Layla’s Light Blog – Encouragement

You make a difference.

As we look around us, we can hear and see so much suffering in this world. It is heartbreaking to observe the brokenness in so many world situations. This makes me ask myself the question, “What am I doing to make a difference?”

In all the ‘busyness’ we create in our lives, are we being purposeful in helping this world? No matter how hard you try, there is no way of tuning out of the world. World tragedies are happening all around us, and we cannot ignore this raw pain. It’s heartbreaking to see the evil, and the devastation surrounding us. So, what can I do to make a difference? Love. Pray. Be available. Trust God. In all the days Jesus spent on this earth…He loved. Jesus prayed. Jesus was available. And despite the suffering, the persecution and the horrific things Jesus faced…He trusted God. If I can learn to show love despite what the world says, I can make a difference. If I can pray for everyone…selfless, heartfelt prayers, seeking God in every situation…regardless if I know them or not…I can make a difference. If I can make myself available to help, to listen, to grow, to guide, and to learn, I can make a difference. If I can purposely trust God, regardless of what I may see, feel or hear, and show others how powerful it is to truly TRUST GOD, then I can make a difference.

Why? Why do I need to make a difference? Because Jesus asks us to be the example. We are the disciples of Christ. You and I can and will make a difference in this world if we make an effort to decide to just be true loving people. God is with us in all that we do. He will guide us toward peace and hope if we seek Him. I want to know, that when I die, I made a difference to someone. I want to be remembered for being a light, a positive, spirit-filled, caring person. I choose to live for Christ. I choose a life of joy despite what the world says. I pray you will walk along-side me and seek the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. Love one another and make a difference.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you. PSALM 85:10-12

Jesus said: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” JOHN 14:26-27

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2021
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 HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 

available for purchase at the following: 


AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

Layla’s 501c3 non profit – Light of Hopehttp://www.lightofhopeinc.org

Vulnerability

Where do I fit in? What does it mean to fit in? Have you ever walked into a room and felt an “air” about the room, and instantly, you felt unwelcome? I spent the majority of my life feeling this way. I still find myself experiencing this awkwardness at times.  It’s a reality that we face. We struggle to feel quite adequate enough to be a part of certain groups, organizations, or types of society. We feed on human acceptance. It’s part of our flesh and our emotional capacity.

Some of you know me in my community. Many of you see and hear the activity of my non-profit, Light Of Hope. I created this organization, as a place for people to find hope, to know they fit in, unconditional, loved, and understood. Even with this organization established, I admit I still struggle with identity. Not too many people know me personally. If you’ve heard my testimony, you’ve heard some of the difficult journeys. However, the depths of my experiences are still unknown to most people. There are details that I went through that are incomprehensible. Sometimes, I wish someone understood those difficult details. It’s been a tough road. Those of us who have been through severe situations must process through human emotions on a daily basis. Because of the depth of the pain, we had to make a choice. My choice was the only option. Surrender my life, completely and wholly to God. I reach out for the Hand of Jesus and allow Jesus to carry me through each day. I dedicate my life to turning my pain into purpose. My entire existence is committed to helping other people press through their difficult journey. I am determined to allow God to use me in any way He possibly needs me.

Doing this comes with its own set of difficulty. I had to become completely vulnerable. I am an open book. My dirty laundry sits on a shelf for the world to see. I am judged by those who don’t understand the purpose. This means I battle the human flesh of emotions every day. This means I experience that ‘feeling’ of not fitting in. I still don’t know that I have been accepted by some people. I still face the reality of certain people’s attitudes toward me. There are still people that only know me for that struggling, abused, depressed, alcoholic that I was for a small period of my life. There are still people that purposely avoid me, as they identify me with pity, as a mom who lost her daughter. It’s hard to get over that identity. It’s hard to know if you’ve been accepted, forgiven, “unjudged”. It’s hard to know if you fit in, leaving us open to vulnerability.

What does it mean to be vulnerable? The word “vulnerable” is often used synonymously with “weakness.” This definition might be right for engineering, but it’s not accurate when it comes to emotional vulnerability. A much better synonym for “vulnerability” is “courage.” Emotional vulnerability can be defined as having the courage to take emotional risks, even when we don’t know the outcome. It means showing up as our authentic selves and speaking our truth with no guarantee that we’ll be accepted. For many of us, this uncertainty can create a deep-rooted fear of rejection. Humans are wired with a need for belonging, and avoiding rejection is a powerful motivator. As a result, we often try to fit in or hide our true feelings rather than risk not being accepted. In the end, being emotionally vulnerable is not just helpful. It’s necessary to live a happy, fulfilled life. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

I am so thankful that I know that my identity does not revolve around the difficulty of the past or the acceptance of others. My identity exists because of our Savior Jesus Christ.  My life is a reflection of God’s power. Only God could have carried me through what I’ve been through. Only God can carry me through each day and use it for His glory. I am a survivor. I am a child of the Most High God. I am His example, His vessel, His warrior on this earth. I pray that each one of you knows that you have a purpose. Our purpose is deep within us. Our purpose is our witness to the world, in how we choose to live out our lives. We can take our past brokenness and use it as a pedestal to reveal the unveiling of Christ within us. We can determine to allow God to show us His love, by allowing Him to pour into you. Surrender your life to Christ, and ask God to be the one in control. Then, walk boldly into those rooms, and allow yourself to experience the vulnerability of ‘uncomfortableness’. It is in these moments when you will experience the power of God. He will create an atmosphere in which you ‘fit in’. God will guide you through the awkward moments and allow you to feel welcome. Your renewed life in Christ will be filled with His purpose and His love.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ROMANS 12:2

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2021
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 

(Layla Founded this Non-Profit after the loss of her daughter) 
www.lightofhopeinc.org

918-373-4560 

403 West 1st Street Claremore, OK 74017

Difficult Days

None of us like to face the cycles of our lives, where we feel like we are under attack. When we are going through the difficulties, it makes no sense. How often have you felt like you were being road blocked, invisible, or even felt like you were being punished? You wonder why things are happening to you, and more often you wonder where God is in all the trials? It can seem like the more you pray, the more the silence. Rest assured, God is there. God is NOT punishing you or ignoring you. God did not go away. God hears every prayer and knows every difficulty you are facing. Jesus is in the midst of the situations, and He is guiding you along. You may not feel His presence. You may not understand what is happening to you. However, you can be assured that you have the power to allow God to protect and guide you. You must ask, and allow God into the situation. Remember, God does not force Himself on you. He waits for us to call on Him. Jesus is with you…waiting for you to ask for His help. The key is, we must ask, and then take His Hand. Call on the name of Jesus.

The enemy is a thief that will rob you of your joy if you allow him to. Satan works in all kinds of ways, to distract you from the power God has given you through the Holy Spirit. The enemy will try to destroy you and cause doubt and confusion. The more tough times you experience, the more you need to seek Jesus in a much deeper level. Pray in all circumstances, throughout the entire day. When something happens that causes you to doubt…stop and call on Jesus. Rebuke the devil. Speak the name of Jesus out loud, and ask God to protect, guide, and carry you through this difficult time.

This world will always have difficulty with it. The difference in how your life is lived out…is in the decision you make in how you face it. There is hope in the struggle…when you stand firm in your faith. God is with you, and in time…you will see the journey you have walked through, and how Jesus carried you to victory. 

The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. DEUTERONOMY 31:8

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 PETER 5:6-11

God is with us.

© Layla Freeman 2021
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 

(Layla Founded this Non-Profit after the loss of her daughter) 
www.lightofhopeinc.org

918-373-4560 

403 West 1st Street Claremore, OK 74017

Pain

Are you in pain right now? No one wants to talk about pain. I’m not talking about physical pain…I’m talking about emotional pain. Emotional pain is hard to face. It’s the kind of pain that we bury deep down in our gut and try to ignore. It has to do with years of trying to pretend that those deep hurts are gone, yet they are still there. Every time we were lied to…cheated on…abused…neglected…rejected…or humiliated…we endured a level of emotional pain that simply does not go away. Too often we carry this emotional baggage around, never realizing just how much it holds us back. When we become overloaded with difficulties in life, these past emotional pains can rise up inside us, and we don’t know how to handle it. 

Why is it so hard to face these emotions? Why do we try to bury it, instead of handing it to God? Shame, pride, or our own self judgment can cause us to continue holding emotions in instead of seeking our Father God…the One who can help us through it all. As humans, we face a difficult world. Each day is a challenge, and each day we have an opportunity to surrender all of these challenges and emotions to Jesus. Jesus understands all the struggles we face each day. Jesus knows how to help you face these deep seeded emotions we all have buried deep inside. As you face today, allow Jesus to be your gift from God. God gave us His Son so that we would be able to have freedom, forgiveness, and peace. This is a gift, freely given to us if we will receive it. Don’t forget, all you have to do is ask for Jesus to help you. Talk to God about your difficulties, and allow Jesus to carry you through this process. Slowly, over time, you will be able to surrender each emotional burden, and you will receive a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” MATTHEW 11:28-30

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. PHILIPPIANS 4:7

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2021
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
918-373-4560  www.lightofhopeinc.org

Trusting the Unknown

You never know what tomorrow holds. You never know how things will turn out. We are human, and we do not have that kind of control. Many times we pretend or attempt to have that kind of control. We find ourselves trying to manipulate things, force things, or pray things into some sort of scenario we think should be the answer. How often have we prayed repeated prayers, saying we are ‘praying’ about it, when in all honesty, we are begging God for Him to make things go the way WE think they should go? We play magician, fortune teller, or miracle worker in our heads. Why do we still do this?

We know the truth. We know that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. He is the answer, the miracle worker, the helper and the redeemer. We know God is the one in control. God knows the situations. God wants the very best for us. God gave us His Holy Spirit to communicate with us. The answers lie within us. When we seek God wholeheartedly and truly listen to the guidance given to us by the Holy Spirit, we will receive direction. We must remember that God has given us free will to choose how we will face the adversity and decisions we must make in this world. We can choose to play like we are in control, or we can choose to surrender and seek God with all our heart. Next time you are faced with the unknown, and you feel desperate to force things into action, force yourself to stop and honestly pray. Ask Jesus to guide you and give you direction. Pray with honest surrender, telling God your fears, confusions, and frustrations. Find a place where you can hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit as you seek God’s direction. Read God’s Word. Don’t expect loud booming answers. Rather, receive the peace that will be given to you, as you slowly receive the direction and unfolding of God’s plan. Trust in the One who created you and holds you in the palm of His Hand.

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

“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 7:7-8

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2021
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 501(c)(3)  

Main Offices:  403 West 1st Street  Claremore, OK 74017 
918-373-4560 

www.lightofhopeinc.org

Answers

We are living through a time of uncertainty. Each day is a day of unknown. Who knows what we will face next. “You never know”. I can guarantee you have heard that phrase several times before. You never know what today will have in store. You never know what tomorrow holds. You never know how things will turn out. We are human, and we do not have that kind of control. So, how do we figure out the answers?

Many times we pretend or attempt to have control of our lives. We find ourselves trying to manipulate things, force things, or pray things into some sort of scenario we think should be the answer. How often have we prayed repeated prayers, saying we are ‘praying’ about it, when in all honesty, we are begging God for Him to make things go the way WE think they should go? We play magician, fortune teller, or miracle worker in our heads. Why do we still do this?

We know the truth. We know that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. He is the answer, the miracle worker, the helper and the redeemer. We know God is the one in control. God knows the situations. God wants the very best for us. God gave us His Holy Spirit to communicate with us. The answers lie within us. When we seek God wholeheartedly and truly listen to the guidance given to us by the Holy Spirit, we will receive direction. We must remember that God has given us free will to choose how we will face the adversity and decisions we must make in this world. We can choose to play like we are in control, or we can choose to surrender and seek God with all our heart. Next time you are faced with the unknown, and you feel desperate to force things into action, force yourself to stop and honestly pray. Ask Jesus to guide you and give you direction. Pray with honest surrender, telling God your fears, confusions, and frustrations. Find a place where you can hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit as you seek God’s direction. Read God’s Word. Don’t expect loud booming answers. Rather, receive the peace that will be given to you, as you slowly receive the direction and unfolding of God’s plan. Trust in the One who created you and holds you in the palm of His Hand.

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

“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 7:7-8

God is with us.

© Layla Freeman 2021
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  

403 West 1st Street  Claremore, OK 74017
918-373-4560 

www.lightofhopeinc.org