your life.
2. Create a vision board, or write down how you will accomplish those goals (pray for insight and clarity).
3. Work toward accomplish your goals and manifesting your dreams daily.
4. Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable for accomplishing your dreams.
If you will do these things, I believe and declare that you will live a bountiful and blessed life.
Do you receive that, today? I know you do!
Until next time.
xoxo Justin Jamaul 🙏🏽❤️