Layla’s Light Blog – Encouragement

The Gift

peace

What is the best gift you could ever receive? Are you filtering through thoughts in your mind right now, of what it would be like to have a brand new house, car or something of that nature? Maybe you are dreaming of that perfect vacation getaway? Often times these are the first things people think of when someone asks them what gift they might want if they had no restrictions. These material things have no eternal value to us. Material gifts do not fill a void in our hearts. Material gifts do not give us peace, salvation or true satisfying joy. Material gifts come and go. God has given us a gift that will never leave us, is always there, always reliable, and never fails us.

What a blessing it is to know that God gave each one of us the beautiful gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. This gift is eternal, consistent, and never wavering. Jesus is, was, and always will be. It brings such peace to know we have Jesus by our side at all times. We will all face difficulties on this earth. There will be many human trials and emotions we must go through. These trials and hardships are what refines us and make us stronger. It is possible to overcome all of the struggles we will ever face, because of the blessing of God’s promises. Jesus still lives for us today. Jesus gives us the gift of forgiveness. Jesus gives us the opportunity for eternity. Jesus gives us hope. Jesus gives us help. Jesus heals our brokenness.

As we begin the new year, focus on the truth and real reason we are able to have a future of hope. Jesus is our Redeemer and our Savior. Lift up your hearts to Jesus and receive the peace, love and saving grace that God has promised you, through Him.

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

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. PHILIPPIANS 2:9-11

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 – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

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

Those People

looking out the window

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. Nearly 10 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. 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.

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.

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 2019 to be the year 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

© Layla Freeman 2018
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 – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM


 Light of Hope – Layla’s Non-Profit Ministry
Two locations: 
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015
918-373-4560 

 

 

Struggling?

struggling-with-yourself

What are you struggling with this morning? Whether you admit it or not, each one of us has something that we are dealing with. The depth of the issue may vary from person to person, but the reality is we all deal with something that can weigh us down. Yes, we all know that the first thing we are supposed to do is surrender it to God. The truth is…most of us have not been able to do that. We carry around our burdens like giant bags of sand on our shoulders. We may even speak the words “I surrender it to you,” when we pray…but often times we continue to drag the burden along with us. God knows you need His help, and when you have told Him you surrender, He has heard you and is trying to help you. However, if you are still latched on to the issue, (carrying around your giant bags of sand)…how can God take control?  

Letting go means breaking down walls, releasing your pride, trusting, and respecting God and His Word. For many of us…this is terrifying. How do we let go, when we are so used to having to fix life? We have set our own self up to the standards we think we should live by. We have been the one who said to our self, ”take care of things….fix the issues….manage and control what happens”. In business or career circumstances, these are good qualities. But even then, we must not let “self” be the core controller. God is all…was all…and forever will be all. He created all. Let Him control all. Analyze your life, your choices, and your burdens. Do you want to continue being weighed down? Decide right now to really surrender. Pray, asking God to help you learn how to release control to Him. Ask Him to guide you and show you a better way of letting go. Ask God to be all for 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

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. Isaiah 26:4

The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:24

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
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 – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

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

 

Stonebrook Day Spa– 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015(918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232

God hasn’t left you.

god-i-feel-so-alone

Have you ever felt like you could not talk about what you are feeling inside? Do you feel as if you cannot express these emotions because the emotions are too overwhelming? Do you feel as if God is paying attention to the rest of the world, but has forgotten about you? Do you sometimes feel like you are all alone in this world? Even though you may have people all around you, you feel isolated or like you just don’t fit in?  You may feel distant in Spirit…almost to the point where you ask God “where are you”?

Guess what? God is right there. He will never leave you. Never. We are the ones who tend to forget that we need to invite God in. We need to reach out to God and ask for His help. Many times when we begin to feel this way, it is not that we are alone, it is that we have slacked off from drawing closer to God. The devil uses many tactics to distract us from drawing near to God. Beware of the many distractions that might have caused you to take your focus off your faith. Each day we must commit to seeking God. It is especially important to seek God when we begin to feel that distance from Him. Dig into your Bible…drop to your knees in prayer…speak to God as you are driving…absorb yourself in His presence. Draw near to God and He will draw nearer to you.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 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. HEBREWS 10:22-24

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 JOHN 4:4

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
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 – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM


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

 

Stonebrook Day Spa– 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015(918) 379-6838

 

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232
 

Boldly Step Forward

bold

Have you ever had an extreme enthusiasm or zeal in your heart for something, and you weren’t sure what to do with it? This enthusiasm has a purpose and a reason for action. There are times in our lives we are directed in ways that may not make sense to us. We simply know that we are nudged to take an action, but we may not have a clue where the action is going…or how to get there. Faith has a whole new meaning to us when we are facing a completely blank screen in our lives. Trusting that our actions are God’s will, is not easy to do. We often question ourselves and wonder if it is the Holy Spirit guiding these feelings or if it is our flesh? As you face some new opportunities in your own life, you will struggle with the doubt and the fear that comes along with the unknown journey. Prayer is the only way we know we will be solid in our decision making. As you take each step, be sure you pray…and then pray some more. We must always be willing to step forward in action, but we must also be in tune to how the Holy Spirit is directing us. This takes time and the willingness to have daily patience as we wait for God’s direction. If we are willing to be servants and vessels for God, He will give us that enthusiasm, and He will not leave us hanging without opportunity. Don’t be afraid to boldly step forward and trust in God’s direction. Know that Jesus will be holding your hand each step of the way. I pray that each one of you has a desire and an enthusiasm to dream, and to know that with God…all things are possible!

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” JEREMIAH 29:11-13

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” MATTHEW 19:26

God is with us.
Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
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 – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM


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

Stonebrook Day Spa– 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015(918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232

She Brews Coffee Houses 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020

Reaction

newton-s-cradle-balls-sphere-action-60582

We have all been around someone who absolutely challenged your emotions. You may have felt anxious due to their high level of anger or anxiety, or you might have felt depleted because of their repeated negativity. Either way, your spirit reacted and your defenses were heightened. It is at these times when we become challenged in our reactions. If we are not careful, we can react without thought. This may mean lashing back with improper words or actions. In many cases, if we have spoken irrationally or acted improperly, we immediately feel regret. As flesh on this earth, we will inevitably face these fleshly emotions. We cannot possibly be perfect…there is no such thing. Even Jesus became angry. The key to facing these life situations is how we learn to control our reactions. We can train ourselves to withhold our immediate actions, words, or thoughts. This is done through spiritual strengthening, through prayer and surrender. Each day we have the opportunity to pray. We can surrender our thoughts, actions, and reactions, on a daily basis. By asking God to help you, God will reveal His power in you, by giving you self-control. Ask Jesus to help guide your spirit throughout the day. As you grow in your spiritual walk, your spirit will be filled with the compassion of Jesus, and you will begin handling more of life’s challenging situations, with love and gentleness.

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:7-11

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. GALATIANS 5:22-23

God is with us. 

Layla 

© Layla Freeman 2018
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 – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM


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

 

Stonebrook Day Spa– 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015(918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232

She Brews Coffee Houses 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020