Layla’s Light Blog – Encouragement

Healthy

When someone says they are healthy, most people automatically think they mean they eat healthy and exercise. To be truly healthy, it begins with faith. Spiritual health is the root of all other aspects of health. If we begin each day in prayer and constant communication with God, then we are able to maintain other areas of our life. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, ask God to help you with each individual struggle, and help you find the peace within the situation. Ask God to help you feel His presence and find comfort in the journey. If you are working on healthier eating habits, ask God to take away the junk food cravings. Ask for His guidance in making better food choices. If you are developing a daily exercise routine, ask God to help keep you motivated and for energy to press on. If you are struggling with a habit or circumstance, ask God to keep you focused on the goal and for His wisdom in your decision making. These may seem like simplistic prayers to you, but the power behind the faith that comes with those prayers is life changing spiritual muscle!

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” MATTHEW 6:6

“Pray without ceasing, in everything giving thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 THESSALONIANS 5:17-18

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

https://laylafreeman.com/hope-in-the-struggle/

Light of Hope  

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

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

91-373-4560 

www.lightofhopeinc.org

No Fear

What will next year look like? In today’s times, we have much to be cautious about. We are watching the world around us, evolve into something we know is full of turmoil and uncertainty. Putting 2020 behind us is something we are all looking forward to. But what will happen in 2021? How do we handle this year? How can we avoid the fear of the future? Fear is a word we can all relate to. Just thinking about the future can cause anxiety and stress.

The truth is, this concern of the unknown is nothing new. Jesus spoke to His disciples about ‘the world’. He knew that in this world we would have trouble. Jesus assured us that in HIM, we would have peace.

Why can this be so hard to comprehend? Why do we see people crumbling in fear all around us, because they are so afraid of whatever situation they must face? Jesus is with us in all situations. God has His Hand on this world. We must be willing to seek Him in order to overcome our fear. We must be willing to trust Him no matter what. God is the answer to all the unknown. He can and will guide us in our future, and keep us from being overtaken by the evil one. It is up to us to take action, to allow God to be in control. Do not conform to this world and all the influences within it. Seek advice in the Scriptures. Pray without ceasing, and be specific in asking for God’s guidance and help. Pray for others. Allow Jesus into your heart, so that you can know that peace that He promises. We cannot overcome fear if we don’t recognize that fear is of the enemy. Make a decision to commit to seeking God. Dig deep into your faith, and understand that life was not meant to be easy. God is with us, and no matter what we face, there is hope in the struggle, through Christ Jesus.

Jesus said: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” JOHN 16:33

Do not conform any longer 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

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 – https://www.lightofhopeinc.org  

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 is hard to wake up some days.

Sometimes it is hard to wake up to the morning alarm. Facing another day can be difficult when we are going through hard times. Life can be so overwhelming, so full, and so exhausting. We can be left feeling so depleted, that it is even hard to think of what to say in prayer. Our Spirit knows we need to pray…but our worn out body can’t seem to put the thoughts together. It is at these times that we must NOT give up on prayer. We must give in to the Holy Spirit. The act of simply saying “I do not know what to pray” is enough. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. God did not leave us without strength from Him. We have all that we need when we trust in God and hold onto hope. Jesus lives within you, and He will help you walk through the difficulties of life. The key is asking for that help, through prayer and communication. Prayer is surrender, and it does not have to be spoken in lengthy words. Simple, honest, whispered prayers from the heart, allows God to enter into the situation with you. Remember, we must ask for help. God does not force Himself on anyone. Reach out to God right now, and He will show you His presence by filling you with the ability to press past the fear and move forward in a new direction.

The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. PSALM 121:5-8

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. ROMANS 8:25-26

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

Intentional Connection

“How are you?” “Do you work?” “Are you ok?”  These are questions we have been asked our entire life. Lately, they have taken on a whole new meaning. There is so much going on in our world today, and our minds are so overwhelmed with distraction. This has caused a more evident disconnect in our day to day conversation. Often times, when people ask questions, it is more of a formality, rather than an intentional conversation. I am guilty of this myself. I found myself really saddened that others had no idea what I really do, or who I am.

These emotions required more specific prayer on my part. Not only have I been praying, but I have been analyzing myself. I have taken my petitions to God, and have sought His guidance and wisdom on how to process this. As humans, we tend to be very surface people. We have friends and acquaintances that we interact with every day. How well do you know them? Do you ask them questions that have depth and meaning, or do you tend to stick to the basic conversations? Are we all so busy with our own tasks at hand, that we make subconscious decisions to zone out, causing us the inability to listen to others?

As this world continues to process through this pandemic and all the variables involved within it, we have somewhat been pushed to ‘check out’ when it comes to human relationships. This virtual world has created that division. We are all guilty of some element of disconnect, as we press through our rigid daily schedules. Let us be reminded that God desires us to encourage and help one another. The only way we can help or encourage one another, is if we are intentional and get to know one another. Make an intentional connection. Ask simple questions in order to find out what they do throughout each day. What makes them who they are? Listen. You will be surprised how much you can learn from others, and ultimately, how much you can help each other out.

God is with us.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:11

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. HEBREWS 10:23-25

Blessings,

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 – http://www.lightofhopeinc.org 

 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

Those People

Have you ever stared across the room and wondered why you couldn’t be more like “those people”? Sometimes we get inside our own head and stir up emotions that we cannot seem to shake. I say this with raw honesty. Just over 11 years ago, I was at the lowest, darkest point in my life. I still remember it like it was yesterday.

I can remember feeling like it was impossible to be ‘normal’. There was a time in my life when I was so broken, so lost, so empty…all I could do was breathe from second to second. I was so filled with shame, remorse, sadness, and emptiness, that I wanted it all to go away. My mind would not shut off. I contemplated ending my life. I used alcohol to numb the deep emotional brokenness. I turned away from God, my family, from everyone and everything. I reclused into a shell and buried every emotion so deeply within, that even I could not make sense of it all. The enemy had control.

Then, I made a decision one day. I made a choice. I bowed my head and made a raw, honest plea. I simply said out loud, “Jesus, help me.”

I had tried saying this before. I had tried reading my Bible. I had tried looking at the self-help books people had given me. I had tried so many things. None of those had helped me break past the barrier the enemy had over me. There was something different this time. I meant it. I had nowhere else to turn. Alcohol had been my controller, and depression had been driving my mind. When I spoke the words out loud, “Jesus, help me.” I gave power to the situation. I allowed Jesus to enter in. I cannot tell you that there was a monumental life-changing occurrence at that moment. But I can tell you that things began to change.

It took work on my end. Just because I cried out to Jesus, didn’t mean I sat complacent waiting on the magic fairy dust to do the work for me. No. It meant I was able to hear and feel the nudgings of Jesus. I was able to pick up my Bible and allow the words to be read with meaning. I was able to put one foot in front of the other and step past fear. It was a long process of recovery. I faced the monster of alcohol and began a lifetime recovery program. I was able to find counseling, which in turn guided me into the proper mental health treatment for PTSD, from past rape and abuse.

The more I became honest, the more I healed. The more I leaned into Jesus, the more peace I experienced. I surrendered my entire life, breath, and soul to God.

Life will always have difficult times. It is simply part of the human existence. These difficulties can be faced and worked through when we allow God to guide our heart. Christmas Eve of 2013 I faced the most difficult pain possible. At 23 years old, my oldest daughter went to Heaven. There are no words to describe child loss. It is a daily journey. However, I am able to face this reality with Jesus by my side. My faith has only grown stronger, and I have a determination to turn what the enemy meant for destruction, into a purpose for God’s glory.

Today, my perspective and purpose are clear. I wake up daily and pray that my testimony, life experiences, and wisdom can be used to help others. I look at “those people” and see their needs. I see the pain, the struggle, the brokenness in so many people. I see this and I desire with all that I am…to help people see the hope. God is hope. God is love. Jesus is our Savior, who gives us the opportunity and complete forgiveness with new life. You are not alone, and the non-profit, Light of Hope, that God allowed me to form from these life experiences, is here to help you. www.lightofhopeinc.org

I pray that anyone who looks out into the world and wishes they were more like “those people”, would reach out to Jesus. Simply ask for Jesus to help you, and mean it. Then, allow the people who want to help you…help you. Stop pushing people away, and allow God to use those people to walk you through the difficulty. Find a support system, and step past the fear of the unknown. God is with us in all that we do. We must allow God to show us the way. We must take the first step, and in doing so…you will find a peace that surpasses all understanding. Allow yourself to experience the gift of change, of hope, and of new life.

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

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7

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

http://www.lightofhopeinc.org

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

Honest Prayers

Sometimes it is hard to wake up to the morning alarm. Facing another day can be difficult when we are going through hard times. Life can be so overwhelming, so full, and so exhausting. We can be left feeling so depleted, that it is even hard to think of what to say in prayer. Our Spirit knows we need to pray…but our worn out body can’t seem to put the thoughts together. It is at these times that we must NOT give up on prayer. We must give in to the Holy Spirit. The act of simply saying “I do not know what to pray” is enough. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. God did not leave us without strength from Him. We have all that we need when we trust in God and hold onto hope. Jesus lives within you, and He will help you walk through the difficulties of life. The key is asking for that help, through prayer and communication. Prayer is surrender, and it does not have to be spoken in lengthy words. Simple, honest, whispered prayers from the heart, allow God to enter into the situation with you. Remember, we must ask for help. God does not force Himself on anyone. Reach out to God right now, and He will show you His presence by filling you with the ability to press past the fear and move forward in a new direction.

The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. PSALM 121:5-8

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. ROMANS 8:25-26

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