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...
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 will be the first to admit that I’m kinda sorta…extremely childish at times. I laugh at a lot of things that I probably shouldn’t laugh at. My sarcasm turns into a childish joke (or…5). I have natural childishness down to every tee; it’s the spiritual childishness that I struggle with (surprising, right?)….
Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” The minute I read this, God started talking to me, and I’m simply here as a middleman, encouraging you the way He encouraged me.
…and I don’t want to hear anything that resembles “the substance of things hoped for & the evidence of things not seen.” (lol) Then again, let’s say that Hebrews 11:1 was your initial or automatic response when you read today’s title. What does that mean? Like really? If you had to break it down to the lowest terms, what does that actually mean? I’m asking because I think that sometimes, we turn scriptures into cliches, pass cliches throughout generations (without explanation)….and wonder why we’re quoting God’s word…without reaching our potential in God’s power. So today, I want us all to have a clearer picture of what faith truly is and what it can do.
In the final segment of our journey to Lazarus’ tomb, we run back to the house with Martha (all hyped up from the sermon), and find Mary….sitting in a chair (not hyped up on anything). Mad. She’s big mad too. Think about it. You tell Jesus you have a problem, knowing that if He just….shows up…your problem will be resolved. You call your friend, and He….doesn’t show up. As a result, your problem shifts from bad to the absolute worst, and NOW He shows up. Four days. FOUR DAYS, and now this man….what Martha? huh?! Jesus is looking for us? He’s got something to say?! Oh snaps! Let’s go!
So today, we continue the journey through Lazarus’ resurrection. Last week, we had to face the fact that God does intentionally let our lovely deadlines pass. There will be moments in which He will let certain opportunities, relationships, etc. pass….for His glory. Trust that if He let anything in your life die, that He can either replace it with something better, OR raise it from the dead. However, if we move forward & read John 11: 13-27, we realize that we play a part in this process. We not only have to stop breathing life into something that God is trying to kill; we also have to believe for better.
Today, we start a 3 part journey following the story of Lazarus’ death & resurrection. Why 3 parts? Well, the more I read & thought about it, the more I wrote, and I wouldn’t dare upload something that long. Also, while it’s one story, each segment kind of deals with something different. Are you ready? Oh you better believe I’m ready! Let’s go!
Have you ever heard or read a verse, and it just….stick with you? Like, you can’t seem to shake it? That’s what’s recently happened between me & Genesis 12:1-3. Let’s talk about, shall we? Ohhhhh you bet we shall (lol)….
Random fact: I love ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder. It’s one of my favorite shows. I also have quite a few friends that love that show, so we have to talk about it at least once a week, right?! RIGHT! (lol) Most of my friends are ridiculously busy (seriously, we all need help lol), so there are quite a few instances in which somebody will text me about the show, I won’t know what they’re talking about, or vice versa. Typically, if we find out somebody hasn’t seen the heart attack that is a Shonda Rhimes show, we leave it alone, & simply say ‘let me know when you watch it’, because we don’t want to spoil the show for them. Hoooooowever, if it’s something that we just NEED to talk about, we request permission for a spoiler alert. When I say ‘spoiler alert’, that’s my way of telling you that I’m about to tell you how the episode ends (or reveal some climatic point) before you see it for yourself. I’m going to give you the result before you realize there’s a problem. Typically, we don’t like spoiler alerts because we want to watch the story unfold and take it all it. However, today, I think I’ve got one that you’ll be glad to know….
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!