Jul 16, 2017

Fights give me a reason to have faith

I laid on the medical table in a room stuck in early 90's decor, you know the abstract shapes in mint green, baby pink, and sky blue. I turned my head to the left to see peeling wall paper starring back at me. She said it would sting and then burn a little. I didn't flinch or squirm, I've become accustomed to pain tolerance. I grit my teeth and take it because crying and stalling won't do any good. Multiple injections into my skin to numb the area to be removed. The first layer of dermis gone and cauterized, ointment applied followed by band-aids. I tell them I really want to watch; seeing something removed from the body isn't the same as getting stitches they explain. It's over, in and out in less than 45 minutes. Now the waiting game begins.

March of this year my boss noticed a rather large freckle above my right ear in my hair line. Who knows how long it'd been there but it didn't bother me. It mirrored a freckle on my right shoulder, light brown center with a dark border. As soon as it was discovered I knew in my spirit it was nothing. Gods peace washed over me and I knew this discolored flesh wouldn't be my demise. 

After hearing story after story of people my age diagnosed with cancer of various kinds, I made the appointment to get it checked out. Still, I knew what God placed in my spirit and I trusted him. It wasn't until after the procedure to have three freckles/moles removed that my old friend came knocking. 


It creeps up slowly, almost nonexistent until it lassos your chest like a vice grip. Did I mention I'm also a worrier? Every "what if" imaginable played through my mind and the anxiety heightens it times ten. My life is not my own when he comes to town. My only focus is survival, keeping myself from crumbling from condemnation and lies Satan spews in my ear. Because I've experienced this before I have an action plan, proof it can be overcome. 

So I preach to myself; constantly, violently. God does not give us a spirit of fear but of love. Satan is a liar. You are redeemed and his grace is sufficient for you. He is faithful and a promise keeper. You can trust him, he loves you and knows you. He calls you by name. 

Joshua 1:5 has been a verse I've clung to time after time. We're not promised a life free from stress and problems but he does promises to walk through the flames with us, to never leave or forsake us. 

I cannot stress enough how important it is to immerse yourself in the Word. When attacks come, and they will come, you'll have the right tools in your tool box to fight back. It's all about muscle memory. I can still hear a shooting coach I had in high school, "if you want to make shots in a game, you have to practice those shots a thousand times" and I'm almost 30. Suffice to say, it's a thing and it's real. 

Almost two weeks had passed, finally a letter came from the doctor. A letter automatically meant everything was a-ok. I opened it, all three spots benign. Tears instantly flooded my eyes, which honestly kind of took me by surprise. I fell on my face and cried and worshiped and thanked Him. God never ceases to amaze me, I feel like I say that all the time but it's the truth. I text my brother in Christ the good news and his response was "...Satan tried to use your mom to bring you down...didn't work. He tried to use an unhealthy relationship with your ex...didn't work. Tried to use sexual temptation with that situationship...didn't work. I was like is he trying to use health now!!! Naw, won't work. God got too many people for you to impact for that to work." 

Satan knows what buttons to push, mine is anxiety. God is greater. Greater than anxiety, greater than any and all emotions and circumstances. I know what he's called me to and the promises he's made. No matter what comes at or against me, I've won. I've won because Jesus died to give me life. 

(If you're struggling with anxiety or depression, please reach out to someone who loves you. I thank God daily for the people around me who encourage and pray for me. If you need prayer, e-mail me.)

"Fights me give a reason to have faith." -Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts 

Jun 12, 2017

Radical Obedience

 “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

- Marianne Williamson

. . .

2016 couldn't come to a close fast enough. 2017 felt different. I've never had a word for the year but this year two words kept nagging at me: radical obedience. Sounds good, right? But what does that look like? So far it's looked like me running from a calling God placed in my heart. I've been writing, poetry and prose, which is new to me and I love it. Writing or journaling really is cathartic but being vulnerable with strangers is scary. 

One day last week I was beaming with joy overflowing from my heart. I wrote it down because when you've faced hell and survived you document small moments of joy. Literally the next morning, anxiety crept it's ugly head back into my chest. Honestly I can't remember the last time I struggled with anxiety but the feeling is all too familiar just the same. Short honest declarations get me through however. You're loved. You're safe. He who promised is faithful. He's always made a way, this time will be no different. No coincidence this is happening now because it forces me to get back to my center; Jesus. To draw all my strength and peace from him and him alone.

 God's been harassing me, "do the thing Rachel, what's stopping you". If I'm truly honest with myself, it's fear. Fear is something I refuse to let hinder my life. When we're fearful, we're not fully trusting God. I'll get inspired but let the moment pass me by. I disqualify myself because of who I am or better yet, who I'm not. It's bigger than us however. My family and friends are tied to the decisions I make or stubbornly refuse to make. People I may never meet in person need to see Jesus shine through me, and through you too. 

"Somebody once told me the definition of hell:
“On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.”
 —  Anonymous

God has put too much inside me to let the above be my reality. My mentor frequently reminds me women need other women who are truth tellers. Women who keep Jesus as number one, over everything else. Single women in their 20's and 30's navigating dating with purpose and all the challenges that brings. So here I am, stripped and vulnerable, surrendering to Jesus; use me as you see fit.

Fear may visit but it will not unpack and live here any longer.     

Sep 12, 2015

blog-tember challenge // day 12

 Saturday, Sept. 12: What are you up to currently?

Reading // do blogs count? I'm terrible about finishing books Playing // 'relax & unwind' playlist on Spotify Watching // dvr'ed Beetlejuice last night, pretty stoked to watch it (for the umpteenth time), also considering starting Game of Thrones over again
Cooking // last week I made lemon meringue cheesecake, from scratch! I'm in a total baking mood at the moment Eating // nothing, I must get better at eating more than once a day on the weekends Drinking // Gevalia French roast coffee + vanilla caramel creamer Going //  to get my hair cut, a good 3 or 4 inches gotta come off Loving // that I'm sitting on my porch, wearing a sweatshirt, drinking coffee. Doesn't get much better than this Hating // absolutely nothing, feeling incandescently happy Discovering // God's call + purpose for my life & how it looks nothing like I planned & how awesome & scary that is Thinking // always & too much....my mind never stops Feeling // thankful... for breath in my body, family + friends that support me & love me for ME, a boss who is a mentor + friend, & for Jesus Hoping (for) // a man to go on adventures with #hopelessromantic 
Celebrating //  LIFE, the older I get I realize how finite life is....learning to enjoy every piece & portion I'm given Smelling // Autumn in the air, giving me all the feels Ordering // surprisingly nothing presently, but I do love being my own Santa Clause
Considering // living a life that's a complete 180 of what I've always imagined & being at peace with that Starting // to blog regularly again Finishing // this post :-) 

Brave Love Blog

Sep 9, 2015

blog-tember challenge // day 6

Sept. 6: Share your style. What fashion trends do you love, frequent, or avoid?

So, I'm a few days behind...no biggie. In the past year my style has simplified. Most of the new pieces I buy are better quality and for the most part, have been basic staples every woman needs in her closet. I love expressing myself through fashion & definitely have the confidence now to really wear what I want, no matter what I think someone else will think of me. I wouldn't say I have one set style, however I love the simple sexiness of a Parisian chic woman. 


1 // All black is easy + provides instant coolness
2 // I love the mix of different textures, it keeps an all black look interesting
3 // Pair a masculine piece with feminine items, camo is perfect for a little something unexpected
4 // Buffalo plaid tied around the waist to my go-to, always 
5 // I'm so in to ripped jeans lately, but why are they typically more expensive
6 // Sneakers, the way to my heart
7 // Black & white stripes obsessed right now, channeling my inner Parisian
8 // The Courtney bib by Baublebar, recently picked one up for only $20 #score
9 // Black + white + tan/cognac, so simple but works every time

Hair // Can't get enough of sexy bed-head messy curly hair, plus it's pretty easy for me to pull off with my lion's mane
Makeup // All about glowing skin with defined brows + a bold lip #yasssss

*all other photos are not mine & found on Tumblr

Brave Love Blog

Sep 3, 2015

Blog-tember Challenge // Day 3

Blog-tember Challenge Day 3: using pictures/collage, tell us what your blog is about

I'd say my blog is a little about everything but I've narrowed down what I am truly passionate about. 

Makeup/Beauty // makeup just makes me happy, it's relaxing, as odd as that sounds, while I'm going through my routine. I love trying new products & learning different tips + tricks. 

Encouragement // Being a woman is hard, beautiful but hard. I want women to know that yes, you can be an independent bawse & just because you're assertive, no that doesn't mean you're a bitch. I want women to feel confident & beautiful & sexy in their own skin without validation from men or the outside world. 

Jesus // Without him, I am nothing. I've been through tough situations so I can share my testimony with others in the hope that they too can make it through the fire because, Jesus. 

*all photos are from Tumblr

Sep 1, 2015

blog-tember // day 1

I haven't blogged in forever, I was feeling all inspired with a plethora of topics to write about. Until there was just too much to write about & I kinda threw my hands in the air. I started blogging this time last year with this exact Blog-Tember challenge. I didn't really know what direction I wanted to take my blog until I realized there's more to life than giveaways & being a "popular" internet phenom. I want community & fellowship & to encourage. What better way to jump back in to the swing of things than with this challenge! 

I'm Rachel, 27, single and cherishing my current season. I've been saved by a gracious God who treats me way better than I deserve. I'm learning to trust Him in ALL areas of my life, let me tell you....when you give it all to Him, he shows out.

Random tidbits:

-I am a makeup lover, contouring + brows + mascara are probably my favorites
-I own more nail polish than a salon
-Autumn is my favorite season, give me all the sweatshirts
-However, not a fan of pumpkin spice latte (gasp, I know) too sweet for me
-I love to brunch & go antique hunting
-Sometimes I cuss like a sailor but I'm working on it 
-Leopard is my favorite color 
-Weight training is my exercise of choice #gainsssss

I'm excited to see new faces & meet some awesome ladies. Please don't hesitate to say hello!

Jun 13, 2015

have you ever had the feeling that something was coming? no clue exactly when, or in what shape, or location....but in your soul, deep down in your bones, you could feel it?

The older I get, the more I learn to trust my intuition. And the more spiritually mature I become, I realize the Holy Spirit is crazy good.

Hope is a funny character. It can hold us hostage in unruly situations & give us the slightest glimmer that things, may indeed, turn around. Hope also wakes us up in the morning, sun shinning on our face, thankful morning graced us with her presence again.

A few weeks back I was meandering around Hobby Lobby on a Saturday afternoon. A wash of calm, peaceful, hope came over me. In that moment, I smiled because I knew this wouldn't last forever. A giddy happiness children exude when they fly a kite or blow bubbles for the first time. Present, in the moment, joyfulness.

I've felt it, the thing my heart so longs for, was on it's way for the past 6 months...or so. Not that it was close but it was coming around the corner, so keep forging through the mud girl.

But now, now it feels closer than ever. Am I crazy? I swear I feel all the feels, all the time.

And then these bible verse about perseverance show up out of nowhere, and Jesus. He speaks to me through words; the bible, other people's, even my own.

I'm reminded of a verse I've clung to like a life raft; "suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3-5  

And I'm filled with hope and the promise that my God is good and true and in control. 


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