22 Lessons I’ve Learned in 22 Years

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Turning 22 years old this year has made me realize how fast life goes and how much I have left to learn. I was the type of kid growing up that would plan out their entire life so, a lot of things didn’t turn out the way I imagined lol. However, through all the mistakes, life changes, spiritual growth, ands so much more… it turned out much better! So, here’s to a few lessons I’ve learned in 22 years.

1.You’re not going to be a plastic surgeon or medical doctor

This was my main goal when I was 11/12 years old and one of my biggest dreams at the time. A year ago I would be devastated to come to this reality but today I’m not. I always wanted to help people, I love blood, and I like making a lot of money. However, this year as I’ve grown closer to God I’ve realized that’s not what I want anymore for myself…and guess what? That’s okay! Although I was almost finished with my degree to get into medical school I now have a different route and I couldn’t be more excited and a bit scared about it. So, here’s to graduating May 2020 with a degree in Sociology.

2. You won’t have everything figured out

This is a hard lesson I’ve had to learn! I love knowing things and I also love planning so, learning this took a while and I’m still learning it honestly. I’ve learned to go with the flow more in terms of how my life will turn out and trust God with the details. I’ve been less stressed and filled with less worry ever since I’ve learned this hard truth. Learn as you go, life is more fun that way.

3. Opening up to people isn’t so bad

Not everyone is untrustworthy…who would’ve thought! Learning to be open and trust others will set you free from all the things you hold in, as long as you’re willing to share your journey with others. I had a few great friends in my life but I’ve gained some really amazing sisters who have helped me grow in my faith, be vulnerable, and so much more. People can be trusted especially when you pray and ask God to send you the right individuals. Life isn’t meant to do alone, its okay to trust others!

4. You’re voice is important

WOW….this one is huge for me. Thinking about it gets me a bit emotional because its’s not something I thought was. There’s power and truth in the words I say and the words you say. Your words can touch others by simply opening up my mouth. So, yay to growing comfortable with speaking more and reaching others with the words God give me, the things I experienced and will continue to experience. Never disqualify your voice sis.

5. You’ll enjoy the single life

News flash, you won’t need a relationship to give you an ounce of happiness, worth and value….you have God for that honey! You’ll have time to learn who you’re, do all the things you want, and you’ll be free. You’re man will come BUT let’s enjoy all the traveling, being content by yourself, getting these degrees with no distractions, building a brand with no distractions, becoming whole and walking on the path of being the person you were created to be so, when he comes you don’t have to find value in him and you’re ready to build together.

6.It’s okay to not be 100% okay all the time

You don’t have to put on an everything is good in my life mask. Everyone goes through things and you don’t have to try and conceal yours.

7. Your past doesn’t have to be your future

Your past is just that, the past. It’s behind you and the only thing you can do is learn from it and move forward. Growing comes from learning from the mistakes you’ve made so there’s no point in sitting in those hurts and over replaying those thoughts. Talk about the things that continuously linger in your mind to people you trust, the hurt that you experienced, the things you’ve done…be set free from the things that you can’t control, give it to God to carry. There’s so much freedom and growth in walking into new beginnings without the weight of the past.

8. It’s okay to say no

You can’t please everyone. You have a right to say no to anybody and the things you don’t want to do. People will live and you’re just as important. Don’t be a people pleaser be a God pleaser! 😉

9. Keep being honest

Your honesty will be appreciated. It’s not always necessary but share it when it is and be polite about it. Honesty is what help others grow and how your relationships can grow deeper.

10. Take more pictures

Pictures capture moments you won’t ever get back. Take lots of them, you won’t regret it.

11. Life has so much to offer

Get out your box and check out all the things this world and life has to offer. You don’t have to stick to a strategic plan you created, trust God with all the plans. Start that blog, start that business, finish that degree, travel, change that major, start that book, move to somewhere new.

12. Your health is SO important

Exercise is important and beneficial to the body BUT the things you eat are more important. You can’t eat junk and expect to feel good all the time, have high energy, clear skin, and a healthy functioning body. You only have one body so be kind to it.

13. Family isn’t always blood

We are all brothers and sisters in Christ so, the blood family we’re born into isn’t our only family. Family isn’t just blood. Family, are people who you love, who you can count on, they’re there for you in the highs and lows, genuinely want the best for you…..that’s family.

14. Being successful isn’t just about degrees and money

College isn’t the one route to success it once was. You can receive education in various ways now besides enrolling in college. Although I’m in college and I will secure my degrees, I know that’s not the only way to become successful in life. A single degree doesn’t determine the entire course of your life if you don’t allow it to. Success is loving and helping others and remembering this life is only permanent so, live it for God….the money will come.

15. You will live without chicken

I always wanted to be vegetarian because I don’t like animal cruelty and I know a lot of meats are not good for the human body. Letting go of my favorite meat chicken especially as a black individual was hard honey, but I did it and my sensitive digestive system loves me now. Although I’m not vegetarian yet, I am currently pescatarian and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in regards to my health.

16. The desires in your heart and the things you love align with your purpose

A lot of times we think or I used to think it’s only this one career that you have to do in life and it made me nervous, because I love doing so many things. Thank God that’s not the truth! Your purpose is intertwined with the things you’re good at, the things you think you may not be good at but if you try it it’ll reveal so much to you. We all should have one ultimate goal which is to bring people to Christ. However, we all have different talents, creative ideas that are meant to be used in order to fulfill our purpose and overall assignment on this earth. Don’t think too hard about your purpose because everything is already inside you.

17. You aren’t missing out on anything

FOMO ( Fear of Missing Out) is a real thing and I had it so bad. I learned I’m not missing out on anything lol and I need to learn to just be still. I don’t need to be somewhere all the time, I don’t need to be doing something all the time. There’s peace and benefits of just being still, relaxing, quietness and letting God speak to you through that. Give your mind and body time to regenerate.

18. Date yourself

In order to get to know yourself you have to spend alone time with yourself. You don’t have to wait on a man to take you out, you can take yourself out sis. Spend time in your own presence doing things you love to do. It’s so nice to just do the thing you want or love to do without asking or waiting for someone else.

19. Get a mentor

This may come at a price but its worth it! This is one of the best investments I made for myself. There’s nothing like having someone who shares the same passions in life and has already excelled in one or many of those passions to now teach you the ropes. We need other people in life and getting a mentor is one of the best choices to the keys of growing as an individual and growing your brand/business.

20. Healing comes in various forms

Healing comes from speaking your truth. Healing comes from confessing things to others. Healing comes from apologizing. Healing comes from communication like therapy/counseling. Healing comes from revisiting that hurt and finally choosing to deal with it. Healing comes through serving others. Healing is a choice you have to make. Healing comes when you trust that the God of all things has the power to repair what once bruised you.

21. Travel

Even if it just out of your town, out of your state, or out of your country, TRAVEL! The world is a huge place filled of so much, don’t waste it by remaining in one little area all the time. Travel not only just to gain a feel of a new place but also travel with a goal of sharing your faith, your passion, etc with someone you may never meet again…make a positive impact everywhere you go.

22. A relationship with God is the most important thing in life

This relationship is everything your soul needs and longs for. A unique relationship with the God who created the universe is one we should all have. He knows you more than you know you. A relationship with God is a relationship that I would never regret on starting and one you will never regret.

I could go on and on with the lessons I’ve learned but I’ll stop here. I hope you enjoyed reading them, have similar ones, different ones and maybe even picked one you want to start learning.

God loves you more than you know

I love you and remember you’re Chosen, Bianca Brown

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Lonely/Loneliness- sadness because one has no friends or company; isolation.

Did you know the enemy (Satan) loves to attack our mind? Once our mind is in confusion the body follows. So, what happens when we become lonely? Being lonely is an isolation of the mind. God says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). God knows the importance of having a godly companion and/or godly community, we’re created with a longing to not be alone. Being a Christian and lonely is a topic that isn’t discussed enough. It’s seen as we’re Christians and since we know God that equates to not suffering from those feelings (LIES) however, many of us do. Being a Christian doesn’t exempt you from human emotions, desires, etc. but it means we know God is right with us along the way.

Loneliness is something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember. I could be surrounded by people all day and have all the friends in the world but still felt lonely. I know God but still felt a deep sense of loneliness. The moment I was abused my mind went into isolation and it was a constant replay of my words don’t matter, so keep my mouth shut which led to a downward spiral of deep mental isolation. Your loneliness may not stem from an incident like mine, but it stems from somewhere. In the world’s eyes, loneliness can be cured by taking drugs, having friendships, romantic relationships, sex, and the list goes on. Some of these may seem innocent but these are all temporary satisfaction. So, what happens when you still feel empty? Thankfully, we have a loving God who not only fills are loneliness BUT He fills it permanently! Last week during my devotion and a deep talk with a friend, I finally got a deep revelation about this on and off loneliness I carried.

 How to get through loneliness

  • God is the only one who can permanently cure that deep loneliness you feel, but you must cling to Him and His word. During my times of loneliness, I held onto my broken understanding for fulfillment or other temporary satisfaction. Guess what happened when they didn’t satisfy me? I still felt lonely. However, when the deep loneliness started to arise again, I did something different. I allowed myself to acknowledge what I felt and repeatedly told myself I’m not alone! I wasn’t alone during my abuse and I’m not alone now. God wants to fill the hollow space in your heart were loneliness resides, so let Him! “I am with you now, I will protect you everywhere you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done everything that I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:15)
  • God wants us to have people in this life who we can depend on when we go through low moments and high moments. He knows the importance of relationships (ones that are healthy and godly). Do you have a godly community? If not ask God for discernment and seek a community but also learn how to be a friend. If you already have godly community great but maybe you have a hard time depending on others. Personally, I’ve always felt I had to carry myself by myself because that’s what I’ve always done, but that’s not entirely true nor is it wise! Look what God says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Summary, it is foolish to have a godly community and not lean on them! God wants you to lean on the godly people He already placed or will place in your life, so don’t be afraid.
  • There’s a season for everything and God calls us into seasons of isolation, so we can depend solely on Him and to protect us and prune us for the season ahead. Maybe you’re in that season now but be content and find joy in it. One of my favorite songs is Never Be Alone by Mainstream Worship and my favorite lyrics are “I can never escape from your presence, darkness and light you’re there. Nothing can hide me from your love, I’ll never be alone.” Accept the past and enjoy your current season even if it feels lonely BUT remember you’re never alone in this life!

God loves you more than you know

I love you and remember you’re Chosen, Bianca Brown

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Angry at God?

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Being angry at God isn’t something much people speak about, I’ve never heard about it growing up. However, I’ve been angry at God and have felt anger towards Him again recently but, handled it with a new perspective. With our earthly father we get upset so, why can’t we get upset with God? God is our Father too (Matthew 6:11). There’re various reasons why we get upset with our earthly father maybe they were never there, they abandoned us, they abused us, they didn’t give us what we want at the time we wanted it, they never showed us the love we probably deserved, they hurt us, they’re inconsistent and the list can go on. I’ve learned that how we view our earthly father is probably how we view our heavenly Father. So, what do we do when we’re upset/angry with God? I’ll share some steps but first I’ll share two distinct times I was upset with God.

My experiences being upset with God

The first distinct time I was angry with God was at the age of 14. I just got baptized and life was good. Then one day I had a wave of suppressed thoughts flood my mind and I remembered about my abuse. Shortly after, I started to think if God is so mighty and virtuous then why would He let that happen? If He loved me as much as the Bible says, then why did He leave me? Why didn’t He protect me? Then I figured if He couldn’t protect me and He could abandon me then what’s the point of Him, I might as well live my life for me. Have you ever felt that way? Or maybe that was just me. Of course, those are lies from the enemy, but I fell for it and I decided to harden my heart towards God for years after that till I turned about 18; then I decided maybe I’ll let Him in BUT slowly. Fast forward to March of 2019, I now have a different understanding of God, so I handled it differently. I left a counseling session and I felt heaviness on my chest, and I was angry! I wanted to race home and cry, but I went to bible study first and I’m glad I did. They spoke about the story of raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44); and even though Jesus knew Lazarus would die and He would soon be raised from the dead, He still mourned for Lazarus! So, when I reached my home I cried and poured out my heart to God. I told Him I was angry, hurt, and that I didn’t understand it says He loves me, why did He allow this to happen to me? During that I was reminded 1) God didn’t allow or want this to happen BUT we live in a fallen world and we have free will (ability to make choices on our own), so that person wasn’t controlled by God when he did what he did. 2) God was there, and it hurt Him more than it hurt me. 3) God didn’t leave me, nor does He leave you and He NEVER will, even though it may feel like it.

Steps to take when you do get upset/angry with God

1)    PRAY, it may seem cliché, but this is important in all things with God. You must pray! You must open your heart and be honest with Him, He already sees your heart anyways (Jeremiah 17:10). He wants to hear from you and talk to you, so pray to Him. Cry out to Him like the psalmist David did in (Psalms 42:9-11).

2)    Remind yourself that God is PERFECT. God is much greater than our earthly father, (Luke 11:11-13). So, don’t allow the anger you may feel towards your earthly father or another individual, lead you to be angry with God.

3)    Remember yes, your earthly father may have left you or you feel he left you BUT God never leaves you. (Deuteronomy 31:6). When you feel He doesn’t see you, hear you, know He’s right there with you.

4)    Rest in knowing that God restores what has been taken from his children! He was mourning for you before it happened and as it happened. All the cracks in your heart that this fallen world created can be filled permanently with God if you let Him in. Read (Matthew 11:28), (Deuteronomy 30:3-10), & (Psalms 147:3).

Praying for all your broken hearts, this life isn’t always fair BUT our God is just and has already prepared the road before you!

God loves you more than you know

I love you and remember you’re Chosen, Bianca Brown

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For You

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I attended a church service recently and the pastor spoke about women and how strong we were made to be and that we’re chosen. Chosen applies to both male & female! Another point was that we should be there for one another instead of bringing one another down. It felt one good to hear that from a man’s point of view and two it reminded me of the true reason behind the name “Chosen-daughters”.

 About a month or two before starting my blog I found a wallpaper background on Pinterest that said you are chosen. Knowing you’re chosen is a feeling every human wants but don’t always feel they get. I felt the same way until I saw that wallpaper background, it reminded I’m not just chosen by anyone but chosen by someone SO special, GOD. Chosen because I’m loved and valued. There’s nothing I must do to earn being chosen by Him. No matter what human denies me, I’m still chosen by the one and only God. Guess what? So are you! It’s so hard to grasp sometimes that no matter what your past says, what people say, the sin you do, God will still choose you! So, when God told me to start a blog a couple months later I said okay. Next step was what to name it? He said chosen-daughters! I thought why? Then I remembered because that’s what I am and that’s what other women should know too. God chose you! “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you…” (John 15:16). Also, God is our Father and we’re His daughters (2 Corinthians 6:18). So, to the daughter who doesn’t feel chosen I say this prayer for you.

You’re chosen, special possession of the one and true living God (1 Peter 2:9). God made no mistake when He made you and everything you have done and will do will never change His mind about you. People may leave or hurt you, but God will ALWAYS remain true. He will always be with you holding your hand through it all. He wants you to love others as well. He doesn’t want you to tear down your sister in Christ. He made us sisters to help one another (Galatians 1:6-3). No man can stop what God has for you. You’re above and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13). You will lend and not borrow (Deuteronomy 15:6). Whenever you feel you serve no purpose, you’ve screwed up too much, you’re alone, you’re unworthy, remember God chose you and He didn’t choose you in vain. Amen!

God loves you more than you know

I love you and remember you’re Chosen, Bianca Brown

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What is Modesty?

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Modesty, the quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one’s ability. Synonym for modesty is humility. Modesty in its original language of Greek is kosmios, which means well ordered, properly organized. Modesty is a huge misconception placed more on women than men, especially in the church. It is also a huge misconception in today’s culture.  Many believe modesty is only external, however, modesty is more internal.

What Modesty Isn’t

Modesty isn’t just about wearing the lengthiest skirt, dress or covering every inch of your body. It’s not just covering up to keep men or other women from lusting after you either. It’s looking within and changing your behavior and attitude, leading to a brighter and positive sheen on the outside. 1 Timothy 2:9 says “Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, …”. This verse shows that yes women should dress respectable but, they should exemplify humility (modesty) and self-control, which are obtained from within. Modesty isn’t just about women either. How can men be modest, you may ask? Well, since modesty isn’t exemplified through your clothing alone, men can be immodest through their speech, behavior or how they act sexually like women.

Modesty is Christ-like

For one modesty is a biblical term so from that we know it is something as believers we should strive to obtain to be more Christ-like. If we love God our desires should be to please Him internally first by having positive behavior, speech that isn’t dishonoring to ourselves or others. Jesus honored the Father in EVERYTHING he did while here on earth. Therefore, if we are called to be like Christ, we should do the same (1 Corinthians 10:31). 

Value of True Modesty

Our level of modesty should reflect who God is. When choosing to dress we should have in mind that we’re a representation of who God is through our actions and appearances. The way one person chooses to represent Christ, specifically in their appearances is different for another individual. For me, I didn’t always dress in a well-ordered manner that would show I’m representing God. It was more about getting attention from the opposite sex. If it wasn’t extremely fitted, short or both, I didn’t want to wear it. The first affirmation I remember getting from a male was about my body so, I held onto that and did everything to make sure I pleased their eyes. As I grow more into wanting to know the Father and exemplify Him, my style changed as well. I don’t cover every inch of my body, but every conviction is different for every person! I leave you with this. Don’t judge others on what they wear, allow for God to show them what to change. Also, stay true to who you’re but remember who is representing (2 Corinthians 5:20 AMP).

God loves you more than you know

I love you and remember you’re Chosen, Bianca Brown

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Favorite Fashion Pieces (Currently)

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Shopping is one of my favorite things to do! I love looking on Pinterest and other sites to see what’s in style for the season. Today I’m going to share my 3 favorite current fashion styles.

  • Combat Boots & Oversized Cardigans

I love these as individual pieces, but I LOVE them together. Stepping out in my combat boots make me feel confident and ready to take on the day. Also, pairing it with a simple oversized cardigan just brings an entire look together. I would suggest to pair these in cooler weather. These together make you look super put together with any outfit.

  • Mini Backpacks

I’m obsessed with miniature items so when I saw a mini backpack, I had to get one! It’s easy to carry and can be brought just about anywhere. Since, its so small it won’t hurt your shoulder or back too much because not much can fit. Great accessory to a simple outfit!

A look!
  • Matching Two-Piece Pant Set

This is a style I grew to love, I used to think it was honestly tacky. However, I love it now and it’s so easy to put on and go. You can find two-piece sets almost anywhere! They can be found at stores like Sheinoffical, Forever21, Fashion Nova, Lulu’s, PrettyLittleThing, and so much more. Granted this style I’m showing you is for warmer weather, which I live in.

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Where To Shop Looks

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Combat Boots | Jcpenny-$32

Oversized Cardigan| gifted BUT I found a similar piece for y’all | H&M
My favorite & personal mini backpack| JcPenny $24
Tropical Floral Print Culottes
Matching Two-Piece Set| Mine is gifted but found a fun & similar style| Forever 21 $32

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Let’s Talk

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I know we’re all friends so that means I can be vulnerable with y’all. So, the past couple weeks I’ve been in and out of a funk (a feeling of being down and sad and not knowing exactly why). I’m sure we all go through that from time to time, it varies for everyone. However, if we take the time out to analyze our emotions we may see where it’s all stemming from. It could be from something not going our way, we can’t see what’s next, or we don’t entirely understand the season we’re in, etc.

For me, I feel God has shown me things for my future and I can’t see how it is going to happen with the current season I’m in. As exciting as it is to have mystery, it’s also frustrating at times. It’s extremely frustrating when you aren’t completely content in your current season. It’s like God how can you show me this next step or plant these ideas in me now?? It’s already a battle to be motivated in this current season. Don’t y’all feel that way at times? Or maybe it’s just me. Well as I write this, I realize two things.

1.    Everything you need for this season is positioned exactly how it should be. This high or this low in this season is preparation for the next. We lack nothing! God is faithful and ALWAYS keeps His promises… “not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD our God promises concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed” (Joshua 23:14).

2.    Contentment! Be content in the season you’re in, you’re in it for a reason. That doesn’t mean to be complacent(not working to improve) but find joy in your season. Don’t live a life based off emotions because they’re constantly wavering, trust me. Lean on God’s understanding and He will direct your path. 

Not everything is meant to be understood. Trust the process and most importantly trust God. God is birthing something inside of you friend! It may be uncomfortable, it may not always be easy but DON’T ABORT THE PROCESS! I write this to encourage your beautiful soul (and myself haha)! Comment, what steps you take to push forward in your season!

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God loves you more than you know

I love you and remember you’re Chosen, Bianca Brown

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Heart Check

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I kept seeing these questions, who am I doing this for? Why am I not moving when it’s been clear what to do? What’s holding you back? People will ALWAYS have an opinion whether we like it or not. People won’t ALWAYS support your dreams and visions. People bondage, this is something I’ve struggled with and this past week I was tested! So, when God is telling us to move why don’t we? The verse “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul” (Matthew 16:26), kept replaying in my head. We have one life and we shouldn’t be living it to please others, live in fear, or place limits on who God called us to be.

So, people bondage what is that? Well, I assume you know who people are, so what is bondage? Bondage, the state of being a slave. It’s when you’re mentally imprisoned to the opinions of others. Maybe for you its people you may know or people you don’t know either way, it’s not healthy or how God wants us to live. People bondage can hinder you from speaking up, making new friends, constantly comparing yourself or even devaluing yourself for others. You want to please everyone (which isn’t possible) or maybe you’re used to people always “liking” you, so you’re afraid to step out and have the possibility of those same people having negative opinions about you. Growing up people have always naturally gravitated to me and making friends was never an issue for me. When beginning to start this blog I couldn’t help but think what if people don’t like me but mostly my content, that would suck. For me, that was scary because it was uncomfortable, and it forced me to be “different”. God ALWAYS calls us out our comfort zone and we prefer to be comfortable, right? However, He doesn’t do this because He’s evil but because He sees something greater in us that we can’t see! Recall Psalms 139: 13-14 “For you created my innermost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb”, He created you! so he knows you better than you know yourself. 

This past week I just wanted to blend in. I felt the thoughts and visions that were placed in my head were “too different” and I didn’t feel like being different. For a moment I didn’t want what God called me to do. I didn’t want to write, I didn’t want to walk up to a random person and say God loves you. I didn’t want to assume other peoples opinions or actually hear them, so I retracted because I was uncomfortable. But God is funny if you didn’t know! Later that week I heard a sermon where he stated, doesn’t matter your age or where you’re God called you! I also saw a post that said, “One of the worst things about life isn’t aging, its growing older with regret because you chose to live in bondage to other people’s opinion”. After all that I eventually got moving and had to renew my mind DAILY (which you should do daily anyway, but I wasn’t). I also mediated on Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”.

Don’t shrink yourself. Don’t allow people to keep you bound. Don’t allow you to keep you bound. We are not called to be of this world! Weren’t called to be anyone else but who God created us to be. Sometimes what God calls us to do isn’t popular, most of the time it’s not lol. However, trust that whatever it is He is with you through it. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).  God will always catch us no matter what so don’t be fearful; be bold and step out on faith. I believe God has a calling on my life bigger than I could imagine and I believe he has one for you too! Test will come once you choose to let go of people bondage. You may fail the first time and retract like I did and decide to shrink yourself, but I promise you won’t feel good after that choice. However, you will pass the next test or the next or the next, lol. You will realize, Am I going to please God or please people of this world. I challenge you today and every day on to free yourself from the bondage of others and step out on faith. There are people God wants YOU to reach, so free yourself of this stronghold and be obedient to the Father.

God loves you more than you know

I love you and remember you’re Chosen, Bianca Brown

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Hope beyond Depression and Suicidal Thoughts

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I woke up December 19, 2018 and suicide was on my heart. I didn’t want to commit suicide that morning, but the thoughts of a church member whose loved one chose to take their life was on my mind. The thought of a young person taking their life at my University at the start of winter break crossed my mind. It saddens me that one believes they aren’t relevant enough on this earth, so they think why not just leave? Nobody would notice if I’m gone? Nobody would miss me that much or even at all? It would be easier if I wasn’t here? It breaks my heart that one may feel this way, but I understand because I once asked myself those same questions.

I was very skeptical to write this article because I don’t want to offend anyone who is battling these thoughts or may have lost a loved one to suicide. However, I write this as someone who had those thoughts but I’m here to tell you, that you can be an overcomer. Before I get into my personal story. I want to tell you that there is only One supernatural being that can help you tackle these thoughts and surpass them and in turn, you will live free of mental bondage. That being is God our Father. He chose you, as stated in 1 Peter 2:9-10 (MSG). You’re not here by accident but because He chose you and wants YOU to continue living a joyful life and abundant life.

Thoughts of suicide for me started at an early age of about 9 or 10. I used to think nobody is really hearing me and why can’t my loved ones see that something is going on with me. Why am I even here? There was a time I had a cord in my hand and thought if I tighten it around my neck, I would be better off. Kids at school are mean sometimes and nobody REALLY likes me anyway. I should just take myself out. Of course, those are lies! Whisper of lies of the enemy(devil) that played in my mind. John 10:10 tells us that “the thief comes to steal and kill and destroy”, don’t give the enemy what he wants, you’re too precious. BUT the other part of that scripture also says what Jesus has come to do “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full”. See friends God wants you to live and to the fullest! I decided I wanted to live, and I dealt with the thoughts the best way 9/10-year-old me knew how to, ignore them. As I turned 14 some of those thoughts came back, I began to cut myself on my wrist because I was honestly depressed. To add to that I started to remember suppressing thoughts about child molestation and I couldn’t take it. I thought well it’s easier to harm myself than others, so I’ll do that. Eventually, I stopped because I saw how a friend noticed my arm and I was embarrassed. Was I happy with my life? No, but a small part of me knew I had a little bit of purpose being here, so I didn’t end my life or continue to harm myself.

So here I am today, beginning to walk in my God-given purpose and joyful. I’m praying this article can touch someone who may be battling these thoughts from the enemy. You may think my story isn’t that rough and you have it worse than me and that’s okay. Either way, you’re loved and have a purpose. God has a plan for you! Jeremiah 29:11, “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”. He has a future for you and he wants YOU and created you to make a difference on this earth. Reach out to a trusted loved one if you’re struggling and most importantly choose to cry out to God and tell him how you feel. I promise he wants to talk to you, “Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders – he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin” Psalms 55:22(MSG). Life isn’t easy, but I promise living is SO worth it. Life is a choice and I pray your choice is to live and live abundantly!

God loves you more than you know

I love you and remember you’re chosen, Bianca Brown

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Forgiveness? To forgive? Forgive and Forget? A word I heard quite often discussed in church growing up and in modern day society, but what does it really mean?

Forgiveness, a noun which means the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.

Forgive, a verb which means stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw or mistake; cancel (a debt).

    My Forgiveness Journey

As Christians, we are told to forgive because that’s what Jesus would do. In fact, in Matthew 18: 21-22(NLT) Jesus tell us to forgive those who sin against us not seven times but seventy times seven! I remember hearing and reading that and thinking NOPE not me, maybe he meant that for other people, but I could never do that. How could I forgive someone that many times? But of course, that’s just selfish thinking. However, I continued to live most of my life in that selfish mind frame of not truly forgiving because it was comfortable, and it kept me going, or so I thought. Some of you say I forgive what he did, or she did but do you really?

I remember from around the ages of 13-15 I had a terrible temper, that only those close to me knew about. I would throw my phone against the wall, punch things, and lash out on people until eventually it suddenly simmered down. I was still angry inside but tried to keep my temper covered the best way I knew how. Some years went by and it was May of 2018 and my best friend and other 2 roommates left for Summer break and I spent that entire summer at my university. I went home to my apartment where it was just me. and God. I had so much alone time with God. I remember one night I had a dream that I told my parents about an incident that happened to me when I was 8 years old that I never shared with them. I woke up and cried and immediately said NOPE I’m not telling them so try a little harder God. The nerve! I know lol for me to talk to a great God like that, but I did. A few days later I went to church and one of my friends who didn’t know I was at service shared a part of her testimony. In part of her testimony she shared a similar incident that happened to her as well and it wrecked me. Yet, I was still not completely motivated to tell my parents. I’m slightly stubborn if you haven’t picked that up yet lol. Summer semester ends and a few weeks later Fall 2018 semester begins, a semester that changed me completely.

Fall 2018 semester starts and I attend my weekly Christian club events and started my new role of being apart of the leadership team. Side note being a part of the leadership team was never in my plans, but Gods plan and our plans aren’t always the same. However, an announcement of a retreat to Daytona with other campus ministries comes up and it’s the same weekend as family weekend at my university. I was looking forward to my parents and brother coming, so of course I said no retreat for me! I remember thinking I don’t really need to go to the retreat anyway. Me and God are doing pretty well for once and I’m not too ecstatic to pay either so I’m good. God laughs as I imagine, as I think those thoughts. Long story short I end up going to the retreat, HA! From the beginning of the Fall semester until the retreat I heard messages of forgiveness and stories about child molestation.

During the retreat, the speaker discussed finding your identity in Christ and forgiveness. My favorite word (sarcasm). The speaker shared how his grandfather was an alcoholic and nonbeliever and his mom chose to forgive him despite the bad environment she was raised in by him; and eventually his grandfather found Jesus before he passed. But what really stuck for me, she forgave him because God forgives us (Luke 23:34) and as children of God how could we somehow believe we’re higher than God and everyone deserves our forgiveness including God for all the wrongs we do but we can’t forgive others! I was taken back after that sermon and couldn’t help but cry to God as I felt the heavy pressure on my chest and the whisper of “you need to tell because it will free you and touch others” and I finally said okay God.

Fast forward two weeks I felt compelled to write and I wrote a letter to my parents sharing many wounds I had growing up; but the most important one is the fact that I was molested at the age of 8 by a family member. Toughest yet most reliving letter I’ve ever written. I was terrified to share because I didn’t know the outcome and if your anything like me you love control. We love to know how things will happen and if we don’t know how we prefer not to do it, right? But my God says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:5-6). My favorite verse was suddenly becoming a test of whether I would trust a God that knows what tomorrow brings and controls the world or trust me. Me who can’t control a thing expect my actions. So, for once I truly chose to trust God and I felt instant peace once I sent the letter. However, the reactions I will receive I wasn’t prepared for.

    God’s View, The Right View

God says to forgive, why? Because he needs it? No, he’s God he doesn’t NEED us, but he loves us all so much that he would love to see us live with peace, joy, and no hatred in our hearts. Carrying unforgiveness in our hearts sprouts seeds of bitterness and anger. Nobody wants that but so many of us including myself walk around with it for years and we just poison ourselves. Imagine your harboring a wrong someone else did to you that they may not even be aware of, who does it affect more them or you? We would love to believe them but no my friend it’s you. Mark 11:22-25 (AMP), the scripture clearly states God doesn’t forgive us unless we forgive others. I don’t know about y’all but I’m not perfect and I want God to forgive me and I also don’t want to walk around hating my brothers and sisters.

So, I’m sure you’re wondering what entirely happened after I told my parents. Shortly after telling my parents most of my immediate family members read my letter and my entire life came crashing down or so I thought. I thought YAY! I told so now I can start this healing journey, but the responses of certain family members didn’t make it so easy. They turned their backs on me and did it hurt? Of course! I never thought they would, but they did but guess who didn’t turn their back on me? GOD! The moment it happened the devil and my old way of thinking started to play with my mind telling me don’t forgive them and you should hate them, but the holy spirit told me to pray for them, so I did just that. As Jesus said in Luke 23:24 (NLT), “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” I do this every time I think of them or the situation till this day because it still hurts but God got me through it and will continue to get me through this season friends. Our God is faithful and will get us through it all! 1 John 1:9(NLT).

Steps to FORGIVE

1. Decide to forgive: Don’t poison yourself or hinder your growth by harboring unforgiveness and bitterness. Ephesians 4:13(NLT). Don’t give the enemy (Satan) the power to keep you angry and stuck.

2. Depend on God: If needed share with the person or people who hurt you in a kind way, so they can know. Also, ask God to lead you through it and after it. He will give you strength as stated in Isaiah 40:29. You may think it’s unnecessary to tell but if you’re still angry about a situation it’s probably necessary. If God is placing it on your heart to tell just trust him even if it doesn’t make sense, Proverbs 3:5-6.

3. Obey: Pray for your enemies. Read Luke 6:27-36, this is powerful because it allows God to not only work on the individual’s heart who wronged you but also work on your heart.

So, I write this to encourage you all to forgive one another CONTINUOUSLY because that’s the way our God wants us to live. God wants to help you and see you walk with joy and love in your heart. He will provide peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Just trust Him. I encourage y’all to read Colossians 3: 1-17 (AMP).

God loves you more than you know

I love you and remember you’re Chosen, Bianca Brown

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