Rejection Letters

“Unfortunately…”

“We’re sorry to inform you…”

“You have great qualities, but…”

Rejection. We’ve all faced it in some form.

how exciting

And I’m sure you’ve heard, “Rejection is just God’s protection.” Perfect, right? When you aren’t selected for the dream job you’ve been praying for, when you find out you’ve miscarried for the third time, when you didn’t pass the class you needed to move forward in your program, when your great business idea fails or when a relationship all of a sudden goes left.

In those moments, it’s hard to see God’s protection. It’s hard to understand why, once again, you’ve been let down. It’s hard to comprehend God’s plan.

Remember the story in Luke 5 when the disciples went fishing and caught nothing all night? They eventually called it quits and decided to clean their nets. However, the next day Jesus told them to try again. Simon’s first response was to let Him know they’d fished all night and not caught anything.

Have you ever been afraid to try again because your past attempts didn’t work out well? Are you trusting more in your track record than God, who has the power to move on your behalf? Although they had fished for hours and they were most likely tired and maybe discouraged, the disciples listened to Jesus when He spoke. They took Him at His word and it worked.

“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!
Luke 5:5-6 NLT

Have you listened for God’s voice? What does He have to say about what you’re going through? Have you surrendered control to Him or are you solely committed to doing your own thing?

Take all of your rejection letters and turn them into prayers. If God wants to open a door for you, He will open it. You won’t have to struggle to pry it open yourself, or beg anyone on the other side to let you in. When you allow God to have complete control over your life, you position yourself to receive all that He has for you – exceedingly, abundantly, far above all that you may ask or even imagine.

“A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.”
Luke 5:7 NLT

Rejection stings and it can be discouraging. During those challenging times, remember that it is not God’s character to withhold any good thing from you. He has purpose for your life and an amazing plan that is far beyond what you can see right now.

“Jesus replied to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!’ And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.”
Luke 5:10-11 NLT

The disciples were amazed by what God had done. Just hours before, they had seemingly worked so hard to no avail. And although they didn’t understand, they were willing to trust in the One who knows everything. God has all power, which means your entire life can change in a moment. He has a reason for not answering that prayer or opening that door. You will not be in this season forever, but there is so much you can learn while you’re here. I encourage you to study scriptures on rejection, God’s love for you, and faith. Spending time with God strengthens your faith and gives you a healthy perspective. Even through pain, we can find peace in our Savior 🙂

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
Psalm 84:11 KJV

Homemade Pineapple-Mango Popsicles

It’s officially my favorite time of year… summer. I thought it would be fitting to start the season off with one of my favorite treats. These homemade popsicles are a healthy alternative to store-bought brands. There’s no corn syrup, added sugar or food dye. They’re also quick, inexpensive and fun to make!

Note: I purchased the popsicle mold from Target for $10 [on sale]!

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Ingredients:

  • 12 oz of frozen mangos
  • 12 oz of frozen pineapples
  • 16 oz of pineapple juice

 

Instructions:

  1. Blend all of the ingredients until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for 6 hours.
  3. Pour hot water over the molds for 30-60 seconds, before removing popsicles.
  4. Enjoy!

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What’s your favorite summer snack?

How Far Are You Willing to Go?

“At that time some Pharisees said to Him, ‘Get away from here if you want to live! Herod Antipas wants to kill you!’ Jesus replied, ‘Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose.'”
Luke 13:31-32 NLT

How far are you willing to go? When you feel judged or rejected because of your relationship with Christ, will you still live for Him and openly seek Him with the same tenacity? When people reject your dreams and the purpose God has given you, will you still be obedient to what God has called you to do? What if you start losing friends because you’ve chosen to live differently and your friends don’t want to be around you as much?

My dad taught me to never downplay who I am out of fear that it will make someone else uncomfortable. This is a valuable lesson that has truly stuck with me over the years. As believers, we don’t have to brag or prove ourselves, but we were also not created to be hidden. Can people look at your life and see who you’re living for?

You will encounter those who have negative opinions and comments. But you have to decide for yourself whether you’re going to listen to them or God. Human opinions will never come close to your value in Christ and how much He loves you. The purpose and plans God has for you are so much bigger than what others think or say. Combat their negativity with God’s Word. It says:

  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
  • “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18-19 NIV
  • “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV
  • “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

Jesus was not concerned about what others were saying. He was willing to risk everything to fulfill His purpose on this Earth. Will you pursue purpose as long as its comfortable? Or will you follow the plans God has for you, no matter the cost? How far are you willing to go?

 

The Beauty of Affirmations

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Romans 10:17 (NLT)

Style & Grace is the combination of the beauty flowing from within you, and the unique characteristics that make you special. It is the confidence in knowing you have been hand-picked by God and graced to be all that He has created you to be.

Each day, seeds are being planted in our hearts and minds. As we water them, they continue to grow. In other words, what are you allowing to take root in your heart? Fear? The opinions of others? Doubts and worries? Or God’s truths?

IMG_7765For a while I did not know what it meant for my worth to be found in Christ. Did all of this really apply to me? And how exactly could I apply this concept to my life? I studied what the Bible said about my worth and who I am in Christ. I made notecards and affirmations that I read every day. Soon, my confidence increased, I was growing in my relationship with God and I truly believed what His Word said about me.

Sometimes, we need a reminder of who we are and what that means. That is why I decided to create a list of scriptural affirmations that remind women of all ages that our worth and value is rooted in Christ. These affirmations serve as a visual reminder that you are special, you are chosen and you are enough.

You can download the affirmations list by clicking here! 🙂 Or, just shoot me an email [jheralynnefaith@gmail.com] and I will be glad to send you the list! 🙂

I speak about my journey in discovering my worth in Christ in my new book, Chosen For Such A Time As This. It is available for purchase here on Amazon.

Challenged to Make a Change

“Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’

“The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”

Luke 13:6-9 NLT

As Christians, we can have so many desires and expectations of God. But are we producing fruit? Are we implementing the lessons He has taught us? Are we showing others the grace and mercy He’s shown us? What are we doing with the powerful messages we receive? Do they end up lost somewhere in the backs of our minds?

Recently a friend saw me underlining passages in a book. She asked me, “How often do you go back and read what you’ve underlined?” Unfortunately, not often enough. Of course, there are books and messages that really stick with me and spark a change in my life. But I had to ask myself, what is the point of underlining or writing notes if I don’t turn back to them?

When I was in college, one of my study methods was to read the notes I took in class often. I didn’t wait until the last minute to begin studying because all along, I was preparing myself. On exam day I was confident because I knew my material. If I had written it down, I’d memorized it and I understood it.

I remember a time where I would read over my notes from my quiet time often. The lessons God taught me stayed in my heart. I made index cards with scriptures and commentaries that highlighted an area I was trying to grow stronger in. I would read index cards and affirmations every single day.

Although I’m still growing, I believe I can do so much better by being more intentional with the information I’ve been given. Whether it’s my quiet time notes or sermons I listen to, I’ve made a commitment to get back to the place of studying. After all, the Bible tells us to meditate on God’s Word (Joshua 1:8) and implement what He teaches us (Matthew 7:24).

What is one way that you’re intentional about your growth? Or are there areas in your walk with God that you’d like to improve? I’d love to know! Comment your thoughts below!

Pinky Promise Conference 2018: Days 3 & 4

Just when I thought the conference couldn’t get any better… day 3 has been absolutely amazing. I’ve said that about the other 2 days as well, but it’s true. Cornelius Lindsey, Heather’s husband, led the general session this morning and he spoke about being Overlooked. No matter how insignificant you may feel, God has given you purpose and He has strategically put you in a place where you can minister to others or even one person. And that one person will be able to change a nation. There are nations waiting on your obedience.

Later, we had a session on modesty and we had the clothing swap, which is set up like a store with tables and clothing racks. The way the clothing swap works is you bring in new or gently used clothes, shoes, jewelry, bags, accessories, etc before Day 3 of the conference. And basically, you get a ticket with the number of items you are eligible to receive in return. I donated 5 items, so I was able to add 5 new pieces to my wardrobe!

IMG_7627Lastly, Heather preached from Genesis on the subject of Blind Faith. She challenged us to walk by faith and trust God even when we can’t see where He’s taking us, or any other factor that may seemingly deter us from God’s will for our lives. My overall take from her message was to please God and live for Him, no matter what it costs you. Heather’s declaration that she was willing to be embarrassed for God resonated with me more than anything else during the entire conference.

Sunday – the final day of the conference – included church in the hotel with the Gathering Oasis, the church Cornelius pastors. There was also a book signing afterwards where I was able to meet and take pictures with Cornelius and Heather. Pinky Promise has greatly impacted my life over the past 5 years and I am so thankful to have finally met Heather. Overall, this weekend has been life-changing and I can’t wait to implement everything I’ve learned! 🙂 Oh! And next year the Pinky Promise Conference and the Man Cave Conference (the men’s conference) will be held in Miami! 😀 Registration is at pinkypromiseconference.com

Pinky Promise Conference 2018: Day 2

The second day of the Pinky Promise Conference has been nothing short of amazing! There were sessions on marriage, singleness, natural hair, health, debt freedom and entrepreneurship. The night ended with a powerful message from Sarah Jakes Roberts. I’ll highlight a bit of what I learned from each session 🙂

 

Singles Sessions by Heather Lindsey – “Build A Man”
As always, I was deeply inspired by Heather’s teaching. It’s difficult for me to choose just one thing I learned during this session. It would be so much easier for me to post a picture of my notes 🙂 but my overall take of her message was to plant seeds. Heather spoke to us singles about how important it is to sow seeds into our future husbands and how to practically apply this to our lives. She also confronted the unrealistic expectations of having a “perfect” spouse/marriage and how greed or poor perspective can cause you to overlook what God has presented to you. I was so blessed by her message! It also reminded me that we can plant seeds in all of those we encounter and have relationships with [family, friends, coworkers, etc.].

 

Natural Hair Panel
I am very thankful for representation and the opportunity to hear other women discuss the triumphs and pitfalls of their natural hair journey. I have been natural for about 5 years now and I don’t see myself ever going back to having my hair chemically processed. Part of my self-love journey and learning who I was included falling in love with what God created to grow out of my head, naturally! The biggest take-aways from the natural hair panel was:

  1. Keep your ends trimmed (let it go, sis!).
  2. Eat right and drink plenty of water.
  3. Be mindful of the products (ingredients) you use and stick to products that work for you.
  4. Let go of this “good hair bad hair” mentality. You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of GOD. Nothing about you is a mistake!!

Okay, so #4 wasn’t actually discussed on the panel, but I had to say it.

 

What about your Health with Dr. Agolli, Founder of Progressive Medical
walk with the Lord daily meme.jpgDr. Agoli shared 7 Habits of extraordinarily healthy people. He spoke of how we are made in God’s image, and our bodies are capable of healing, one cell at a time. This is because what we eat has a profound impact on our health and food heals from the inside out (a concept I believe in 100%). He also reminded us that we are in control of our temple. Don’t wait to start tomorrow; tomorrow is today.

 

 

Debt Freedom by Dr. April Wesley

almost payday meme

This is why it’s important to budget and use self-discipline 😀

Anyone that truly knows me knows that I am serious about budgeting! I love finding ways to save money and helping others do the same. April shared some of the sacrifices she’s made to eliminate her debt. She sold her new Audi truck, rode the bus for 2 months, and then bought a vehicle cash… all for the purpose of eliminating debt. My greatest takeaway from April’s session was the Every Dollar app. I typically write my budget out each month, but I believe this app will be a more efficient way to spend and save. She shared more tips that I would love to share in a later post!

 

What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur by Heather Lindsey
One of the first things Heather said during this session was entrepreneurs must show themselves faithful with little before God blesses them with more. She highlighted that sometimes things will get so hard you’ll want to quit. However, if your motives are right and you’re doing what God has called you to do, press forward. Don’t pursue a business or idea because of the money, but whatever you do should be because you love God and want to help people. Heather encouraged us to invest back in our business when money starts coming in, make sure you have all your paperwork in order, and develop a great team. Also, don’t allow your hope to be in your finances. The money will come when you’re passionate about what God has called you to do.

 

Snatch It Back by Sarah Jakes Roberts
IMG_7617.JPGIn case you didn’t know, Sarah is the daughter of Pastor TD Jakes and the wife of Pastor Toure Roberts. She is an amazing author, blogger and speaker. Needless to say, I was super excited to hear her speak live after years of watching her online at OneChurchLA and reading her books. When Sarah announced the title of her message, she shared the definition of snatch; to quickly seize something in a rude or eager way. In short, Sarah encouraged us to snatch back our joy, our peace, and every good and perfect gift God has promised us in His Word. She taught about Mary’s experience with losing Jesus and how He was simply pursuing purpose. Sarah encouraged us to get back to the woman that was excited about pursuing purpose and the Word God has given us.

This paragraph does absolutely no justice to the message Sarah shared. Every word she spoke was exactly what I needed to hear. And judging by the response from the room, the majority (if not all) of the other women felt the same way. I am beyond thankful that God has blessed me to be a part of this powerful experience! And there’s still more to come 🙂

Pinky Promise Conference 2018: Day 1

 “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.”

1 Chronicles 16:23-25 (NIV)

Pinky Promise is an organization founded by Heather Lindsey that encourages women of all ages to honor God with their lives and bodies. All around the United States and other countries, women meet in small groups to study God’s Word and Heather’s monthly studies. She is a wife, mother, speaker, author, she shares many messages and teachings on YouTube, and each year she hosts the Pinky Promise Conference in Atlanta.

The first time I attended the conference was in 2015. It was truly a life-changing experience that I’ll never forget. This is my second year coming and I’ve been so excited! The first major event was the worship concert Thursday night featuring Jonathan Traylor and One1Way.

We were packed like a can of vienna sausages but it was so worth it! 😀 I wish I could have gotten more photos and videos for the blog but I was so focused in on the moment. With my shoes off and my hands raised, I enjoyed every minute and didn’t want the concert to end. It’s such a blessing to be in the presence of God, surrounded by other believers. It reminds me that this is just a snippet of what Heaven will be like. 💜

“You take broken things and make them beautiful. You take broken things and make them whole again.”

Lessons From the Past

Regret has a way of showing up uninvited. Oftentimes, we think if this particular thing wouldn’t have happened, or if I would have just said it this way instead… everything would be different.

We can’t go back and change the past. It’s happened. And the truth is, sometimes one isolated event is not as destructive as we think it is. In order for real change to happen, perspective must shift. There has to be an internal change.

Perhaps if you wouldn’t have gone to a certain event, you wouldn’t have met the friends that negatively influenced you to the point where you became a completely different person. But what if you’d met the same type of friends at a different event? Or school? Or neighborhood? Same type of people, choices, and outcomes.

Or maybe you regret the way you treated a loved one. The things you said tore them down and the relationship which took years to build suffered a very hard blow. Let’s say you didn’t blurt those hurtful comments on this particular day. How long would it have been until you were finally fed up (again) and said those words that have been brewing in your heart all along?

Of course, if we could go back and right our wrongs, most of us would. Instead of seeking to change the outcome of one event, I encourage you to change your heart and your mindset. What exactly did you say or do that is causing feelings of regret? What is in your heart that led you to make this decision? Maybe you were influenced by the wrong things, but why? Was it due to low self-esteem, fear, pressure, temptation, etc.?

There are also situations that have happened, that are completely beyond your control. Things others may have done to you, whether accidental or intentional. Unfortunately, we can’t change their actions either. But we can assess how we feel about it, and ask God to heal those wounded areas.

Your feelings about your past are a reflection of your heart today. It’s normal to experience sadness and grief. But is there room for freedom? Is there room for forgiveness? Please don’t allow anger, shame, or guilt to take away from the peace and the joy God has promised to you.

I speak about my own experience of dealing with pain from the past in my book Chosen For Such A Time As This [available here]. One thing I’ve learned is that God will completely heal you from your past, and use your story to bless others. No matter what has happened, trust God to keep His promises. Know that He loves you and there is purpose found in everything you’ve endured.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Psalm 147:3 (NIV)