Layla’s Light Blog – Encouragement

He died for you.

Faith

Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do? Have you ever been judged? Have you ever felt threatened? Have you ever felt a deep heartache for someone else’s pain or loss? Have you ever willingly accepted the blame…the judgment…the threats? Have you ever been able to take the pain and suffering from someone else…and carry it yourself? Have you ever watched someone else sin? Did you then take their sin…and carry it yourself?  Do you realize that Jesus did all of these things…willingly..for you, for the world? As we remind ourselves of the magnitude of the gift we have been given, we must recognize that we can never take it for granted. Jesus suffered. Jesus took all of this world’s sin and carried it to the cross. Jesus fought for the salvation of the human race, by carrying the evil to the cross. Jesus died…so we could live. We have hope because Jesus gave us a way to salvation, through His death and resurrection. When we believe and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have been given new life.  As you apply this truth to your own life, remind yourself that you have been saved. We all sin, but we all have the ability to repent and be forgiven of those sins. Give thanks to God for His gift to us, of His only Son, so that we could have a way to eternal life. Give all your heart and soul to Jesus, and allow yourself to receive the peace and hope we have been freely given.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” ROMANS 10:9-11

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ who is the head over every power and authority. In Him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead. COLOSSIANS 2:6-12

God is with us. 

Layla 

© Layla Freeman 2019
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: 

HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 


AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle 
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

Vulnerable Me.

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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.

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
© Layla Freeman 2019
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: 

HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle 
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

Facing Difficulty

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Do you ever just want to roll your eyes when you hear someone say, “I am so happy!”. How can someone else, or everyone else, seem so happy, when I am crumbling apart inside? Life is not easy. It is hard to find joy in the midst of difficulties and trials. The pain of what we face tends to overwhelm us, and soon we let the worry and stress overtake the good times we experience in life. Without realizing it, your primary focus is the pain instead of the positive things that surround you. Why is this? Why do we forget about the love, peace, joy, and freedom we have each day? It’s there. It never goes away. The enemy wants us to feel defeated. The enemy thrives on sadness and insecurities. This is when we feel vulnerable and become easily swayed. The enemy knows this is the perfect opportunity to attempt to control your thinking. This is precisely why we must recognize the battle, and put up a fight. EPHESIANS 6:11 tells us, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”Putting on our full armor of God, means we pray; we seek God’s Word, and we ask for help. We cannot walk the difficult journeys of life alone. God never intended for us to face difficulties by ourselves. Jesus sought counsel. We must seek counsel as well. Why do we find it so hard to ask, seek, and receive? Our human flesh and pride, tend to get in the way of the gifts we are offered in each day. It isn’t easy to see the hope in the struggle, but it’s always there.

Grief has a particular journey. Grief requires the ultimate form of surrender. The emotions we face are raw and can seem unbearable. Sometimes we feel as if we aren’t supposed to express these raw emotions. It’s ok to feel emotions. It’s ok to take time to take care of yourself. We are uniquely designed, intricately woven and perfectly human. God has created in us, a distinct ability to make choices, take action, and feel emotions. This is a beautiful truth; yet there are times we struggle with those choices, actions, and emotions. It is not easy identifying and processing through the things we face in our life. Jesus knows this first hand. He was crucified for His choice to take on the sin of the world. But His choice…His willingness to face those raw emotions and endure the sufferings is why we are able to endure and persevere in this world today. This is how we are able to experience true JOY in our lives…even when we have to face unbearable things. NEHEMIAH 8:10 reminds us “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

God has promised us eternal life, through His Son Jesus. This promise is what allows grief to be endured, and joy to be experienced. We have a Savior who lives within us. We are never alone in the things we face. We are understood. We are carried and we are loved unconditionally. But it does not mean we do not feel the emotions that God has given us. It means we recognize them…feel them…and then allow God to help us through it. We must allow ourselves to feel…and avoid the temptation to desensitize.

God desires us to have abundant joy in our lives. Our joy will not be perfect in this life. There will always be a struggle. But God is committed to our joy in Him. God knows your heart and He knows your emotions. Seek His heart and you can be assured you will find comfort, peace, and ultimately, JOY.

“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” JOHN 4:14

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” ROMANS 12:12

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2019
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: 

HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 


AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle 
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

Hello God. Have you forgotten about me?

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Hello God. Have you forgotten about me?

Silence can be very discouraging. When things seem to just stand still…nothing is changing in our lives…and we keep hitting roadblocks, we become frustrated and somewhat resentful. Typically this is when we try to manipulate things ourselves, doing all that we can to create change and take control of the situations. This can develop into a deeper discouragement and possible depression. Realistically, we have made an even bigger issue over things and probably blown things out of proportion. This is human nature and something we must recognize and deal with. If you can recognize that what you are doing is not what you should be doing, you are on the right track. Stop trying to force things in life, and take a good look at your actions.

Have you forgotten that God is in control? Have you forced God out because you lost patience and trust? If you can learn to take a mere minute every morning, and pray to God, asking for His help, you will make a significant step toward your future. Allow Jesus to walk you through the situation step by step. God wants the best for you. Give Him the time and opportunity to do His work. Stop trying to force the change immediately. We do not know the entire situation. God does, and He is lining things up so that the best outcome will be possible. Trust that He will…and He will.

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. NAHUM 1:7

Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in Me.” JOHN 14:1

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2019
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: 

HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 


AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle 
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

 

Life Is A Battleground

prayer1

We face challenges and struggles every single day. Sometimes the struggles are small and sometimes it seems like we are facing huge mountains of issues. Life is a battleground. Keep in mind that you have the power to overcome anything and everything that you face. Our battle is not really what we physically see. Our battle is really a spiritual battle. The devil uses anything and everything to get to us. He is tricky and deceptive….and just when you think you are invincible….the devil will find a way to attack you. You must do all that you can do to keep up your spiritual strength and your trust in God.

Use the tools that God has provided for us. He gave us the power of prayer to ask Him for help. He gave us the authority to speak His power through our own voice. He gave us the ability to rebuke the devil and all his demons. Don’t assume that things will get better on their own. Take charge of your life and win the battles you are facing. Power up and fight back with the power and authority God has given us….and with Jesus that lives within you!

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. EPHESIANS 6:12-13

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.  Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. JAMES 5: 13-18

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2019
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: 

HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle 
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

 

 

Eyes to the Heart.

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How often do we take time for reflection? As I was taking the last sip of my morning coffee, I saw my own reflection in the bottom of my coffee mug. My own eyes were looking back at me. It hit me, that I never really look into my own eyes. I subconsciously place contact lenses or apply mascara to my eyes, but I never really take the time to look inside. Am I doing this purposefully? I suddenly realized my answer to that question..is yes. Why do I avoid looking into my own eyes? I know I avoid looking into other people’s eyes at times because it can seem inappropriate or awkward. Circumstances determine whether I need to see someone close in their eyes. If it is casual passing, the depth of what eye to eye communication reveals, may not be necessary. However, if I want to see the truth in someone’s heart or the seriousness of their soul, I must see them eye to eye.
As Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.” MATTHEW 6:22 
As I reflect on my own honesty, I recognize why I avoid really looking at my own eyes. Vulnerability…insecurity…grief..and doubt…are all things that are revealed if you look deep into my eyes. We all have deep inner battles that we try to avoid facing. God does not want us to continue facing these battles on our own. If we do not reveal them to ourselves, then we cannot truly surrender them to God. Let us all begin to look into our own eyes, and release the things that we know we need help with. One by one, as we seek God’s help in prayer and surrender, we will begin to strengthen our spirit, and our lives will begin receiving peace.
But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. MALACHI 4:2 
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised him from the dead and seated him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. EPHESIANS 1:18-21
God is with us.
Layla
© Layla Freeman 2019
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: 

HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle 
Light of Hope 
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015
918-373-4560