Layla’s Light Blog – Encouragement

Through the Unknown

Facing the Unknown

The fear of the unknown is debilitating. Do you clearly know that a change needs to happen, but have no idea how to pursue that? Do you feel trapped, lost, or possibly hopeless? First and foremost, know that you can and will make it through this. Whatever you are facing is only temporary. God has promised us a way out of the darkness you may feel surrounding you. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light. Jesus is there for you…always. There is no fear in Christ. God promises us help, hope, and a life of peace, when we allow Him the ability to show us how to receive those promises. Allow positive people into your life, who can pray with you, encourage you, and be the flicker of light you may need to see that God is with you.

The things we face right now, are only what we see at the moment. God knows your struggles…your exhaustion…and your inability to see a way through it. That is why He gave us Jesus; so that Jesus could reassure us by saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.” JOHN 14:1  As we face the fears that hold us back, we must make a conscious decision to trust God. Don’t think you can figure it out on your own. Pray to God, asking for Him to take control and help you. Ask God to guide you in the right directions. Ask God to help calm your emotions of anxiety. Trust in God’s timing, and believe that He is hearing your prayers…for He promised us, He is.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. JAMES 1:5-6

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. JAMES 1:12

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

AMAZON – HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE -$9.95

Light of Hope  

Main Offices:  403 West 1st Street  Claremore, OK 74017 Food Pantry:  400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
918-373-4560 

www.lightofhopeinc.org

You Can and You Have

Life is hard. Sometimes life feels overwhelming, and we tend to feel as if we are alone. This can cause us to feel like we just can’t handle what we are facing. There are times in our lives that we feel like we have absolutely no answer, no direction, nothing makes sense, and we are simply lost. Sometimes it may feel like you can’t seem to find a way to get through these next few hours, let alone the next few weeks. Part of you may feel like you just can’t do it, but the truth is, you can and you have.

We have endured months of the most disrupted, unknown, difficult times in history. The world pandemic has caused our normal to be stripped away. We have had to adapt, and sometimes make complete change. Although this has been very difficult, there has been growth in this process. There is some good in the midst of all the past chaos. This is true with whatever we face in life. Difficult times create growth, even we don’t like it or don’t feel it.

God never leaves us alone. There is hope, there is help, and Jesus is there with you.

Right this moment, take a second to breathe. Sit down and let out some pressure by talking to God. Talk to Him as if you were talking to your friend. Thank Him for what you have in your life, and then ask Him to help you stay focused. Ask Him to help you balance all these crazy situations and emotions. Ask Him to help you feel His presence so you don’t feel like you are all alone. Ask God ANYTHING! Give Him the chance to help you and give Him the time to show you His work. Don’t rush through anything in life to please other people. Rush to God and let Him work things out in the way that is best for everyone. Trust in God, allow Jesus to carry you when you can’t walk on your own, and you will be able to face anything this world places in front of you.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path. PROVERBS 3:5-6

And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. PHILIPPIANS 1:9-11

God is with us.
Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

AMAZON – HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE -$9.95

Light of Hope  

Main Offices:  403 West 1st Street  Claremore, OK 74017

Food Pantry:  400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 

918-373-4560 

www.lightofhopeinc.org

It’s OK to be Sad.

Upset woman sitting alone on city stairs
You are not alone. God is with you. 
http://www.laylafreeman.com

The last few months have been challenging, to say the least. The days go by, and we are all facing the question, “when will this end”? The unknown is heavy. These are what I call “the days of weird”. It is easy to wake up each morning and dread the day. As a nation, we are all struggling. I don’t think there is a single human being that hasn’t felt the sense of oppression at some point in the last few months. This causes us to face a reality. Some days it is hard to be positive, and an overwhelming sense of sadness can take over.  The truth is, our nation is facing a serious depression issue. Sadness is being prolonged, leading into longer term depression, and we need to be addressing it and talking about it.

What does it mean to be sad? Does it mean we are weak? No. Does it mean our faith is not where it should be? No. Sadness is a human emotion that we all face at some point in our life. Sadness is an emptiness that needs to be filled. Often times when we face times of sadness, we tend to withdraw. We isolate, seclude ourselves, and reject others. This is the time when we need to pray. This is the time when we need others. But as flesh, we are weak. We fall into the trap of thinking that sadness and depression are “shameful”. There is no shame in our normal human emotions; especially during these unprecedented times. A spiritual war is going on around us. The enemy uses this time to manipulate our thoughts. The enemy wants you to believe that feeling sad or depressed is wrong. The enemy is a liar.

We have HOPE. We are not alone. We have a God who is greater than any obstacle this world throws in our path. We have each other, and Jesus walks alongside us every second of every day. The enemy wants you to forget that. Our greatest weapon against the enemy is prayer and the Scripture. This is the time when we need to pick up our Bible more than ever. But why is it so hard to pray or seek The Word when we are sad? Once again, the enemy tries to hold you down, push you away from Jesus, and block the very power that God has given us.

Even if we don’t feel like praying or reading God’s Word during our sadness, it’s the most powerful thing we can do. Whispering prayer to God gives Him the opportunity to enter into your heart. Dropping to your knees is surrender, even if you don’t have words to speak. We must invite God in. We have been given free will to live our lives as we choose. God will not invade that free will, therefore, we must ask God to come to us. We must pray. Even if it’s three words muttered under your breath. “God, help me,” or “guide me through”, it is a prayer that God will hear. Reading God’s Word points us back to the Cross. It brings our spirit to the surface. It opens our hearts to allow God to nourish our soul.

Sadness is ok. Maintaining the sadness is not ok. Allow people that God places in your life to help you. Answer the text, open the door, and let people love on you. You have permission to recieve help. There is no shame in depression and sadness. Give yourself the gift of love, through God’s people, prayer, and the words in scripture that are written in love. Remind yourself that you are loved more than anything on this earth. You have the control and power given to you through Jesus, to overcome. Your Heavenly Father created you in His image. Seek Him in prayer and through His Word and He will lift you up in due time. I assure you, God is with you, always.

**If you are feeling hopeless, please reach out for help. I have a non-profit ministry that can help guide you or your family. www.lightofhopeinc.org If you need immediate help and are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please don’t let shame hold you back from calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline emergency crisis lines. 1-800-273-8255. You are worth it, you are valuable, and you are loved.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path. PROVERBS 3:5-6

The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. ISAIAH 58:11

God is with us.

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

AMAZON HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE -$9.95
Light of Hope  Main Offices:  403 West 1st Street  Claremore, OK 74017Food Pantry:  400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
918-373-4560 www.lightofhopeinc.org

The Importance of Communication

Communication is essential. Our voice, our attitude, our eyes, and our hands are all forms of communication. It is essential that we use these tools, to convey our thoughts and our needs. This communication is important and eliminates assumptions based on guessing other peoples thoughts or actions. Guessing and assuming causes confusion. We cannot go through life assuming that we know what to expect, what other people are thinking, or even that we will have another opportunity.

How often do we wake up in the morning and assume it’s just another routine day? Just think of those days when you were rushed and skipped the most important preparation for the day…a prayer to God. It probably made that day a bit more difficult, and you never even realized it. Yes, we can be assured that God is with us in all we do…and that is the truth. However, we cannot assume God will be able to help us if we don’t ask for help for those specific things. We must ask, and invite God into the situation.

The same goes for anything in life. If we don’t voice our needs or concerns, how can we expect anyone else to know them? If we don’t respond to people with the proper communication, how can we expect them to know you have received information? Take a proactive stance in your life. Remember to respond to people and don’t let the conveniences of the electronic world take over that personal interaction. Don’t assume that you are heard, when the only voice being communicated is the one in your own head. Speak up. Pray to God on a regular basis. Ask God for help and guidance, and be specific with your thoughts and needs. Communicate clearly with people, know what your priorities are, and focus on your blessings. Make every effort to live righteously and in direct communication with God, so that your daily life will be properly guided, which will help you follow the will of God.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” MATTHEW 7:7

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism. COLOSSIANS 3:23-25

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

AMAZON HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE -$9.95
Light of Hope  Main Offices:  403 West 1st Street  Claremore, OK 74017Food Pantry:  400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
918-373-4560 www.lightofhopeinc.org

Follow the Call

Adventure Awaits iPhone Blog Graphic

Do you have a burning desire in your heart? Is there something you want to do and you know it is a direction in which God is clearly showing you? Are you listening to God’s direction? How often do you ignore that desire, that nudging? What causes us to push back, when God is pushing us forward? Why do we question, doubt, or have fear of the unknown?

Most of the time we are eager to press forward in the small stuff God has guided us toward. However, we dig in our heels when something is placed in front of us that we are acutely unfamiliar with. You may have had a vision of something that you would love to see happen, but inside, you cannot foresee how that vision could possibly evolve. Just because you feel un-equipped, does not mean you don’t have what it takes to fulfill the vision and desire God is guiding you toward. God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called. Whatever God has called you to do, He is completely faithful. He will guide you, and give you whatever you need to complete the task He is directing you in. Jesus walks with you every step of the way.

A few years ago, my heart had a deep desire to help other people who were facing the struggle of addiction and life difficulties. Having lost my own daughter to the perils of this devastating reality; I knew the journey, the pain, and the suffering of everyone involved. God kept pushing me to share my heart’s desire. He intentionally created a burning within my heart to reach out to anyone who is affected by the realities of this harsh world we are facing today. Addiction is not a subject people want to talk about. There is a stigma, an embarrassment, a judgment that the world has created. However, addiction is rapidly taking over. Someone you know is struggling with some form of addiction, depression, mental health, or life struggle. There is no shame in sharing the truth, and no one should walk life’s journeys alone.

God made sure I didn’t give in to my doubt and fear of being un-equipped to begin an outreach to help others. It has been a long journey; an emotional journey, and it hasn’t been without many questions. Light of Hope was born in my heart. When I began talking about this vision, it seemed unrealistic, impossible, and such a giant undertaking. God made sure He brought me an amazing team of people, to help make this vision a reality.  Together, with my team of people and the blessings of God, we have established and grown Light of Hope 501(c)(3) non-profit ministry outreach. Through persistence, diligence, and many miracles from God, we are celebrating our fifth year of serving our communities. We now have two locations in Claremore, OK, and can provide a multitude of programs to help people through life. Encouragement, resource assistance, support groups, school drug education, community education, life building classes, workplace readiness expo, grief support, food pantry assistance, and community service, are some of the programs we are now able to offer. This opportunity and growth is direct evidence of God’s guidance and blessing.

Today we can offer support, love, and encouragement to those who are hurting because we followed God’s calling. We embrace the brokenness and love people through difficult times. God does amazing things. I look back on the past few years and see the Hand of God moving mountains. Don’t let fear and the unknown hold you back. God is with you, and He will use you to do mighty things, when you allow Him to show you how.

And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? ROMANS 8:30-31

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. HEBREWS 13:20-21

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

AMAZON
Light of Hope  
Main Offices:  403 West 1st Street  Claremore, OK 74017
Food Pantry:  400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
918-373-4560 

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I sat on my closet floor for 30 minutes this morning. My closet is my war room. It’s the one place I can disconnect my mind from all the distractions for a few moments. However, even that has become difficult. As I sat on the floor, I just whispered. “God help me”. “ I need you”.

I am depleted. I am mentally exhausted. The enemy has been trying to attack me over and over. I recognize this reality, and I am fighting the battle. I am in constant prayer and discussion with God, and constantly asking Jesus to take control. I surrender my life, my existence, to Jesus every single morning. I trust God with all my heart. He created me, He saved me. I live for God, first and foremost. Everything I do, I ask for guidance, wisdom, and direction. I prepare myself every single day, for whatever God has in store for me.

In theory, this should be enough, correct? However, my flesh is struggling. I’ve always been honest with my audience. And my honesty today is that I am really struggling. I know I am not the only one. These times are strange, confusing, and difficult. Every day is a challenge. For me, I’ve had zero rest. My nonprofit, Light of Hope, is serving our community in an emergency status. While other people have been quarantined, restricted, or confined, I’ve been on the forefront. We are feeding the masses through our food pantry, and our involvement in the USDA food box program. That is taking an entire team of volunteers to implement. Our support group programs, school drug education programs, and classes are having to be re-created, and new programs are having to be implemented. Everything we do is volunteer. we don’t get paid, and we work tireless hours. We rely on donations from our community, and the reality is, everyone is holding tight to their own money to prepare for the future. That means donations are not coming in. This puts stress on me, and an emotional struggle as well. The needs of our community are incredible, and we have to provide help. I cannot stand the thought of anyone going hungry. I cannot stand the thought of depression, isolation, addiction, and anything that hinders hope. Therefore, I will do whatever it takes to keep us moving forward and providing for our community. I have an incredible team of people, and they have been true angels as they pour their hearts into helping people see the hope.

The enemy knows this. The enemy knows how passionate I am about helping the people, and how willing I am to be all that God has called me to be. Therefore, the enemy keeps attacking me.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I know there are other people out there going through the same thing. I surrender my life every day, but I also struggle every day. It’s a mental, physical, and emotional battle right now. Even though I’m working tirelessly, I feel very alone. I’m digging into scripture, I drop to my knees in prayer all the time, yet I struggle. Just as Paul describes in Romans as he wages war with his flesh. The flesh is what we are and our spirit dwells within us. It’s a real battle and I know how to fight the battle. But it doesn’t negate the fact that it’s hard.

I pray that as I reveal this inward struggle to you, I am helping someone else who is facing the same struggle. We have permission to struggle. It’s ok to admit our weaknesses, for in the surrender we invite God unto the depths of our heart. These are the times of growth and refinement. These are where we enter into a more intimate relationship with Jesus. This relationship, this spiritual battle, is critical to our eternal life. Embrace the battle. Be willing to press on. Trust that God is with us, and allow the Holy Spirit to stir, speak, nudge, and guide us. Soon, we will look back and be able to help and hold the hand of someone else, because we have endured and know that all is well with God.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” PROVERBS 3:5-6 

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” EPHESIANS 6:12-13

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 


AMAZON
Light of Hope  
Main Offices:  403 West 1st Street  Claremore, OK 74017
Food Pantry:  400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
918-373-4560