When Enough Isn’t Enough – To the One Who Has Backslid in Faith

sunsetSo you go to the conference, or the bible study, or the service, or the small group – and you finally decide to give your life to Christ. You prayed the prayer, you’re ready to turn from your old ways, and follow Jesus with your whole heart. There’s a fire burning inside of you that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. And this continues for a few months, or maybe even longer, but then, your past starts knocking… softly, at first, but harder as time continues. You get a group text, and its that old group of friends that you used to always go out with (usually accompanied by a morning of regret) talking about making plans to go out this weekend because they haven’t seen you in forever, or that ex that still wants to be “just friends” and “hang out” (hey, maybe you could just go over there and tell him about God right? Hint – wrong). Or that coworker who comes to you and starts gossiping to you about all of the recent office drama, urging you to join in. Or maybe everyone your family starts telling you that you need to lighten up and “have a little fun” like you used to do.  You don’t really see the harm in any of it – besides, you’re pretty sure you can’t be that easily tempted into your old ways.

But then, before you know it, you feel like you’re back at square one. If this has ever been you, believe me when I tell you, I get it. I’ve been there, more times than I’d like to admit. I’ve questioned “Am I really saved?” because it just didn’t seem like my struggles were going away and my life was as radically on fire as it was in the beginning. And I think we don’t talk about it enough. A lot of people tell you the day that they gave their lives to Jesus, they never looked back. They were forever changed, and while they may have had a few obstacles, they’ll never say that they have any moments of total backsliding. But I have. I’ve looked back. I’ve portrayed my life one way, as I slipped back into another. I’ve hidden it because it isn’t something I heard Christians talking about.  Ive hidden it because I didn’t want to be labeled a hypocrite. I’ve isolated myself and my emotions because I thought, “I’m not supposed to feel this way”; I’ve felt ashamed, discouraged, and fearful of looking like a fraud.

What I didn’t understand then, what I want you to understand now… You aren’t alone. The best way for the enemy to grab hold onto your life is to completely isolate you. Why? Because then, is when you’re most vulnerable to fear, self-doubt, shame, and confusion. Because then, you may just believe that none of it was real, that God may have tried to save you but you were just too far gone to be completely changed. Satan is deceptive, and would do anything to discredit the work God had done in your life – and he’ll do it at any cost. The thing is, despite all of it, despite every moment of falling backwards, despite the self-doubt, and beyond the shame… You have authority over the enemy. You still belong to the King of Kings, and you are still called higher. You may have backslid, but it doesn’t mean you have to stay there. And it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want to use you or fulfill the promises He has for you anymore.

God doesn’t promise the journey of following Him to be a smooth sailing one – in fact, it’s often quite the opposite. But do NOT let yourself believe the lie that you were not worthy of the work done on that cross. Following Christ is hard sometimes, and leaving behind everything you’ve known before you surrendered your life to Him isn’t always as simple as people make it out to be. Trust me, I know. But it IS worth it. YOU are worth it. And your story is just getting started.

With the Father’s love,

Johnna Nichelle

Click here to learn more about stepping out of your comfort zone, and into your calling.

 

The Hidden Promise: Uncovering, Learning, and Blossoming – together.

Uncovering

https://thehiddenpromise.com/2017/07/20/uncovering/

More connected. Accessible. Evolved. How many times have you heard those terms, or even thought them yourself, when thinking about the world that we live in today? Knowledge is at our fingertips, relationships are formed without ever leaving the comfort of our homes, and now, more than ever, we are able to freely express our individualities and differences. So why does it seem like in a world of connection, I’ve never felt more of a disconnect? Why does it feel like, although we have the ability to share our lives and journeys with one another, we choose  to do so while glossing over the very things that show our humanity? Why has the depth and intimacy of friendships and relationships lessened, while the appearance of them has magnified?

We live in a world of instant gratification, constant comparison, a narrow view of “success”. We get so caught up in the surface level highlight reels, we begin to feel insecure about sharing what’s real, what’s hard, and what’s truly on our hearts. We bury promises that God plants inside of us because of fear of the unknown, fear of judgment, and we convince ourselves that if we could just meet certain societally pressured milestones, then everything will fall into place. We’ve traded flaws for filters, real for replicated, and authentic for absorbed. We all do it, to one extent or another. Even as I write to you, I can easily think of at least one instance today where I found myself in comparison with a fictional ideal. Now don’t get me wrong, I feel incredibly blessed to be living in these times. But its up to us to make sure that in the changing world we live in, we don’t lose grasp of the true beauty in our humanity.

Soooo… What’s “The Hidden Promise” all about? The Hidden Promise is a place where I invite you to join me as I dive into the beautiful, hard, frustrating, and challenging obstacles that many of us face, but few verbalize. I want to break open the pieces of life that make us who we really are, and ultimately help others uncover the hidden promises deep within that enable us to be all we are destined to be. I’ll share my hardships, my failures, victories, and my brokenness, in hopes that within these pages, you’ll find that we’re more alike than we may think… and that we’re truly never alone, even when it seems like there’s no one to be found.

Now, hear me when I say, I’m not some profound life expert who has the solution to all of your issues. There’s only One like that, and His name is Jesus. But what I am saying is that life is better when we do it together. When we strip ourselves of the filters and get real with one another. When we show our scars, and we love one another regardless of our broken pieces. When we uncover those hidden promises and let go of our fear. I’m not here to solve your problems, I’m here to be a friend, and walk through this thing called life – the real, the challenging, and the beautiful – together.

I hope you find that within our chaos, beyond our flaws, and beneath the surface, is what truly makes us beautifully human.