What If I Were Given the Instructions?

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Sometimes I reflect on my journey and I like to imagine the ways in which my life would’ve been easier had I had certain things. You know, the silver spoon, access to wealth, rich parents, a maid to clean my room…the finer things in life. I like to think that these things would’ve made my journey a bit easier for me because I know what it is like to struggle for almost everything that I’ve earned.

One of the main things I like to think that would’ve made a difference in my life is instructions. Yes, instructions. While many people have the grace to put together items just by looking at the box, I don’t have that anointing. I need to read the manual to understand how a thing should be working and how it should be constructed, but what happens when the instructions are not included?

This sense of panic is how I felt for majority of my life. I was navigating without a detailed blueprint, but with an entire picture of how my life should look. And, in an effort to get to the place called “there,” I made some major mistakes because I didn’t have the most important component to my life–the instructions.

When I was trying to come into the essence of who I was as a woman, people would tell me that I needed to find my identity in Christ. Sometimes more seasoned Christians will throw phrases around without doing their due diligence to unpack what they mean to the listener. So, when people would say, “Briana, you have to find your identity in Christ,” I agreed. Yes, that’s what I’ll do! I’ll find my identity in Christ. I’m on the right track.

Then I would realize that I didn’t know HOW! I once asked someone how to find my identity in Christ and they told me to ask God to show me. Um, ok. Yea! But what’s next. I wanted them to provide me with some tangible steps on how to do so, and they couldn’t, unfortunately. So, I had to ask God, “How can I find my identity in you?”

He took me through the book of Esther for an entire month. A short 10 chapter book of the Bible took me 30 days to unpack because it is filled with so much revelation on identity. Esther was a girl who was orphaned at a young age, but she manages to find her identity in Christ and move into her position as a Queen in the palace. Esther showed me how to find my identity in Christ and I offer this revelation to you.

My new book, Woman of Royalty: Rule From A Place of Authority, provides such insight and is now available here (signed copy) and here!

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The One Reason I Settled: I Wanted To

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He tricked me. I mean really tricked me into believing that he was different. Though he told me that he appreciated me and would never do me wrong, something happened to change that. He went back to her. She, the woman of his past. The one who had his heart the entire time, so why did I think that I could change him?

So many women feel this way, right? We fall for a trail of lies that only lead us into deception. So, why do we do it? Why do we think that something will change if all the signs are there? We really believe that we can turn water into wine, and that is our own fault.

I used to tell myself the above narrative. In some way, shape, form, or fashion, I truly believed that I was deceived. And, I was, but I deceived myself. I settled and it was by choice. He was fine! He was a butter scotch complexion (which isn’t usually my type), light brown eyes, white teeth and nice smile, athletic, broad shoulders, and had a voice that was beautiful. He was fine and the weakness within me–both emotionally and physically–made me want him even the more. I wanted him so badly that I brought down my expectations. Purposefully.

I bet you never thought that you would hear me admit that I settled a lot in life because I wanted to. I mean, there are several people to blame for my mistakes: my mom, my dad, my aunts, uncles, teachers, and anyone that refused to give me a chance, but that would be misleading of me. The truth is that I settled because I wanted to. Though my mouth told a different story, if you peel back to onion of my life, you will find that I am at the core of my decisions. I decided to live and date beneath who I was created to be and I did so because I didn’t know who I was.

My fractured identity lead me to this point. I wanted to be accepted. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to feel something…anything. I needed him. I thought. I needed his attention. He saw through me and capitalized on it, but I allowed him to do so. Why? Because I wanted to settle.

Can you relate?

My upcoming book Woman of Royalty: Rule From A Place of Authority, challenges women to find out who they are in an attempt to show them how they’ve been living beneath their essence. I use Esther’s life (biblical) and my story as a blueprint to show how living devoid of identity leads to traumatic experiences, decisions, and lifestyles. Don’t believe me? Order to book to find out.

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October’s Booklist

Each month I try to read a spiritual book to further encourage spiritual growth. This month, I was so anxious to read Tim Sheets’ Angel Armies and Matthew Stevenson’s Abba that I couldn’t choose between the two, so I decided to tackle both.

angel armiesSheets’ text enlightens readers about the nature and assignment of angels. It tells about their significance in the earth, why their presence is important to the believer, and how they assist with our purposes. Unfortunately, while several of us know about angels, we don’t necessarily know how to partner with them to help bring the plans of God to the natural realm. In essence, we could be missing out on instructions as well as opportunities to partner with angels. Now, I’ve heard many people talk about seeing angels materialize in church services, or relay instances when they’ve entertained angels unaware, but I’ve never studied them. And, I can admit that Sheet’s book is helping me not only understand the angelic realm, but also the protocols and nature of heaven. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about how angel armies are designed with humankind in mind.

Now this next book is taking me a little longer to work through and for obvious reasons.

Stevenson’s book directly confronts our perception of God. Now, until fairly recently I didn’t have the best relationship with my father because I was raised in a single parent home. However, as God started to mend our relationship, I noticed that there were areas abbaof myself that I reserved as “off limits” for my father. These were the areas in my emotions. In guarding against my natural father, God began to show me how I also guarded my heart from him. Because of my fear of the new relationship with my dad, largely due to our broken past, I transferred those feelings to my interaction with God. Ultimately, I didn’t have the courage to see God as Father, but rather as Lord and King. This broken relationship with my dad seriously impacted my ability to be vulnerable with God even in private. I had trouble seeing him as Father who loved me because I once didn’t believe that my dad did. I was sadly mistaken. As I work through Stevenson’s text, I notice that layers are falling off of my heart. I am aware that my callousness is dissolving, and that I am more willing to try to open my heart to receive both of my Father’s love.

In essence, I believe that it is important that we feed our spiritual selves just as much as we feed our physical bodies. We must continue to educate and stretch our spirits if we ever hope to FULLY become who God created us to be.

-B