Welcome Back Guest Blogger Amber Flores

It is my pleasure to welcome back today’s guest blogger, Amber Flores, to www.ChristianFreedom.life. Amber has previously blessed us with her writing and I’m so excited that she is willing to share more of her heart and journey with us.

A passionate pursuer of Christ with the gift of counseling all ages (children and adults), Amber holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Capella University and a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Phoenix.  She is currently working on her PsyD in Clinical Psychology with Capella University.  Her treatment background includes experience working with a variety of diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and PTSD.

I began my own journey with blogging as a way to chronicle my journey of healing and transformation. I see that same heart in this post by Amber. The power of Jesus to come into all of our wounded places and heal us through the power of His great love for us is glorious to behold. Where we have hidden in false identity, he reveals our true self as daughters or sons of God.

I encourage you to take time to read this blog post and let it speak to you about the transforming power of God’s love. You can trust the Lord with your life and also entrust all of the people in it to Him and the power of His love. This blog post is a testimony to the power of giving God permission to take control of all that is in us and around us and submitting to the process of finding our true identities in Christ.

I Don’t Know Her Anymore

People and their smiles are often the focus of photographs, but what we don’t see is their pain or struggles.  So many pictures mask how we feel or even give a false representation of who we are.

I can recall going to school and allowing myself to be me.  I didn’t place much emphasis on the opinions of others.  Living in a small town, that can be easy to do.

Eventually, somewhere somehow the enemy can get in and cause you to view yourself and your surroundings in a different way.Click To Tweet

The vision of who I used to be was distorted for so long, that I had completely forgotten my hopes and visions.  This season lasted for a while and eventually I became someone who lived life vicariously.  What I wanted and needed began to fade away to be replaced with what others desired from me.

This was not the life God designed for me.  Ultimately, I was left with a choice: CHANGE or BE CHANGED.

Wait? What? I have a choice?  Are these two not the same?  No, they are not.  We can change or we can be changed.  Let me explain.

Change Or Be Changed

CHANGE: “Hey, I’m tired of getting upset over this so I will just ignore it or pretend that I don’t care about it, then I will not be upset.” That is making a change.  Changing your routine or your job can be another sort of change that you can enact.

Changing your behavior is not that easy but it can be done.Click To Tweet

With time, you will begin to see that your efforts pay off.  This has to be the way to create change, right?  Well, think about this:  if you can make change in one area of your life, then you can change it back.  For example, if I choose to create a new routine, then out of habit I could easily slip back into the old one. It’s a change from my own hand.  It’s a power that I created.  This was all about me and what I wanted.  Where could that go wrong?

BE CHANGED: This one is the easiest!  Allowing God to do what He does best will allow us to be changed.  Having the humbleness to say, “I surrender to You and Your will.  Your path will be my path.  Your desire will be my desire.  Your thoughts will be my thoughts.”  This is difficult to do when we don’t feel redeemed.

“I surrender to You and Your will.  Your path will be my path.  Your desire will be my desire.  Your thoughts will be my thoughts.”

His Word is a great love story of forgiveness.  He redeems us and continues to pour out His grace and deliverance to all who are willing to allow their cup to run over.  He is the only one who can spark this change.  It’s not my change, it’s nothing other than surrendering to Jesus that will bring change.

How do we get to the place of change? We start with acceptance. Accept who God has designed you to be. There are affirmations that you can claim over yourself, prayers you can pray, groups you can attend, and even Christian friends and mentors you can surround yourself with.

The truth of beginning the process of change is to accept that you are flawed but forgiven.Click To Tweet

Things I needed to reconsider:

  • I thought I had to be the perfect homemaker. My definition of the perfect homemaker: prepare amazing meals and have everything sparkling at all times. You know who can do that? No one, we cannot spend our lives spit shining everything on the outside while the inside is just withering away. I can let laundry fill the basket every now and then. After all, isn’t that what it’s there for? We may have to order pizza for dinner one night and that will be okay as long as “… whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).”
  • I thought I had to control everything to ensure that life ran smoothly. Apparently that did not go as I planned and I began to experience the freedom of releasing control and allowing God to work everything according to His good and perfect plans (Romans 8:28)!
  • I thought my kids had to make perfect choices all of the time. No, and I discourage anyone from assuming that kind of pressure for themselves or their children. Resist succumbing to the fear of judgement of others based upon the decisions your children are making. Even through their mistakes, God is good and He will protect them and we can trust His love for them in the midst of their mistakes and ours as well. All you need to do is make the Word of God a priority in your home, model and instill good values, communicate with them, love them, and pray for them. We must trust the timing of what God is doing in our children’s hearts. We are all in a process.

As you can see, I placed so much pressure on myself to become the woman “I needed to be” that I was left emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.  My process of transformation has consisted of the following steps:

  1. Pray
  2. Seek God’s Forgiveness & Forgive Yourself
  3. Accept Who You Are in Christ
  4. Believe You Are Beautiful And Chosen For A Purpose
  5. Surround Yourself with Christian Community And Support
  6. Pray again!

Letting Go

A few years back, I began to realize that the idea that I can control anything is a lie.  My efforts to control my situations interfere with what God has in store for me and my family.  God was so patient through my process of discovery and waited for me to surrender.

I cannot have full control over everything.Click To Tweet

He allowed me to come to Him and say, “I’m yours. Use me as Your vessel; make new wine from me that will pour out into all that I know.”

Spiritual Makeover

Looking back, I realize now that I didn’t know who I was.  But now, I know who I am and who God has created me to be.  I know who God has allowed me to be through His word and His blessings.  I don’t recognize the person I used to be.  My way of thinking has changed, my priorities have shifted, and most of all, my outlook on God’s anointing has reached a whole new level.

I don’t recognize the person I used to be.

The Lord will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is a good Father who patiently waits for us, offering us the choice to relinquish all of our “perceived” control and submit to His perfect will for our lives.

I encourage you to draw on the Lord’s strength and allow Him to be the agent of true change that can and will set you free to live a life of truth. Only this type of change will allow you to discover and enjoy who He says you are.

Our Prayer

Lord, I surrender my life and all that I am to You.

Please teach me to release things that are beyond my control. Help me to see that You are my hope and peace.  I know that it is You who controls my future.

Thank you, Lord, for Your patience. Thank You for never failing to show me Your mercy and grace.

Help me to let go of “me” and hold tight to You. Show me who You say I am.

In Jesus’ Name,

Scriptures for Meditation

~ Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

~ Psalm 111:9

He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name.

~ Jeremiah 10:23

LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.

~ 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.”

~ Mark 8:34-35

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.

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