~How Am I Going to Make it Through?~

“Then, he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” ~Zechariah 4:6

Hello, my friends. I know I am behind schedule on my blogging, but here I am! I hope you have been doing well because I sure have! I come today to present you all with some encouragement that will surely help you, and I want you to share this with others, too. Here is yet another example of God’s goodness. I hope you will be uplifted.

So, I believe in the last blog I posted, I told you all I have been trying to stay on top of my school work. This semester has been very challenging, but I prevailed. On Friday, I watched several graduates receive their degrees, and I got to help some of them with name cards. The 4.0 students came to the back where I was, and I happened to notice one of the student’s caps. The cap was beautiful and said “Not my strength, but His.” I was taken aback. She was perhaps the first 4.0 scholar I saw that publicly gave credit to God for her success at the university. I’ve seen several scholars reference God and put scriptures on their caps, but for some reason, this cap was different. This seemed very personal, and God spoke to me.  This student was referencing Zechariah 4:6.  In that moment, I bet she didn’t know it, but she gave me hope.

This was my first semester taking courses that dealt specifically with my major. I had heard all of the students saying things like This semester is going to be so hard… or things like Get ready for your first Bs. I immediately tried to get rid of those thoughts. I know the God I serve, and I went in thinking God has been faithful for all of these years. This may be hard, but I will maintain my 4.0 GPA through Him.  I’m sure God was like Okay, Jasmine. Let’s see if you really mean that. God will always try to test you to see if you really trust Him like you say you do. Some classes I was not concerned about at all, while others I constantly stressed over throughout the semester. Over the course of the semester I found myself asking, How am I going to make it through?  On my progress report, I had a B in a class. I was worried, wondering how I would pull it up. Once I took my final exams, I gave each and every one over to God. I began to praise Him, thanking Him in advance for whatever He gave me in the classes. I knew that the only reason I would not have a 4.0 GPA this semester would only be because that was not in His will for me. But God is faithful though, and He will do just what He said. Your girl still has a cumulative 4.0 GPA!

So, where am I going with this? That young woman with her cap set a fire in me. I went from doubting to praising. I went in the semester with all the faith I could have, and the devil continued to chip at that, constantly taunting me, trying to make me doubt my God. After I saw that cap, God said to me “Jasmine, you’re forgetting whose strength you are depending on.” I cannot do anything on my own, and I want you to know that God wants to be our strength. He wants to hold us up. He wants to be right beside us, pushing us along the way. Through His strength, we can do anything. Through our own, we will surely fail.

Have you found yourself asking How am I going to make it through? Maybe you are not dealing with struggles in school. Maybe you are trying to figure out how you are going to stay strong for your family. Maybe you’re having some challenges on your job, challenges with your finances. You might be wondering how you are going to make ends meet, how you are going to provide for your family, wondering how you are just going to make it through whatever it is you’re going through. God can help you with all of that. God wants to take any burden we have and make it easier for us. All we have to do is trust in Him. I know you are thinking easier said than done, Jazz. If you said that, think again. Faith without works is dead. Works without faith serves no purpose. How are you going to be strong if you do not believe God can help you be strong?  You’ll end up breaking down in no time, wondering how you are going to put yourself back together. Let God do that. Let God have control in your life. When we accepted Him into our hearts, we gave our lives to Him. We have to continue to stand firm in that. We have to believe that God will help us fulfill the purposes He has set out for us. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE! You have to know that all things work together for your good. You have to KNOW this wholeheartedly.

I encourage you to lean on God through all things, not just when you think things are going the way you want. I want you to lean on Him, fully lean on Him, my friends. How are you going to make it through? 

Not by your strength, BUT HIS!

Be blessed, my friends! Until next time…

 

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Who’s in Control?

“They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!'” ~ Mark 4: 41, NIV

Hey, you! I hope you have been as peachy as I have been over these past few weeks! I’m jumping right into this blog now! My fingers are ready to get this out to you!

Do you know the story of Jesus calming the storm? We are often familiar with the “peace, be still” part, but let’s take a moment to really dissect this text. If you look at Mark 4:35-41, you see the whole situation. Jesus was asleep, the disciples were panicking, and Jesus saved them from drowning and calms the storm. The end! (Not the end, by the way.) I want to offer you some encouragement today, my friend. We often have many storms in our lives to test our faith and help us grow as a Christian, which brings me to my first point.

1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! SOMEBODY CARES!

Reference verses 35-38. The disciples and Jesus were out in Sea of Galilee. Jesus had fallen asleep, and the disciples were going wild over this storm! At one point, the disciples wake Jesus asking Him if He cared that they were about to drown. I find that so ironic because God tells us to cast our cares on Him, so of course He cares! (1 Peter 5:7) In your storms, know that somebody cares. We often feel like everyone around us couldn’t possibly understand what we are going through. We feel like we are alone, just out there fending for ourselves. Do not turn to man when God is there always. When family and friends fail us, God will always be there, every step of the way. He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6), so go through these tests preparing yourself for an awesome testimony.

2. Who’s in Control? 

Reference verse 39. Jesus got up, and He told that storm to settle down! Jesus was completely calm in this situation, and he gave that same peace to the disciples when he calmed the storm. Don’t you know God can give you peace in the midst of your storms? He has already foreseen you going through your storm and coming out victorious. Now, I do not want to mislead you. Some people don’t get out of their storms here on Earth. Sometimes, their whole lives are storms, but whether you’re victorious here on Earth or in Heaven, be mindful of who is in control. Do not let God see you give up as His servant. Praise Him through the good and the bad. I always think about Paul. Paul (formerly known as Saul) was going around persecuting Christians. Once he turned his life over to God, he was persecuted until he died. He never gave up serving the Lord, and we must do the same.

3. Why Don’t You Have the Faith? 

Reference verses 40-41. Jesus asked the disciples why they were afraid. They were still lacking the faith needed to endure that storm. Trust in the Lord with all your heart nd lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). You cannot expect to get the peace you need within your storm if you keep depending on yourself. You will not understand why you are going through whatever you’re going through until GOD brings you out of it. Those disciples  had no faith when a little faith (the size of a mustard seed) can move mountains. DO NOT LET YOUR LACK OF FAITH KEEP YOU TRAPPED! God might not bring you out of situations until you get the lesson you need from them. Oh, but when He does bring you out, what a glorious time!

4. Wait on the Lord 

Take this time to reflect on what your problems or storms may be. We are impatient people. We always want God to do what we want and FAST! God doesn’t need us to tell Him when to give us our breakthrough. He sure doesn’t operate on our time, and He knows what’s best for us. My brother or sister in Christ, why don’t you wait on the Lord? They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength! (Isaiah 40:31)I know it might be hurricane season in your life. I know you might be wondering when God will get you through this time. I know you may see others around you being happy and living, but you’re living, too. I guarantee you their lives are not full of sunshine and rainbows. God is good to us, and we have to find joy in our situations and struggles. Be patient my friend, and let God do His thing in your life.

There’s a blessing in the storm! Just wait on it! When you receive that blessing, do not forget where God has brought you from or what He has brought you through! Be blessed!

 

 

 

 

Understanding God’s Will

 

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just because I seek not my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” John 5:30 ESV 

Hello to you! I know it has been a while, but I tell you school has been keeping me on my toes. I have literally been doing assignment after assignment, but I digress, on to the good stuff.

Rejection has to be one of the hardest things for us to deal with. If you’re anything like me, I immediately begin examining myself, wondering what I could’ve done better or why I was rejected. However, when experiencing this, God whispered to me. He said, “I am preparing you for greater. Now is not the time, Daughter. ” 

I sat on my bed late one night and waited for a particular letter. I was hoping that I would get accepted. I felt I had done well on everything, but unfortunately, I received a letter of rejection. At first, I was taken aback. I was like “now why in the world did I not get in?” It was something I had been preparing myself for since January of this year. That just shows how sometimes you can prepare yourself for something you think you want, but if it’s not in God’s will for you, you won’t get it. I ended up thinking about Proverbs 3:5-6 (Trust in the Lord…), but I began to do some research and ran across the scripture at the beginning of this post. I began to repeat this scripture over and over again to myself, and I felt God’s presence in my room. I felt a sense of peace, for I knew that God was comforting me.

My friend, I want to encourage you today. Man’s rejection is often God’s redirection. (Steven Furtick) You may feel like things are not going the way you want. You may feel like you are in a dry patch. You may feel like everyone else around you is getting their acceptance, but I dare you to trust God. I dare you to believe that His plans are always much greater than yours. I DARE YOU TO WALK IN HIS WILL! Tingling sensations went through my fingers as I typed that. We are always so ready to  do what we want to do, but we have to seek God in times like these. Maybe what you want isn’t best for you. Maybe God wants you to do what you want but at a different point in your life. Maybe God is wanting to place you somewhere else where He may be glorified. Are you picking up what I’m putting down, friend? I surely hope you are.

You have to believe that everything is working together for your good. You have to prepare yourself for some rain in your drought. You have to make sure that you are always seeking to glorify God in whatever you do. That is specifically why we were placed on this Earth. That is one of our most important divine assignments.  I encourage you to seek His will. I encourage you to let God redirect you. You will not regret it!

Be blessed! Talk to you soon!

Stop Looking Over Your Shoulder.

The JC Effect

Hello everyone and welcome back to The JC Effect!

This has been such an emotional week for me. I have almost cried at LEAST 12 times this week but I’m finally going to let the tears go today.

I know you’re thinking, “What’s wrong?” but my tears are from the complete and utter joy that I have been experiencing recently. My heart is filled with so much joy that I don’t even know what to do with it and I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve been this excited to wake up in the morning. For the past few days, I’ve just been looking at my life and been in a state of awe because I vividly remember what my life looked like 6 months ago.

I was just going through the motions.

  • Wake up and get ready.
  • Read devotional.
  • Go to class.
  • Go home and do homework.
  • Go…

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Live

“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.”

I’m back again. I feel like I should just blog when I feel like it, so here I am.

Call me what you want, but I absolutely love this game called Choices. This game allows you to be a part of whichever book you decide to be in that they have provided and make decisions for your character. (I have to find stuff to do in my free time, and playing this game is one thing I do consistently.) So, I’m sitting down doing my usual “gaming,” and one of the characters in my book decides to tell me about his past. He got involved with the wrong crowd and ended up being convicted of car theft. I’m sitting on the couch like Whoa! Didn’t see that coming! Well, to make a long story short, my friend was trying to run for student body president, and his opponent decided to bring that up. (Playing dirty never gets you the W, by the way.)

What would you do in a situation like that? I honestly could not think of anything I could do in a situation like that. Of course, you know me, I started thinking, deep thinking that is. How many times have we been reminded of our past? I mean you’re trying to be a better person, do better things, and somebody comes up to you talking about I remember when.. *Imagine me rolling my eyes here because I did.*

After doing my deep thinking, I realized that this is something I struggle with. People don’t often bring up mistakes I’ve made, but those mistakes haunt me. I am my own worst critic, and I often think about things I could have done better. I just really want to be honest with you and myself here. I have mixed feelings about our friend “the past.” We have great memories and some not so great memories, but I say all of this to encourage you to do one thing…

LIVE

You will never ever be able to move ahead in your life if you keep worrying about things you have done in the past. The past makes you who you are. If it weren’t for your past, you wouldn’t have a present, and you sure wouldn’t have a future. I know I just talked to you about bouncing back, so here’s your opportunity to do so. Guilt and dwelling on the past will only keep you stunted in your growth on this journey. Most importantly, God forgives our mistakes. We can never be perfect, but we can strive to continue to be better people and live the life He would want us to live.

Go back for me to my Choices story. My friend decided to announce to the school his past mistakes and own up to them. (Brave, brave soul.) He said that he wouldn’t be the person he was today if he didn’t make those mistakes. He believed in second chances and was given a second chance to be a better person. Oh yea, he won the presidency, too! Lol

God is a God of many chances. He gives us so many chances to do what’s right and live for Him. Don’t miss the opportunities God is giving you today because you can’t forgive yourself for your mistakes. Any negative thoughts are from Satan himself, and you have to put your foot down and let him know. GET BACK SATAN! I HAVE A LIFE TO LIVE! You have so many days ahead of you. Every day is another chance to get it right. So, this lengthy blog of mine was written to encourage you to live. Your life is so precious. Don’t waste it thinking about things you can’t change. Utilize it by thinking about those things that you can change to help you grow and be who you need to be. Live, my friends, just live.

 

 

Bounce Back

I have not been on this blogging page in years! WOW! I have come with a new purpose to inspire and hold myself accountable for making sure I not only inspire you, but I inspire myself as well. Anyway, I have been looking online, well social media, and noticed a lot of people are trying to remove negativity from their lives. I DO NOT BLAME YOU! Hey, I’m trying to do the same thing. Positive vibes are what I need surrounding me. So, here’s to new beginnings and a new blog!

I have been trying to adjust to this new lifestyle I am living. I hear you thinking. What are you talking about, Jazz? Well, I have been trying to grow as a person and prepare myself for my future and push towards my goals. I have been trying to take care of myself. Exercising, trying to clear my skin up, you know, the typical growing and glowing process. Most importantly, I have been trying to get myself together spiritually. I have taken an initiative to put my all into serving God the way I should. Y’all, it has been rocky. I am still trying to find a system, but I promise you I’m getting there.

I thought a perfect topic would be bouncing back after [insert whatever your problem was/is here.] Personally, I find it hard to just up and bounce back after disappointment or failure, but God has showed me some things over the years, even within these past few months. Disappointments often lead to blessings, and failures often lead to lessons learned. I never really understood why God would deny me the desires of my heart, why He wouldn’t give me what I thought I wanted when I wanted it. He only wanted to show me that His plans are far greater than mine. So, yeah, I am getting to the bounce back part now! Lol

Life is all about bouncing back. Sometimes, you just have to let the world know, I’M BACK. I was down, but I’m back up now.  Satan needs to know that his plans will never succeed because God has a divine plan for your life. Bounce back from that ungodly relationship. Bounce back from that bad breakup. Bounce back from that disappointment. Bounce back from your guilt. Bounce back from that worry. Bounce back, bounce back, bounce back. Take that L and bounce back to something greater, something stronger, something that is going to really help you reach your full potential. So there you have it folks, I’m bouncing back today and forevermore. Life is all about ups and downs, but are you going to let it knock you down or knock you where you need to be?

Feel free to share your thoughts. Comment, inbox, DM, whatever you feel.

 

~Fear~

“The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1, NIV

Hello, everyone! Finally, I can blog again! I have been studying the book of Psalms. I’ll tell you, there are so many great things in this book.

So, this whole month has been super busy for me. I feel like I have not gotten proper rest at all. I have interacted with several people, and I’ve had to face several different tests.

Yesterday, I had to speak at a church that I had never been to. I only knew 2 people. Of course, I was super nervous and didn’t know how these people would react to my speech. Would they look at me crazy? Would they think that I’m snooty? I just didn’t know, but then I thought about the verse above.

When facing situations like that, people often forget that we are all one in the same! We were made by the same God. These people have no control over who you are and you determine that. You identify with the body of Christ. Whenever you do something, the focus should be on the Lord. He never leaves us alone. There should be no fear because we should know who is in control. (GOD IS!) Man can do no harm to us.

Sometimes, we feel as if we have enemies, people who are trying to hurt us intentionally. I want to encourage you to never ever back down from who you are because of them. The battle against those people is not ours to fight. God will make our enemies our footstool. There is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Remain confident in who you are. End of the story!

This all just hit me at once! When you know whose you are, there is no need to worry or be afraid. Have a blessed week! 🙂