Editor's note: Pastor Kim (also known as Real Talk Kim) says it how it is. She's full of spunk and Jesus and she loves to share the joy and hope of Jesus. Her new book You Gotta Get Up will encourage you to get unstuck move on after traumas and troubles. Enjoy this excerpt:
Baggage is only baggage when you carry it. Think about that. You have the power and control to release it and move on. ~ RTK
God is not a God of chaos and confusion. You keep RSVP-ing to the drama you’ve been invited to, so trouble keeps finding you. But miracles happen when you move. You can continually allow your past to dictate your present and your future, or you can determine it’s a new season, a new day.
When you make that decision, you’ll have to let go of those people and situations that helped facilitate your downfall.
You need to move some people from your VIP section of life to the balcony. Oh, you can still love them, just love them from a distance.
Quit labeling yourself with the things you’ve gone through and what people have said about you.
Just because you were divorced doesn’t mean you have to call yourself a divorcée, or just because your spouse passes away, you don’t have to label yourself a widow or widower, and just because you’ve lost your job, you don’t have to label yourself unemployable. You don’t have to allow others to label you either.
The prodigal son may have left home and returned broke and weary, but even though the world still labels him the prodigal, he was forgiven by his father and retained his position as a son. He had spent his entire inheritance, but his father made sure he was cared for the rest of his life.
Rahab may have been a prostitute when she protected the two spies sent by Joshua who were scoping out the land; however, when Joshua conquered Jericho, Rahab and her family were protected (Joshua 2; 6:23–24). Rahab eventually married Salmon and gave birth to Boaz, who later married Ruth. Even though this woman is in the lineage of Jesus Christ, people still label her “Rahab the harlot.” She did not live out her label. She changed her situation and became a godly wife and mother.
God raised up a harlot to become the great-great-grand-mother of King David. If you ask, “How could God possibly use a sinner like me?” I would introduce you to the woman who had been labeled a prostitute and was able to change her circumstances. She is not remembered for her sin but for the transformation of a family line from sinners to saints. The words prodigal and prostitute are undoubtedly repeated so that you and I will know that whatever we have done, God will forgive us as we come to Him in faith.
- People may have labeled us but we are covered by the blood of Jesus.
You are not what you’ve been through — that was only a season you walked through. But if you keep labeling yourself by the messes from your past, you will remain broken and trouble will keep returning again and again. You will be stuck in the same cycles for the rest of your life.
For a new season to break out in your life, you will need to make the decision to change and then to take a few steps:
- Decide — Change occurs when you decide you will not live one more day imprisoned in your pain and you turn your life over to God.
- Define — It is then important for you to define how and why you became entrapped so you can deal with the pain. Be honest with yourself and allow God to work in you. Remember, He is a gentleman and is waiting for your invitation.
- Detox — Detox by renouncing any unclean spirit that has tried to attach itself to you through people, places, and things. Often we allow outside influences into our lives without even realizing it. Spiritual toxins can be taken in by scrolling on social media, through stressful environments, gossip, actions that we allow, decisions that determine our altitude, and so forth. Just like we can detox physically, it’s possible to detox spiritually. Focus on your values and begin living an authentic life, which means being true to who you were created to be. Get rid of the clutter or junk in your life in order to make room for a simplified version of you. Love yourself and begin to see that you were created specifically for this time and season. This will set you free to begin a new walk with God.
- Delete — After detoxing, repent of the life you have lived and the wrong decisions that caused you to become broken. Let go of those things that have caused you distress and allow the process of elimination to become your friend.
- Discipline — Discipline creates habits, habits become routines, and routines become who you are consistently. When you live a disciplined life, you will make small sacrifices in the present to create a more peaceful life in your future. Permanent results sometimes come with temporary discomfort.
This sounds so simple, doesn’t it? It is, if you no longer allow brokenness from the past to inhabit your present.
Choose to close all doors you have opened that allowed havoc into your life and into the lives of those you love.
Closing doors means ending all access points, opportunities, and gates that the enemy could use to reenter your life. This may include relationships, associations, environments, deliberate breakups, and unforgiveness. You need to make sure certain people understand the relationship is over. Let them know you are now on a different path of life with Jesus.
One of the hardest decisions for me was becoming disciplined as a true follower of Jesus Christ. It’s one thing to declare you are a Christian and another thing to live a life that is an example of the Christian faith. To be like Jesus means you have no problem saying that you are sorry when you have failed others. That was a big deal for me when I began my new walk with Jesus Christ at the age of thirty-six.
I cannot blame my bad decisions on my family. I had been raised in a pastor’s home, and my parents lived true Christian lives. I really had no excuse for being so immature at such a mature age. I just did not like anyone telling me how to live, so I chose to live my life unlike anyone else in my family. My ex was also from a pastor’s home, so we had no excuses for the life we chose together. I am so thankful that God gave me chance after chance to put my life in order after I failed Him so many times. I, to this day, am amazed at how He always came through for me right on time.
I think about the three years of healing and deliverance it took me to totally surrender and allow God to be Lord of every aspect of my life. Did it have to take three years? Absolutely not! I was one stubborn girl who refused to allow anyone to dictate her life decisions. Even today, I cannot tell you the reason I would not allow anyone to instruct me in the ways of the Lord. I question myself as to why I could not simply ask God for forgiveness and then forgive myself for all the things I had allowed. I think about the apostle Paul and his journey. He made some profound statements that brought me deep solace during times of distress:
I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. — Romans 7:19
If this prolific writer — trained in the best of schools, a member of the Sanhedrin court, and even in the lineage of Benjamin — had a problem controlling his flesh, it gave me solace that God would be with me, too, as I made my journey of self-denial. After reading about Paul’s life, I realized that
everyone who has ever walked on this earth, except Jesus Christ, has one thing in common: we have all messed up.
It’s up to us, however, to determine that we are sick and tired of the mess and want positive change to affect every area of our lives. Under the fake smiles, the made-up exterior, and the Christian lingo, we are on the same playing field. We mess up, get up, start over, try again, then mess up again. But the key is to get back up!
- Failure is not failure unless you stop moving.
I know everyone doesn’t struggle with alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, or gambling, but we all struggle with sin in some form. When Paul said that every time he wanted to do good, he did wrong, it gave me such peace. If Paul could finally figure this Christian walk out, then so could I. We all suffer from the “I can’t help its.”
I know that God has a preordained plan for those who choose Him. One of my favorite scriptures will always be Jeremiah 1:5:
I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as My prophet to the nations.
I can’t even explain how much this scripture ministered to my spirit as I was reflecting on my past and wondering how God could ever want to use a stubborn, rebellious girl like me. He assured me again and again that He loved me despite me.
Excerpted with permission from You Gotta Get Up by Real Talk Kim, copyright Kimberly Jones.
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God can and will use you in spite of whatever your “I can’t help its” are! Whatever you struggle with, whatever woos you back, whatever it is… stop giving it CPR. The labels people put on you don’t have to define you anymore. ~ Devotionals Daily