Do you ever wish God would tell you how a person could ruin your life before you commit yourself to them? What if every bad friend, destructive spouse, negative experience, etc. came with a warning letter? Like, if riiiiiight before you walked into a relationship or situation that would have emotional impact years down the road, God stepped in and gave you a plethora of reasons as to why this here is a TURRIBLE (yes….with a u) idea. We see Him do this in 1 Samuel 8, and chillleee....let’s just get to it.
Have you ever seen sunrise...from above the clouds? Well, that’s my view as I type this post. It’s one of the clearest and most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. The sun is seemingly beside you. You look down, and there are the clouds. Hours ago, you looked up at those clouds. The very thing that served as your definition of the sky is....beneath you (that’ll stretch your boundaries). Yet, I think one of the most amazing parts of this view is the fact that...I’m not supposed to be here to see it.
(Soooo...what had happened waaasss...)
Soooo….hi (lol). It’s been a while, right? There’s a reason for that. I’ve joined the sorority of my dreams, I graduated from law school, prepared for and taken the Texas bar exam, all within a few months. I’m slowly but surely becoming a whole adult. My former goals are my realities. My life is…expanding, and of course with that expansion, I’ve learned quiiiite a bit. This…we need to sit & discuss...
So I was reading the Bible one day….and I had a law school moment (I don’t admit it much, but I LOVE IT when that happens). It happened in Mark 9:14-27. There, a story is told of a man, his possessed son…and Jesus. The man brought his son to Jesus, describes the problem, and says “if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (v. 22) Jesus, being….Jesus, responds and says “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (v. 23) There’s a shift between those two verses that I want to show you today, so come on! Let’s go...
I have a series of scars on my arms (I went through a particularly terrible summer where it seemed like I drew mosquitos to me every time I inhaled..or exhaled). This weekend, those scars were used to teach me a lesson that I want to share with you...
I am the (self-proclaimed) queen of confirmation. I have probably asked God to confirm everything He’s ever said to me. It’s lowkey a wonder that he’s still dealing with me (lol). (*cue…you* “why Valencia?) Well, have you ever heard the phrase ‘if God said it, I believe it, & that settles it’? That if has caused me great concern throughout my life. Because….what if He didn’t? What if my grand imagination just sounds like something I wish God would allow to happen? I don't want to walk around putting faith in the great stories I create in my head; those could fail any day of the week. I want to put my faith in what God actually said. Thankfully, He’s gone to great lengths to show me that He is speaking & that Im not making up a fabulous story. One of those ‘lengths’ is Hebrews 10:23….
I am not a morning person. I'm actually the exact opposite (I went to bed at 1:30 Tuesday morning). For a week or so, I felt led to tune in to a 4 a.m. Tuesday prayer session that happens in Chicago. I questioned my ability to do it (once again, I'm not voluntarily active before 9 or 10 am...on a good day), but I got up ...at 4 am...and listened to/participated in the prayer session. It...laid…me...OUT. Like literally, I was on my floor, crying out of control...at four...in...the...morning, trying to avoid waking up those that live around me. The night before, I essentially told God to make me waking up worth it (bold request)…He fulfilled His end of the bargain, & then some. The prayer session was only an hour long, and at 5 a.m, I was too deep in the spirit to go back to sleep. So, I was praying after they ended the live feed. That taught me something that I want to pass to you
Honesty moment: so, when I started writing this, I was convinced that I was going to base it on Isaiah 59:19. Then, I realized that scripture doesn’t mean what I thought it meant (lesson/purpose of this intro: this is why we study the word for ourselves, saints). Yet, I found another scripture that essentially speaks to the same point (thanks God, because I was starting to think I was insane/incompetent). Today’s ram in the bush: Psalm 3:3.
Last week, a friend & I were talking about our shared dysfunction (keep us in prayer, k?). I don’t like to be a burden or a bother, you know? So if (after a period of time), I feel like a burden/bother, or that you don’t really want to talk to me, I stop talking (it’s really terrible lol). Since that conversation, one verse has repeatedly swirled around my mind: “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7). Therefore, I’m here to serve as a reminder of what you may already know: He still cares. (this may be quick, so…let’s go)
When I started this blog, I wanted to break down the ‘code’ that I noticed in church (because church in & of itself is a culture with it’s own language). That’s why I named it Church Decoded. I wanted to take the sermons that we hear on Sunday, and make them…applicable (because it’s easy to shout, and harder to see it through). That’s the inspiration behind these posts: to take the sermon you hear on Sunday, and make it a little more practical. Well, today, we get back to our roots.
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
Within the first year, Church Decoded was viewed over 15,000 times! FIF...TEEN....THOUSAND!....IN A YEAR! I am SO grateful to everybody that has ever read, shared, and/or liked a blog post. Ya'll have truly blown my mind. Let's keep telling (our lives) His story!