After the Dust Settles

Wow! It astounds me how swiftly time passes.  It has been five months since my last update, and in those five months God has succeeded to stun me over and over again with the overflow of His immeasurably more. Back in July I decided to take a hiatus from blogging and social media so that I could focus on my writing career, my personal life, and my God. I originally set out to spend 30 days in the presence of God to achieve certain goals, but it turns out that God had other, bigger plans for me. 2013 brought me the best of times and the worst of times, but everyday has been pregnant with the possibility for God to show himself strong on my behalf. And He has. I have learned many lessons, cried many tears, crossed many bridges, and prayed many prayers that have all prepared me for the road that is still ahead of me. Throughout the course of this year. I have seen the glory and power of God through many avenues and facets, but there are a handful of events that have shaped me drastically this year.

I Found Myself

I am probably one of the most outspoken, vivacious, friendly individuals you would come by. I love people. I love encouraging people, speaking truth over their lives, getting people excited about the most mundane things like sunsets or the sighting of a full moon over the city skyline. I am a leader. I can organize a meeting, a team, an organization, and I have been successful in those things. Yet, in all that no one would have ever guessed that I deeply struggled with low self-esteem. The grips of insecurity were relentless and broke my heart everyday. It was the reason why I tolerated toxic relationships, allowed hurtful things to be said to me, blamed myself for things that were out of my control. Finally, through the grace of God and powerful community, I was delivered (and I am being delivered) from wrong thinking about myself. I see myself from God’s vantage point. I only see what He sees in me. My whole life changed. Where I used to see things with a fog of self-doubt, I have perfect clarity. Jesus showed me I am beautiful on the INSIDE and I have great value because He formed me with His hands.

Love Found Me

I am in a relationship and I am so in love. I can hear the records scratching now. You read right; the ‘content in singleness’ woman has changed her relationship status. I met and [grew] in love with a courageous, remarkable, passionate, tender man of God. He is everything I didn’t know I needed. He’s the answer to a prayer I didn’t have the wisdom or words to pray.  He is gentle, tender, loving, attentive, dedicated, intentional, focused, energetic, warm, sweet, courageous… He is a true gift from God–the answer to the prayer I didn’t have the words to pray. He is more than I could have ever hoped to have in my life as a loving partner, friend, and confidant. When we met, there was something different refreshing spectacular about him that set him above every other man I’ve ever come in contact with. No, it wasn’t love at first sight (if ever such a thing existed in the first place), but by the end of our first encounter I knew that something miraculous had transpired, and God confirmed it with each and every step in our relationship toward Him and toward one another. 

I Started Working

Many of you may have known that I had been actively believing God for full-time employment. Shortly after I met my love, life kicked into high gear. I have a job that has given me the opportunity to impact people daily with the power of God. It’s amazing how God allows us to carry Himself in us so that we can positively change the world. I have been practicing leaving deposits of Jesus in my workplace, and I am honored to be working again for God’s glory.

I Started Writing A Novel

I am blessed to be working on this novel. The story and characters are so dear to me. It’s a story many people have never told (I know I’ve never read it anywhere), so I cannot wait to complete this project and share it with the world.

I Lost a Family Member

My family lost someone very close to us. My uncle passed the week before Christmas. It was sudden and unexpected. It has broken our hearts, but even through this very tough time, I have seen the hand of God so meticulously and tenderly caring and holding us all together. If not for the love of God, we would be hopeless. Thank Jesus that it was His blood that made a place for my uncle in Heaven. He is waiting for us there. I miss him so… I will always miss him. But through this I have learned to love HARDER…more intentionally. Life is fleeting, but God and love are FOREVER.

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How great is my God that He would allow such incredibly beautiful gifts unfold in my life. When I didn’t see any of them coming, He so graciously had them preset and prearranged down to the very date that I would receive them. I know more than anything that my steps are ordered…and so are yours! If you are waiting for something big, know that God is still in the business of immeasurably more. He doesn’t want us to settle for the basics when He has gifts in His hands.

What to Expect on the Blog this Year

More posts! I was very quiet for the last half of 2013, but God has been blowing me away with many lessons. I have so much to say about:

* Singleness

* Dating & Relationships

* Sex

* Work 

* Jesus

* … AND MORE!

Bear with me as I try to find some stability in my schedule. I believe that there are many things God wants me to write about, so let’s hop into this new year and new season together!

It’s so good to be back!

With all my love,

Jei

Living in Immeasurably More — Quick Update

The Lord our God is ever faithful | Never changing through the ages | From this darkness, He will lead us | And forever we will say, “You’re the Lord our God!”

I’ve been singing the praises of God’s faithfulness all week long! I am at a complete loss for adequate words to express the goodness of God that I’ve experienced this past month. Every time I pause to reflect on it, I am overcome with emotion and extreme gratitude that God has so intentionally poured His love and grace on me. Quite honestly, I feel like words might somehow mar the glorious strokes of faithfulness God has so graciously painted on the canvas of my life.

Thirty days ago I began an intentional journey with God in which I would be seeking Him to do a seemingly impossible task. I went into it with no other expectation except for God to do immeasurably more.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21, ESV

Many of us are familiar with this text, but this is the passage on which I’ve set my anchor of faith for this year. Underneath this banner, I’ve placed a heavy demand on God to do more than I could ever ask or dare imagine to happen in and through my life. I have a very vivid imagination, so it’s sometimes hard to believe that God can outdo my dreams… Somehow I think I’d forgotten that I’m a dreamer because my Father is… God is the biggest dreamer of them all. And when I say that God has outdone me I mean He’s superseded my expectations in ways only the Creator of the universe can.

Photo Credit: stockimages, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo Credit: stockimages, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You will command the highest praise | Yours is the name above all names | You stand alone | I stand amazed. Jesus, only Jesus.

My community and friends are aware that I originally took this sabbatical so that I could complete my first novel. I have, indeed, begun that great work but I did not meet my goal to finish it in 30 days. At the end of my 30 days, I realized that God had more — immeasurably more — in mind for this past month. As I reached day 30, I was riding in the car with my friend when she looked at me and said, “Jeida, you thought you would be writing your story in 30 days, but God said, ‘No, I’m going to be writing your story in 30 days.’” When she said that, I felt my heart leap in my chest and I realized that she couldn’t have been more accurate. God is changing me, changing my life, changing my circumstances… all for His glory.

This is brief check-in to simply say that God is FAITHFUL! He is so faithful. Right now I am on a journey into the depths of what God has presented to me…and it’s beautifully crafted for me. And He was dreaming of these things for me before I had the capacity to desire them. I’m not the same woman I was 30 days ago…and it’s because I allowed God to do immeasurably more in my life. And, do you know what? He’s only just begun!

Here’s to 30 more days!

After a While, Crocodile

Hello friends,

I am incredibly overwhelmed by the goodness and faithfulness of God that has been shaking everything in my life. For the last few months, God has been orchestrating new opportunities, refining my character, and breathing new life and inspiration into me. I have made many attempts to describe all that God is doing in my life, but for once words fail me. There aren’t enough of them to give the glory of his works proper description. He’s so good to me.

With that being said, I am going to take a hiatus from blogging for a while as I venture out to explore the avenues God has so graciously set before me. I am experiencing so many emotions: excitement, anticipation, happiness, and eager expectation of what my future holds. Every day God has been melting away any uncertainty, doubt, fear, and intimidation. He has prepared the  road ahead of me and I’m ready to embark on this beautiful journey of faith and trust.

I have so many wonderful things to blog about, dear friends, but I am taking some time to move forward on this adventure. When I return, I hope to have incredible stories and lessons to share with you all.

All I ask is that if over the next few weeks and months you should think of me or Destiny Collisions, please take ten seconds to pray for me. Pray that God will guide and direct me. I can be readily reached via email: Jeida[dot]Storey[at]gmail[dot]com. My heart and prayers are with you all.

With hugs and kisses,

Jei

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Steve Jobs’ Last Words

Article excerpt from “The Week” magazine written by Robert Love:

 

“Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” These were Steve Jobs’s last words before he slipped the bonds of earth on Oct. 5, 2011. We know this because we heard it from his sister, the writer Mona Simpson, who was with him in his final hours and described them in an eloquent eulogy published this week in The New York Times. Like the rest of us, Simpson had no idea what Jobs was seeing when he uttered his last words, but she invites us to ponder their meaning in the context of his life…It is tantalizing to think that in his final moments of consciousness, Jobs was privy to a wondrous vision of the other side…We value last words for their honesty, their wit, their advice from eternity’s doorstep…In the end we will all find out what Steve Jobs was talking about. Meanwhile it’s somehow comforting to know that he was impressed.

 

After reading this article, my spirit leaped for joy to know that Mr. Jobs saw an amazing sight as he crossed over into death (or should I say life?). This serves as a reminder for us all that the matters of this world should dim in the light of eternity, more specifically, in the light of running the race to spend eternity with the Lord. We spend so much time praising Mr. Jobs for his contributions to technology, but his greatest accomplishment in life is not the invention of Apple products (although many of us are grateful for those, as well), but it is INDEED his decision to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour. Perhaps, now, I understand why Apple is so popular. Seemingly Jobs had the Midas touch on Apple, seeing as how people break their necks to buy any Apple product. Knowing that Jobs was connected with the ONE TRUE ALMIGHTY GOD lets me know that Jobs’ prosperity is nothing but the glory of God on his business venture. (I may be close to recanting my previously stated comments on the #iCult) I am elated to find out that Jobs was on the brink of crossing over into Heaven, and that he is now in the arms of the Lord. Steve Jobs had the mind of a genius. With all of the mind-blowing technology he’s seen in his day, it’s encouraging that he saw something on his deathbed that could amaze him! (God clearly has things in Heaven that surpass the technology on earth) We should all remember that we must one day come to the end of our lives. I pray that when I get to that point, I, too, shall cry out, “Oh wow!”

 

Beware of the Chameleon

Lately the topic of friendship and loyalty has been on my heart. I have been very observant of the relationships in my life and in the lives of people around me. I’ve also been reading a wonderful book entitled “Waiting & Dating” by Dr. Myles Munroe, in which he intricately describes different levels of friendships one can have. Personally, I’ve been evaluating every single relationship in my life and seeking God for guidance and direction on which ones I need and which ones I should leave behind. I do believe that relationships can either draw you closer to God or drive you away from God. In your friendships, it is imperative that you make it your sole purpose to be the type of friend who draws someone to God.

I have not always been the best friend to the people around me, but now I have determined to be the type of friend for others that I would like for myself. As Dr. Munroe said in his book, Everyone wants a friend, but few know how to be a friend. If I have ever done a friend wrong, I want to take this time out to apologize because now I am training myself to be an asset to someone’s life.

And so we have chameleons.

This is a copy of my tweets from  yesterday–my revelation on fake friendships. Chameleons are not the type of people you want around. While reading this, if certain people come to mind, perhaps you should pray and ask God what you should do about that particular friendship; whether you should continue in it or decided to let it go. And if you should happen to be a chameleon, perhaps this will open your eyes to some changes that need to be made.

Everyone wants friends and everyone should know how to be one.

Chameleons

Now, can I talk about these chameleon friends?

You know…chameleon. That scary looking creature that has the ability to blend in with its surroundings. It acclimates itself to whatever situation it’s in. It doesn’t have a true identity. It functions as a creature in perpetual disguise. For some of ya’ll, we’ll never see your true colors because you blend in so well depending on who’s around you. When you’re with Clique A, you gossip about Clique B. When you’re with Clique B, you slander Clique A. When you’re alone, you’re confused. You’re so used to blending in you don’t know what your own identity is or where your true loyalty lies.
Oops. You’re a chameleon. You’re never really loyal to anyone because you can acclimate and settle down anywhere.
I don’t have time for chameleon friends.

Chameleons cosign with different groups of people. If one group says it’s hot, you agree. If the other group says it’s cold, you also agree.

Chameleons can’t be trusted. One minute they’re brown, the next they’re green. Sometimes they vanish altogether. Chameleons are spies. They’ll convince you they’re your friend, but run back and tell all your secrets to your enemy.
I hope I’m exposing some chameleons.
I should research the lifespan of chameleons. It couldn’t be that long. It must be tiring trying to keep up a perpetual charade.
How do you know if you’re a chameleon? You’re feeling some type of way about these tweets.
I’m tired of chameleons sneaking in and out of my friends’ lives. Ya’ll have got to go! I’m stepping on chameleon tails today!
I’m very tranquil right now. I just decided to tweet about a problem I constantly see in “friendships.” It’s destructive. We don’t (naturally) know how to be good friends to others because we are too self-absorbed. Sometimes you have to kiss destructive friendships, as well as dating relationships, goodbye. You’re so much better off without the dead weight holding you down and holding you back from the destiny you have set before you.
Can you find the chameleon?