Tiffany Wilson, M.Div is an Author, Coach, Speaker, and also the Founder and CEO ofTiffyTalks LLC. For 15 years, Tiffany previously worked in Sales, where ten of those years were spent with an industry leading Consumer Packaged Goods company.
Have you ever wondered why am I settling for this?
Maybe you’re familiar with settling for a position that’s not paying you well or settling into a relationship that’s draining you and not developing you? How about settling for a life that doesn’t fit you?
Either way, settling doesn’t feel good.
The other day, after coaching the Inner Circle ladies, one of the women hit me with a question that reminded me of when “settling” became a real thing that I had to face in my life.
This was the question…
What was the turning point in your life that caused you to realize that you needed to #GetEngaged with yourself? -Adrianne, Inner Circle
The first answer or thought that popped into my mind was “when I realized I was settling for a life I could no longer live.” But, my answer to that question is a little more involved than this.
What if this life that I was so determined and driven to create doesn’t work out?
Well, the life I was trying to create for me (and my family) didn’t work, but it took years of forcing and pushing to realize things were seriously off. Do you know what it’s like to be so desperate or determined that you can’t see anything else but your goals?
In an article titled,5 Signs You’re Settling For Less Than You Deserve, Iyanla Vanzant writes about how people “do things they’ve grown accustomed to doing.” Like robots, some of us repeat what’s been programed in us from our environment and upbringing.
In order for me to stop settling, to stop forcing myself to live a life that I wasn’t meant to live, I had to admit a few things before I could get to a place of understanding that I had to #GetEngaged with myself and with God.
Here are a few things that I had to admit, which helped me move away from settling and shift towards engaging myself and God more, so I could discover and live a life best suited for me. I’ve also included 3 questions (really 6) for you to engage that will help you avoid settling in your own life.
1. I had to admit that I wasn’t okay (or happy).
My plans, my best shot at creating a good life for me didn’t give me the results I thought. I worked hard to have my daughter in the best school possible, to have the dream house and I was doing my best to make my romantic relationship work, but in all of my DOING true happiness was evading me.
Hindsight being 20/20, I really worked hard to have a picture of what I thought the perfect life for me would be. I set my mind, intentions and willpower on achieving what I wanted. It all happened for me too, actually faster than I dreamed it would. I had to have those successes, so I could see…
All was not well in Kansas.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” -Mark 8:36 KJV
Nothing against having the dream house, career and child enrolled in private school. I most certainly learned valuable lessons, but in all my gaining I was losing what mattered most to me: connectedness, love and having a solid, healthy relationship with my daughter. And, that I didn’t have.
Question #1: What do you want? What’s the motivation for wanting what you want?
2. I had to admit that I was lost.
I know you know this, but settling isn’t just attached to relationships. You can settle to live a life off the mark for your life, which will impact your entire life, including your love life.
As mentioned, I reached a pinnacle in my life, yet I sat up on that mountaintop experience dumbfounded. Where was the euphoria and satisfaction? Why was I so sad? What step did I need to take next to course correct my life?
I couldn’t hide how unfulfilled I was in my nice career and house. I needed help and reliable direction.
At that time, I had been visiting a church in Philadelphia. Deep down, I doubted God’s ability to hear me and help me. It was my first “church” experience, I wasn’t even sure about God. I also didn’t fully know what I was looking for. However, I did know I couldn’t settle for where I was at.
I took a risk. I cried out to God in desperation to save me from the void I was feeling.
Question #2: What are you NOT willing to settle for? What risk will you take to get one step closer to love, freedom, peace, healing or whatever that thing is?
3. I had to admit that I didn’t (and don’t) know ALL that’s best for me.
Back then, when I was pushing 30 years old, you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t winning.
I thought I was so engaged with my life, but I was more so engaged with the steps I needed to take to get me to that “picture perfect” life I created in my mind. I didn’t know I was settling for less until my plans produced a harvest of emptiness and confusion.
This Jim Carrey quote reminds me of how I felt back then…
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
No, I wasn’t rich and famous, but I had achieved everything I dreamed of up to that point in my life and I could see, it wasn’t the answer.
My life’s journey up to that point helped me to see that I’m incapable of knowing all that’s best for me or else I would’ve been satisfied and at peace with where my efforts led me.
I had to admit, and I still have to remind myself that I don’t have the wherewithal to lead myself to God’s best for me. This Scripture helps me when I try to take on too much control:
“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 NIV
Question #3: Based on who you know yourself to be, what do you believe is best for you right now? Who can help you confirm and move towards what’s best?
Did this article provide you with some solace or a gem or two? If so, let us know. Comment below.
With Love + Purpose,
P.S. If you’re ready to get over the distractions of the past, and get positioned for who and what God has for you, One-on-One coaching could be for you, CLICK HERE to apply.
You ever feel like all you want to do is eat, sleep and watch Netflix? Oh, come on somebody, I know I’m not the only one? By the way, a lot of those random foreign films are pretty good and I could watch, Deuces with Lorenz Tate over and over again.
You can judge me!
I need to be perfectly honest with all the creatives, bloggers, vloggers, speakers and women who just have major commitments, like an entire family to love on and manage, if I didn’t take time to address my lack of focus and energy, plus my snippety attitude, I know I would’ve crashed and burned.
Like, how do you delete all of these accounts? Yes. And, thank you.
I had to admit that I needed to really checkin with me, recover my focus and be not dismayed or distracted by the happenings of others.
Let me elaborate on contemplating the success of others.
What I mean is this, if you find yourself trolling through social media and get a prick in your face, mind or heart looking at someone else’s pics, then something ain’t right! What are you annoyed about? Is it envy or jealously? In my case, I was negatively putting my mouth and thoughts on people’s work whose marketing annoys me (it’s a worldly language thing that rubs me the wrong way).
Yes, it’s a waste of energy to cross-examine the work of others. It’s also unhealthy to compare yourself or your work to others. Click here to read a good article on how to compare less.
The truth is my lack of focus and lackluster desire to create, write or inspire had nothing to do with the people I follow on social media. It was all about me, my stuff and my journey.
I had to stop, assess, really rest and pray for a holy rejuvenation.
Please note, prior to this realization, I went on holiday (vacation, I just love saying holiday more) for a week and a half, and it just wasn’t enough. Why? Because I didn’t commit to resting.
I could hear two voices in my head vying for my attention.
One from Dr. Martell, she’s a professor at the Seminary I attended. I could hear her saying, “Don’t forget to use the tools you gained in Seminary!” The other voice was my conscience saying, “You need to walk yourself through the same advice you give others to #GetEngaged.”
I listened to both voices.
If you are emotionally, mentally or spiritually exhausted or you’re beyond frustrated because everyone seems to be winning, but you, I urge you to consider a few things that helped me regain my focus and the wherewithal to be inspired again, to inspire.
Well, like I said, I had to stop.
I had to honor the truth of how drained I felt and how uninspired I really was in that moment. So, I took a handful of days to reconnect with myself and my lovely space. By the way, don’t miss out on how lovely your space is or can be. I cooked for myself and cleaned, like baseboard cleaned a couple of spaces in my apartment. Nothing too strenuous, it was more about being in a clean space, so I could see better.
I asked a friend to pray for me during my time of rest.
In addition to cleansing my environment, I needed to cleanse my inner-self. I prayerfully cleaned up my diet by adding more fruits, veggies and water. When you’re trying to see the unseen, you need all the emotional, physical and spiritual support you can get.
I went back to the Word that rejuvenated me in the past.
I was led to go back to the Book of Job. 10 years ago or so, when I was being overcome with depression, my boyfriend at the time, recommended I read the Book of Job. It was the first book I ever read in the Bible. God used that man to help save my mind and life.
The first four chapters of Job had me laid out. Have you read it?
Job went from all is well to all is hell. His reaction to his pain and suffering is so understandable (and relatable). I urge you to read it, especially if you find yourself in a place where you can’t make sense of your pain or revisit a character in the Bible that gives you life.
I reflected on some questions.
The questions were popping into my mind over the course of a week or so. A few of these questions, I actually took the time to answer: What’s not working? Why am I so irritable? What am I really experiencing in this moment? Is this the onset of burnout or is this a spiritual stirring to stop and evaluate my path? What does God want me to see?
I watched inspirational movies and sermons.
I couldn’t feed on doubt and despair. Instead, I choose to seek inspiration and information that would help me think well. I watched a documentary on Netflix, (good ole Netflix lol) that interviewed dozens of notable preachers, male and female, on how they’ve overcome personal and ministerial trials.
These words stood out to me from Rev. Al Sharpton: “I’m not in charge of the flight.”
Basically, in life there will be a lot of turbulence that comes, but in the end, God is responsible for landing the plane. All you and I can do is brace ourselves through the storms of life and trust God to eventually land the plane.
I deleted social media accounts that genuinely irk me.
I had to have a conversation with myself about a few accounts I follow. Like self, I know she offers great content, but her voice and her brand is what you teach against?! Delete it! Replace those accounts with women and men who inspire you and/or who are apart of your community already.
In the end, I came out rejuvenated and refocused.
Am I 100% today? No ma’am! But, I can see better. Somethings must go, somethings can stay and somethings have to be adjusted. I also must continue to do the things I know work to keep me engaged and focused on my lane. I’m clear, the enemy of my bright future would love for me to quit or lose my race tripping up on people, places and things that don’t matter.
The success of others is not the issue, and never was, my lack of focus is.
I think you get it. It’s all about you. Your journey. Your lane. It’s not about the other woman or man. I’m convinced, when you get in the groove of your lane and work it well, it’s fun and it’s fulfilling.
Did this article hit home for you? If so, let us know how, comment below.
With Love + Purpose,
P.S. Based on the direct messages and emails received, I decided to extend the registration for the next “Dating + Destiny” Inner Circle to Friday, May 12 @ 11:59pm EST. Don’t miss this opportunity to transform how you think about yourself, dating and your irreplaceable destiny. CLICK HERE to join us!
I’ve heard married people say these three words more than I can count: marriage is work! My happily married friends, magazine articles, noted authors, my grandparents and biblical Scriptures confirm marriage is indeed work, and should not be entered into thoughtlessly.
So, why aren’t more singles taking heed to these words of warning and wisdom?
I know I’m not the only one receiving “free advice” to see marriage as more than Cinderella, butterflies and getaways. Are we pretending not to hear or playing dumb to these three profound words? Do we think we know more than them? Do we think our marriage will be “different” and divorce-proof? What do we really think about marriage?
This article on the Huffington Post is an example of how important it is to define what marriage means to you. Click here to read it.
As I sit in the kitchen of my happily married friends (of several years), I can see, I’m not blind: marriage is work!
Not because there’s drama spilling from the seams or they’re on the verge of another argument. No, I can see how gloriously challenging it is to merge the lives of two people. Two people who grew up in separate households, separate environments, coming together to form their own family is work!
And, they have a lovely three-year-old daughter, even MORE work!
What do you really think marriage is? What is marriage about for you?
I’ve come to learn, marriage is a covenant.
A beautiful three way union, between you, your spouse and God. A promise you make to have and to hold, to love one another, as you both grow andwork to build a new life together, while birthing something beyond yourselves. I’m not talking about (just) birthing children.
If your marriage is connected to God, it is intended to birth something purposeful.
Through your union something is meant to be created. More love, more peace, more grace, more compassion, more service, something that you couldn’t do on your own.
That means, who you marry matters and how you show up to the marriage matters too. Now, you wanting to be happily married without the willingness to invest in your future as a wife is unwise.
“…let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance…” ~Proverbs 1:5 NIV
If you’re interested in having a marriage that is fruitful and prosperous, here are 4 things to check before you even think about saying yes to that dress!
1. Do you dig you?
Do you like you? Do you enjoy being who you are as a woman? It’s crucial to like aspects of who you are as a woman before you give the gift of you to another. Buy it or not, what you like or dislike about you attracts men (people) to you. You definitely want to err on the side of attracting what you like about you to yourself, not what you hate!
It royally sucks to not dig how fearfully and wonderfully made you are! Don’t settle for that. Make the necessary adjustments to get right with you, so you can draw the man who’ll love you and not pick at your places of insecurity.
2. Do you have a life?
What are you into? Who or what makes your heart smile? What can you do for hours and hours?
I’m single. I desire to be married and I have some bummer days when I really want to go on a date with someone I really enjoy, BUT if the date doesn’t happen, I also have a beautiful life to live. I’ve identified experiences and things that bring me joy, mainly God’s sustaining presence keeps me lifted. I also can zone out for hours doing work I love and when I feel a deficit in my love life, I make a tea date or take a flight to reconnect with those I adore.
[ Currently, I’m in Charlotte refueling on love with friends, then off to Atlanta to work and suck up some more loving vibes with family. ]
When you have experiences and things that bring you joy, you can eventually introduce those experiences and things into your marriage.
3. Do you secretly think all men are cheaters or untrustworthy?
You can’t take these huge doubts and fears into your relationship. You have to do the work to rethink how you see men. For some of you, it’s just that one guy that did you wrong or misled you, who you have to release, forgive and move on. Then there are some of you who may have been raised around men who didn’t keep their word, failed to show up and were just plain womanizers. Your context has taught you to BEWARE of all men.
In both cases, you can pray for God’s healing power to give you a renewed heart and spirit to see men differently (Psalm 51:10). You can read books that specifically address forgiveness, trust issues and eventually how to love a man. Henry Cloud has great books on personal growth. And, lastly you can hire a spiritual life coach or counselor who will help you move past the hurts of your past.
4. Do you have a wise circle of associates, advisors or friends who want to see you win at love and life?
As a single woman, who you spend time with now will greatly impact who you entertain and eventually marry. Do you hang out with women who are jaded? They only have negative things to say about dating, men, marriage, and love.
How can you get prepared and positioned for love when your squad is stuck.
How are you being enhanced or sharpened by being in their company? This doesn’t have to be a deep thing! Do they dim your light or help you to shine all the more? Make a decision to improve your squad to those who can lift you up and onto the love and life you desire most.
Did any of this article hit home for you? What are you doing now to be the woman your future husband will be thanking God for? Let’s talk about it! Comment below and share this article.
With Love + Purpose,
P.S. If you’d like to join an online community where you can be equipped and enriched as a woman in the areas of faith, relationships and marriage readiness, join the Inner Circle! April 30 – June 30, CLICK HERE for details. Early bird registration ends April 16!
“Feeling like we are not good enough, means that we are not good enough compared to a fictitious image of perfection in our mind. Nothing more.” – anonymous
Why is it that many women and girls are insecure today?
Are we really a narcissistic generation? Obsessed with our outer appearance versus what’s inside or have we been made to feel not good enough by the media and European models of beauty? Do you find yourself looking to social media and technology to give you a sense of importance, worth or to validate who you are as a woman (or girl)?
Many of the young women I know have gone along with the created illusion of how we are supposed to look and what we should wear to get “our guy’s” attention. Big butt, small waist, booty shorts, etc.
The sex appeal trap.
If you don’t match what society says is appealing or attractive, you can began to feel not good enough, but God’s view of you and the beauty that you possess is totally different than the world’s standard of appeal.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” ~Proverbs 31:10 KJV
If you were never told you were beautiful (as you are) by your father or father figure you look for the feeling of beauty from a man. However, God being our Ultimate Parent urges us to come to Him for understanding and truth about who we are because God’s love is everlasting and unconditional.
God’s love doesn’t make us feel like we’ll never match up.
“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” ~Jeremiah 31:3 NIV
If you compare yourself to other women, the negative emotions of insecurity will pop up within you. It’s starts in your head, but is carried around in your heart and comes across in your actions. Joyce Meyer’s article, How to Find Freedom From Insecuritytouches on how you can begin to overcome insecurity or feeling not good enough. Click here to read it.
Ultimately, it’s important to do the work to change how we feel emotionally about ourselves.
Instead of fearing we are incomplete or don’t measure up, God wants to assure us that we are complete (whole) in God and as God’s creation, we serve a divine purpose. The only caveat is you have to spend time with God to get to know how fearfully and wonderfully made you are.
“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!” ~Psalm 139:17
Growing up, I was on the thicker side of the scale and everyone else was skinner than me. I would cry because I thought I was fat, I even starved myself to see if that would help me lose weight. My family always told me I was beautiful and squeezed my “chubby” cheeks. I was always photogenic, smiling and pretended to be unashamed to the world, but on the inside, I couldn’t stand the look of me.
I wanted to change everything.
It wasn’t until I gained internal confidence and a true sense that I am good enough that I was able to portray on the outside, how I was beginning to feel about myself on the inside. I stopped looking to others for assurance and began to look to God.
It’s clearer to me now: God made me unique in my own way.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” ~Psalm 139:14 NIV
I believe Psalm 139:14 more today.
What does all of this mean? First. The world is not the best resource to look to for assurance and confirmation on your image, worth or value. Second. Your thoughts about you can be suspect too, depending on your emotions, how your were raised, and if you were affirmed or not. Lastly. God is the ultimate knower of who you are and what you were divinely shaped to offer to this world. Therefore, getting engaged with God for self-understanding is where you’ll win every time!
Has this article helped you to rethink God’s role in how you see you? How is insecurity impacting your life? We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below and if you enjoyed this article, take a few seconds to share it.
P.S. If you struggle with perfectionism or a heavy sense of pressure that you are not good enough, I urge you to join us for this Spring’s installment of the Inner Circle! Beginning April 30th, the Inner Circle virtual community will be focused on getting to know the infamous Proverbs 31 woman. What can we learn from her? We’ll also review how to hear from God for yourself? Plus, how to walk less in fear and more in the boldness of who God has created you to be.
Being a woman who knows her identity, worth and has a sense of purpose is attractive and powerful. It can also deter jealousy and envy.
Really — it ROCKS to get who you are and who you’re not! But, it can also be intimidating and frustrating for some onlookers, in and outside your circle of friends. Especially, those who have been possessed by the green-eyed monster, jealousy.
I believe Oprah put it best, “You can’t be friends with someone who wants your life!” I’d like to add to her words of wisdom, “You can’t be friends with someone who wants your life —or your attributes.”
Seriously, behind Oprah’s words I hear the words IDENTITY and PURPOSE ringing in my ears.
I’m finding, the more a person has their identity and sense of purpose in tact, envy and jealousy is less likely to happen.
What is jealousy and envy?
Jealousy is when you resent or sense a threat surrounding another’s achievements or success. Envy is similar, however it zones in on a specific object, for instance: She’s envious of her skin or hair. Envy and jealousy are sneaky critters and most people find it difficult to admit it when they are having a jealous or envious moment, including me.
When you are around other capable, beautiful and stylish women do you feel a tinge of jealousy or envy cropping up within you?
I’ll admit, there’s a sis on Instagram, her sense of style is AHmazing and admirable. As I laugh to myself, I was gawking at her hair and the way she was putting these colorful, unexpected pieces together. Like, yes!!! I didn’t feel jealous looking at her pics, I felt like “Honey-bunny! If you don’t let your whole, entire light shine, who will?”
No, I haven’t mastered the negative emotions of jealousy or envy, but the more I live and grow in self-acceptance, the less I am inclined to be jealous or envious of anyone.
If you can’t identify with ever having a time of jealousy or envy enter your mind or heart, good for you!
Can you at least see how a lack of identity or sense of purpose could cause a person to be more susceptible to episodes of envy? How being overwhelmed by feelings of jealousy makes that person difficult to befriend?
Maybe this will help to paint a better picture…
Think back to a time when you were happily enthralled and focused on your personal development, a special task or a budding relationship. Weren’t you “less likely” to be looking to your left or right at what others were doing or not doing for that matter? Did this new level of focus keep you super preoccupied with accomplishing your personal goal, completing that special task or ensuring that the budding relationship bloomed?
See! There’s something wonderful about having a sense of purpose in your life, like “this is who I AM and this is exactly what I AM supposed to be doing.”
#tbt Summer of 2014. A great night had in Philadelphia with the crew.
Unfortunately, it can be very challenging to discover your purpose and true identity in a world that doesn’t value introspection or silence. For many, instead of becoming more “self” aware they opt to stare into the lives of others looking for tips or insights for their “self.” Yes, we can and will learn amazing things from other people, like the sis on Instagram who has inspired me to let my light overflow. But, hear this…
…studying another’s life will only make you an expert on that person’s story, not your own.
How do you become stronger and resolute in your identity and purpose? Which will help you to be a better person and friend.
1. Posture your “inner” self towards God. Basically, get centered enough to see what you’re made of. I know this Scripture is heavily quoted, but it’s so amazing to meditate on,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” ~Jeremiah 1:5 NIV
The truth and fascinating aspects of human identity rests with God, not Lucky, Marie Claire or Essence for that matter (but, I do enjoy all of those magazines). So, choose a method to get centered. For me, it’s walking, prayer or silencing myself while at church. For you, it could be Yoga, sitting on a bench or writing. Once you find the route to get closer to your “inner” self (heart, soul, spirit), start asking the tough questions: What do you know about me God? Can you help me see me the way you see me? Why was I created? Will I be married? Should I move? Is this the career for me? Then wait, wait for God to respond.
Eventually, God will respond through an affirmation of yes, no, not now –within you or through multiple confirmations from people. The more you practice silencing your whole being, the more you’ll be able to tap into what’s true and untrue for you.
2. Put the time in to know thyself. Really, discovering you is the best gift you can give you and the world. Self-discovery is amazing! It doesn’t have to be weird or full of vanity. It’s really something that would be great to start in your teens, but if not, it can happen RIGHT NOW!
My definition of “know thyself,” is taking the time to get deeply acquainted with what God says about you, your purpose. Then, taking what you know and delivering it to the world through the full manifestation of everything that is great about you from the inside out.
This level of self-awareness and self-love will resonate throughout your life in extraordinary ways. If you think you’re ugly and unlikable, but God says you’re beautiful and loved (Genesis 1:31), then you must take the time to read up on self-esteem or go to a therapist, whatever it takes to address the root of the lie that’s inside of you. The opposite of God’s truth must be evicted! You can’t leave this earth without exploring what makes you ROCK as a woman. Receive this: You are more than interesting enough to get to know and adore. Please do the “know thyself” work, so you can be able to authentically enjoy life and others more.
3. Please accept what’s truly you, “self” denial hurts you the most. The night me and the girlies went out, I had so much fun because I was expecting a certain someone to crack jokes and I was expecting my sister from another mother to give off her get along with everyone glow. See, relationships just work when everyone plays their part.
I can’t be anyone, but me, and it works for me! Same with you, you can’t stare and stalk your way into being anyone else. Okay, well you could, but that would be crazy and a total loss of your energy and gifts. How sad would that be?
Despite how attractive it looks when she does it in her life, do your best to accept “your self” and how you can get things done with the perks and quirks that come with being you.
If you struggle with this, which is totally understandable in our Insta-famous society, definitely pray for specific guidance in the areas of identity and purpose, as mentioned above. Also, abstain or fast from anything or anyone that makes you feel like being you just isn’t good enough or like you should be more like someone else. Lastly, you can reach out to me for support. I have free and paid resources that can help you achieve more awareness, confidence and self-acceptance.
It may seem too easy to be true, but the more you become accepting and competent on you, the more confident you’ll be in many areas of your life. You’ll also be swifter at recognizing and silencing the green-eyed monster when he tries to get you to compare and compete.
If you want to read more about the difference between envy and jealousy, click here.
I’d love to knowing your identity or not knowing has impacted your life? Make sure you comment below.
With Love + Purpose,
P.S. On April 2nd, the Know Your Worth Brunch is back in Philly and we’ll be discussing how we get in our own way as women. If you’re ready to engage and embrace your light and say goodbye to comparing and competing with anyone, join us! Let’s eat, drink and be inspired.
Fasting and prayer gave me superhero powers, and I know it can do the same for you.
Every since I was a kid, I was drawn to certain superheroes, like Wonder Woman (Google her), with those awesome bracelets, that lasso, and those white boots, pa-kow!! I also, enjoyed the Wonder Twins’ ability to morph into water or an animal.
Yes, I went that far back.
See, the thing that’s fascinating and incredible about every superhero, to me, is each one has their own extraordinary talent and superpower. There’s no such thing as identical superheroes?! –even the Wonder Twins weren’t identical! However, in many of the comics, there’s always this wacky obsessed villain hanging around that aspires to either duplicate or overcome the superheroes’ heroism.
The villains, I’d equate to the evil one, urging you to be a carbon copy of Queen Bey, Tracee Ellis Ross or Sarah Jakes Roberts, whoever he knows you admire or trying to convince you to one up every sister you come in contact with.
For all the women out there, like me, that don’t mind admitting to their affinity with superheroes, and even for those of you who’d politely pass on the X-Men, and the likes of Logan, you might be intrigued to know that fasting and prayer could give you authentic superhero powers too!
First up: Let’s define fasting and prayer.
Fasting and prayer are forms of spiritual formation, a fancy way of saying, ways to exercise or move your spirit to hear from God. The same way you’d walk on the treadmill to exercise your heart for better respiratory health, you’d exercise your spirit through fasting and prayer to be better in tune with yourself and God.
As you engage your spirit, your spiritual awareness increases. Not superhero enough for you? Okay, don’t stop reading…
The combination of fasting and prayer can be quite powerful. Prayer is about humbling yourself to communicate with and listen to God. Fasting is about denying yourself something in order to open your spiritual ears (and heart) to hear what you might miss otherwise, in the hustle and bustle of life. For instance, the Daniel Fast is a very common fast, but should be done with medical consideration. Now, you don’t have to fast food, you could fast cell phone usage, caffeine, gossiping, social media, talking so much, not talking enough, television. You get it.
Next up: You may not leap tall buildings, but your senses will be sharpened considerably.
Can anyone say, “Spiderman?”
Well, for the first few weeks of 2015, I was led to go into a time of fasting and prayer, which consisted of unplugging from all social media and plugging into myself, my heart, my thoughts and more importantly, God. I desperately needed to replenish, receive and reexamine: What’s next for 2015? What’s not for 2015?
Do you feel like you need direction on what’s next for you in 2017? Maybe you had the clarity in 2016, but got distracted along the way?
Now, I’m well aware that the Scripture says in a nutshell, don’t brag or gloat when you fast, looking for attention or empathy (Matt. 6:18). Got it! That’s not what this article and call is about. It’s more about uplifting the crazy potent, supernatural impact fasting and prayer can have on one’s emotions, decisions, perspective and life.
When we shift our posture to tuning out the world in some way, to tuning into godly guidance and understanding, –miraculously, God obliges. Even when, it’s not what we had hoped to hear or see.
You may disagree, but I think fasting and prayer is essential in this hustle hard or go home society we live in.
How else can you see the unseen or get prepared for what’s yet to come?
Can anyone say, “Professor X?”
Just so you know, as I unplugged from social media and prayed to God for guidance and understanding, I gained more courage, confidence, clarity, commitment and calm, but I also got correction! I know a lot, but I’m telling you, it’s amazing what you see when you intentionally sit still, and seek God.
Sometimes, fasting is about helping you build up the courage to see what you didn’t want to see, so you can adjust or reroute. –Okay, still not “superhero” enough for you?!
Maya Angelou said, “Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
Courage is a really big deal! And, I don’t know about you, but I need lots of courage to believe, to lead, to choose love over hate. It’s a definite superpower, that can help you let expired doors close, and walk throughdoors only God could open. I’m sure, every superhero, has to have a certain level of courage to combat the ever-present evils that exist?!
Last up: Despite our best efforts, some evils will only come out by fasting and prayer.
You ever try to willpower your way out of temptation that’s been nagging at you for months or years? How about trying to stop seeing the guy your body likes, but your purpose hates?
When Jesus, told his disciples, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29).” He basically was letting them know that their mental or physical stamina ALONE wasn’t enough. They needed faith and spiritual fortitude to heal the young boy that was suffering.
Many of us are like the disciples, trying our best to be better, strive and serve others in our own power and strength. But, if we don’t spend time with the Father or take the time to rest and refuel, and tap into the far-reaching superpowers of God’s Spirit, some resolve will never come about.
Did I like everything I heard from God during my time of fasting and prayer? Absolutely, not!
But, I needed to hear the truth and I desired resolve.
Calm is related to stillness and peacefulness, regardless of the distractions or noise around you.
Can you see how fasting and prayer can increase the superpowers of self-awareness and spiritual awareness, and decrease emotionalism and fear, amongst other things? I really think it’s superhero boo-yah stuff at it’s best!
What do you think? Will you join us for the 5 Day ‘Live in the Light’ Fasting & Prayer Challenge happening March 20-24? It’s FREE!
Don’t keep this powerful information to yourself, share it with a few of your friends. We can all be superheroes! And, don’t go without letting us know how fasting and prayer has changed, enhanced or improved your life or what you hope to get from the upcoming Spring fast? Leave a comment below.
With Love + Purpose,
P.S. The KNOW YOUR WORTH Brunch is back in Philly, April 2, 2-4pm. If you’re ready to break out of the box of sameness and move on to the desires of your heart, but there’s some self-doubt that needs to go, attend this brunch! CLICK HERE to register. You save when you register with a friend! [I had to bring this article back around for a #tbt. It was originally written in January 2015.]