2012 Through the Good and the Bad, God Continued to Be Faithful!

2013

2012 is coming to an end. This year had it’s ups and downs but God was aways in the midst. Loved ones got married, some got divorced. Some received healing, some continued to wrestle with sickness. Some lost jobs while others found jobs or were promoted. Some (including myself) survived the loss of child or a close loved one. Some gave birth to healthy babies and had their families extended.

As I praised God at church yesterday, I was reminded that through the good and the bad, God was always with me. I experienced some tough stuff but I never went hungry, I was never without a place to live or loved ones support, encouragement or prayers for me. On my best and worst days, I was always in my right mind, always had God there comforting me and cheering me on. I thank God for salvation, relationship with God and peace that passes all understanding. I thank God for every victory that my family and I had this year. Every triumph, every testimony, whether big or small.

In 2013 I will grow in God more. I will spend more time in His word and in His presence. In June I will give birth to a healthy baby and be a blessed mommy of two. I will be more patient, loving and forgiving. I will be more organized. I will rely on God’s grace when I feel weary. I will continue to trust God with every fiber of my being.

When thinking all that has happened this year and how faithful God has been, Romans 8 came to mind. I love the entire chapter but I posted a few of the verses below. Please read them and be encouraged. Have a safe and blessed New Year.

Romans 8:28, 35-39 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Happy 1st Yr Blog Anniversary!! Blog Updates, Thank You’s & More

March 31 was my blog’s 1 year anniversary!! On March 31, I was in the hospital preparing to give birth to our little girl, Ms. Elyssa Janee. This first year anniversary is very important to me and even though the last few weeks have been busy, I wanted to take time to acknowledge it, update the readers and thank those that have been instrumental in helping me with my blog over this last year.

BIG thank you to Kim Brookes for encouraging me to start my blog and for giving me guidance on where to begin and how to make it great. Also BIG thank you to Versandra Kennebrew who was my book coach last year and who helped me take my writing, creativity and blog to the next level!! I love you ladies!! Also thank you to my sistafriend Blair for helping to proof read my posts. Girl you have a gift!! Last but not least, THANK YOU to my husband for ALWAYS being supportive of my writing! Sometimes he helps me develop titles, research scriptures and helpful information for my posts. I love and appreciate you honey!!

When I first created this blog, I had no idea what I was going to write about or if people would even care to read it. Since I was a young girl, I’ve always had a passion for writing but I had stopped writing when I graduated from college for whatever reason. Starting this blog has helped me to fall in love with writing again and it’s provided me with a platform to share my testimonies to encourage others. It’s also helped me to start walking in my calling, which is to minister to women and to help them walk down the road of peace, wholeness and restoration.

Over the past year, I’ve written about several different topics but I’ve been most passionate about dating, marriage, sex, sexual assault and pregnancy. I know what it’s like to be a Christian single person trying to walk in patience and holiness. I know what it’s like to be a wife and want to please God and my husband in my marriage. I’m a 10 1/2 year sexual assault survivor and I know the emotional rollercoaster that survivors go through. I’ve also travelled down the long road to healing and restoration. Sex is very important in marriage and it’s sad that often times singles have lots of sex and married people have hardly any. The devil is a LIE!! God created sex for married people to enjoy and I want to help married ladies learn to love their bodies and sex with their husbands! It’s also very important for Christian singles to avoid sexual sin in order to set themselves up for great legal, holy, sex in the marriage bed one day! I was blessed to recently become a mom and I LOVED being pregnant! I enjoyed writing pregnancy updates and information about pregnancy and pro-life information.  

Blog Facts:

I published 166 post. Holy Ghost is awesome because He continues to give me ideas to write about and the right words to use to bless others. I’m honored that He picked me to use in this way!

The blog has 26,488 total views and counting!! 

631 comments and they keep coming in! It’s always so exciting to receive comments and meet new people who are being blessed by what I write.

78 Categories and 478 Tags

On July 26 I published my 100th post.

The highest number of views to date occurred on 4/11/2011. There were  was  260 views that day. On 4/10/11 the most recent post published was She’s Here! Nursing, Burping and Changing OH MY!

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/shes-here-nursing-burping-changing-oh-my/

Thank you to EVERYONE who has ever visited my blog, posted a comment and forwarded my posts to their friends and family! I REALLY REALLY appreciate it!! If you haven’t yet subscribed to my blog, I encourage you to do so now! The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please continue to share my blog link to your loved ones https://joannawillis.wordpress.com

Some of my favorite and most viewed post over the last year have been:

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/a-rape-survivors-letter-to-her-unborn-daughter/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/3-ways-to-meet-your-husbands-needs-during-pregnancy/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/pregnancy-and-the-single-saint/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/im-a-survivor/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/5-myths-about-love-and-sex-after-rape/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/tips-to-avoid-baby-mama-drama/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/4-reasons-why-glee-is-no-longer-for-me/

https://joannawillis.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/stop-giving-the-honey-up-for-free/

Stirring Up My Mustard Seed Faith

This morning as I sat at my desk thinking about a few things that haven’t been going right lately, a scripture came to my mind that really blessed me. Matthew 17:20 NIV He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” My mustard seed faith CAN and WILL move mountains!!

Often times we see our problems as gynormous but our God is BIGGER, BADDER, FAITHFUL and ABLE to do everything that we need Him to do. Eph 3:20 KJV Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. I want to stir up  my faith and yours this morning. It doesn’t matter what it looks like. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, God loves you, He is waiting with open arms to bless you and take care of you. Money, jobs, health relationships, sickness/diseases, unsaved family members, houses, cars, spouses, children, businesses, money to go back to school WHATEVER your need is today, stir up your mustard seed faith. You can’t do it on your own. Matt 19:26 NIV Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

We are God’s children and He knows our needs and He knows what’s best for us. He hears our prayers and He sees us trying our best to walk out His word. He sees us giving to the church and others in need. God is working all things out for our God. Romans 8:28 KJV And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Be encouraged today. Let’s mediate on the word of God and not our circumstances. When we start thinking about all the things that are going wrong, let’s start praising God for everything that is going right!! God is good and He is working things out for each of us!!! Phil 4:8 NIV Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

This One’s Dedicated To My Friends

One of the marks of a good friend is how that friend inspires you and when they do, it inspires you to inspire them too. That’s what friends do. They inspire the best in each other~ Vicki Phipps

All week I’ve been thinking about how blessed I am to have such great friends in my life. Ever since I joined Word of Faith Church in 2002, I have been blessed with a large group of saved friends and to me those friendships are worth more than gold. Like the quote, my friends inspire me to be better and I spire them. It’s so important to have positive, productive and healthy people around you. If you hang around people who have no goals, no morals or values, you will look up and be a lonely sad bum, just like them. The best things my friends and I have in common is that we all love the Lord and are trying daily to walk according to His word. I believe that it is impossible to walk this Christian walk alone. We need to seek out the fellowship and friendship of other local believers and do life together.

I love that my friends and I can have a good, clean, fun time whenever we get together. No one is drinking, fighting or purposely trying to start drama! The other day my husband and I got together with three other couples for a potluck dinner and we had a great time. All the couples were married, Christians, one had just had a baby, another couple is having their baby this month and the other couple are newlyweds. We spent the evening laughing, talking and encouraging/loving on one another. I felt so proud to know these awesome men and women of God and I felt so blessed that God put them in my life. I feel this way about all of my friends, whether we go to the same church or not, they are a blessing to me because they add to my life and I add to theirs. Even though I don’t have a picture of all my friends posted, I still love and thank God for them all!!

Some people  in the world like to believe that young black people don’t go to college, they don’t get married, they aren’t sold out for God and they don’t know how to live healthy lives; well my friends and I are proving the world wrong! God has blessed me with friends who are SAVED AND SOLD OUT doctors, teachers, business owners, therapists, professional athletics, happy stay at home moms, social workers and the list goes on and on. My friends love God, they are getting married and THEN having babies in large numbers every year. I am godly proud of my friends for continually seeking God about their lives and their futures and making their dreams come true. Friends I love you, and this one’s dedicated to you!!!

 

Prayer for my friends

Dear Lord,

Thank you for my friends. Protect them today and always Lord God. Thank you that favor goes before them and prospers their way. Thank you Lord that they are anointed to do whatever you have called them to do. Help them Lord to have peace, patience and joy as they walk holy everyday before you. Continue to lead and guide them in all things. Lord send laborers their way to bless them with whatever they need. Show them how to be the best that they can be. Help them to feel your lovely presence and to desire to seek your face more Lord God. Thank you Lord for answering my prayer for friends. Help me to be the best friend that I can be to each of them, in your name AMEN!!

Does Counseling=Crazy? NO! 10 Reasons To Sit On The Couch

 Many of us (African Americans) think you have to be “touched” or “crazy” to go to therapy.” While it’s true that some people with mental health issues seek therapy, it’s really a service for anyone. Therapy is a paid service that connects you with a trained professional who provides you with the support you need to live a healthier and happier life.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/mental-health-articles/why-dont-africanamericans-go-to-therapy-604938.html#ixzz13VzcgfXb
 

In 2002, I saw a counselor for 6 months and that 6 months transformed my life. I was finally ready to confront the pain that I had held onto for two years following the rape in 2000. I was so scared about starting counseling and talking to a complete stranger, that I cancelled my first appointment.  The next week, I was  nervous as I drove to the agency but once I got there and met my counsellor, I felt more at ease. My counselor was compassionate, patient, professional but down to earth, knowledgeable, open-minded and understanding. While she was friendly towards me, she kept professional boundaries and she never self disclosed anything about herself. She challenged me when I was afraid, she encouraged me when I didn’t think I could talk about the hurtful memories and she cheered me on when I had victories! Now that I have my Masters in Counseling and understand what attributes counselors should have, I now understand how truly awesome of a counselor she was.
 
I went into counseling prepared to work towards getting better. I read every book and did every homework assignment. I was on time and I shared honestly from the heart during every session. Outside of counseling, I was developing my relationship with God and I had an active prayer life. I combined the natural with the spiritual and I worked hard. At the end of the 6 months, I was no longer afraid of the classmate who raped me. He still went to my school and I had to be brave enough to not allow his presence to run me off campus. My confidence and self-esteem was high because I knew who I was in Christ; I knew how Christ saw me. I knew that I was not a victim, I was/am a strong, bold, completely healed and free woman of God. I learned to change my thinking, to love myself, to forgive, to trust God, to rely on my support system, to walk in love and to let go of anger and hate.
 
I would strongly recommend anyone who is or has gone through something difficult to seek the help of a counselor. Whether your suffering from past or present abuse/trauma, trying to get over a bad relationship/failed marriage, lost your job, having trouble with your kids, finances or just plan old need to talk to someone about how to reach your goals and make decisons in life, I strongly encourage you to seek the help of a counselor. Counseling is a blessing and it works!! I’m living proof!
 
Positivelypresent.com wrote a great article about why people should seek counseling. Here’s 10 reasons to sit on the couch:

1. You have time set aside just to talk about YOU. 
 

2. You create a safe haven where you can be completely honest. 
 

3. You learn new things about yourself every week (very cool!).

4. You find ways to better relate to the people around you. 

5. You figure out why you do the (sometimes stupid) things you do.

6. You explore the past, which leads to a better present.

7. You open your mind to new ideas and ways of thinking.

8. You accept and love yourself for who you are, flaws included.

9. You deal with the hard stuff you normally avoid like the plague.

10. You wake up one morning and realize, “Finally, I’m really living.”
http://www.positivelypresent.com/2009/04/ive-been-in-therapy—-really-been-in-it—-for-about-six-months-now-this-is-my-fourth-therapist-and-the-only-one-ive-actual.html

Forgiveness is the Sweetest Revenge

Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge- Isaac Friedmann

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you- Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future~ Paul Boese

Forgive or relive~ unknown

Forgiveness is the economy of the heart… forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.” Hannah Moore

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong~ Ghandi

We achieve inner health only through forgiveness-the forgiveness of not only others but of ourselves~ Joshua Liebman

Ladies take back your life! Don’t give those that have hurt you the pleasure of keeping you insecure, depressed, angry and afraid. Forgiveness is for you. When you forgive you get free, you get to take your life back, to smile again, to live a happy life  and to have joy and peace of mind. You deserve to be free, to be happy and to enjoy fulfilling relationships with others. You can’t be in a healthy place if you’re not walking in forgiveness. You’ll always have the chains around your hands and feet, the weight of the painful past will always hold you down. Its time to BREAK FREE!!!!!

Forgive those who have hurt you, give the pain over to the Lord. Ask Him to heal your broken heart, to help you see yourself how He sees you. The bible tells us to cast our burdens unto Jesus because He cares for us! The bible also tells us that God heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. He is waiting and willing to restore you to your rightful place in Him. Please make the decision today to seek guidance from a friend, family member, church member, pastor, counselor, social worker or your doctor. Talk to someone and start your healing process. Forgiveness may seem impossible today BUT trust me, as each day goes by, the decision gets easier and easier. It’s harder to live in pain and loneliness of unforgiveness, than it is to forgive and be free. You may never forget and that’s okay, but at least you will have your joy and peace back. True forgiveness says “I will not allow the things you’ve done to me to hold me captive any longer. I forgive you, I wish you well and I’m moving on.” You don’t have to be best friends with that person, talk to them on the phone and hang out. Forgiveness means you will not speak or think ill of them, you will not seek revenge on them, but instead you will pray for them and ask God to heal you both of the past. God is faithful. He will walk with you every step of the way, just trust Him and obey!!

My Recent Forgiveness Test: Thank God I’m Free From My Past

You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well- Lewis B. Smedes

Yesterday I found out that the man who raped me had gotten married and has a child. Honestly when I saw the pictures through a mutual associate who does not know about the rape, I felt all types of emotions and forgiveness was not one of them. For a few seconds I felt anger and hate trying to rise back up. Who was he to be happy? Does she know what he did to me? What type of father will this rapist become? Even though I had been praying for him throughout the years and actively working to shed the layers of negative emotions and unforgiveness, in those first few moments I was walking in the flesh.

Then I had to remind myself, I can’t wish ill on someone and say I’ve forgiven them. I can’t judge him based on what was done ten years ago. I’m certainly not the woman I was ten years ago. I decided that it was better for me to pray, walk in love and forgiveness towards him verses continuing to stare at his picture and wish evil to come his way. In the past, I forgave him so that I could be free of the bondage that held me captive.Yesterday I made that decision again with God’s strength. Forgiveness is a decision and must be done often for the same event sometimes. 

That night I called a friend who had also survived rape in college. She’s a believer also and she was very encouraging and supportive. She helped me to remember that I am human and it’s okay to have initial negative reactions but it’s the decisions I made quickly following the incident that proved that God had done heart surgery on me and I was strong and delivered from the past.

 God has truly done heart surgery on me! Like the lady in this picture, in 2003, I feel like my heart was literally taken out and replaced with a new one. Back in college, following the years after the rape, I was angry, hateful, bitter, fearful, insecure and confused. I couldn’t say the word rape, I literally crossed out the rapist’s name in every book that I read, I wrote depressing and angry poems and made bad choices in my relationships. When I gave my heart to the Lord fully, I asked Him to heal me of all the pain and make me new. I sought the help of my campus minister and she encouraged me to start going to counseling. I joined Word of Faith in Southfield MI, started receiving life changing messages about God’s love, healing, faith and I learned to have an intimate relationship with God. Years later, I know that I am healed and restored and I refuse to let this recent incident take me back. Back to the horrible place that I once was. God has given me a new heart, a new start and I wont allow the past, the young man or the devil to destroy all that I have worked so hard in God to overcome.

To the man who changed my life forever I say the following: I pray God’s mercy, grace, correction, protection, peace, comfort, restoration and salvation for you. I pray you are or do become the man who God has created you to be. I pray you learn what is means to be a godly faithful, nonviolent husband and a godly devoted father. I pray you make better choices and live a holy life in front of your son. I pray you never ever put another person through the things you put me through. I pray you seek God for forgiveness and you learn to forgive yourself. I pray God’s blessing over your family. In Jesus name amen.

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com