Monthly Archives: September 2017

I’m On My Way Up. My New Website is Up and Running! Here’s To New Beginnings. Thank God for My Village!

Me 9-2017It takes a village to raise a child. I also say, “It takes a village to help you reach your destiny.” With the help of an amazing web graphic designer Adrian Bostic of @Bosgraphdesign who also designed my cover for my book, my website www.JoyThomasDarden.org is finally up and running along with my Facebook page www.facebook.com/JoyTDarden!

Adrian did an excellent job on both designs and I am forever grateful. Praise God!

Boy, I tell you, when you know God has placed something inside you and you follow his order, taking one step at time, persevering and never giving up no matter what obstacles you may face, you will see the manifestation of his power and his glory.

Once the web designer finished building my website on the back end, I had to take full rein. After going in make additions on the back end, of which I clearly am not qualified to do or have ever done since my other blog is totally front end work, I was totally overwhelmed, exhausted, and extremely frustrated.

When I managed to complete the daunting tasks necessary to present the site as it is now, all I could do over and over was quietly send up a few “breath” thank you to Adrian for a job well done! But God! It took me every bit of three days to finish. I researched and researched and found every answer I needed to make it a success. 

My website and Facebook page are still in the beginning stages and there is still much more to go. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will be my website. But I will take my time and move as God lead me.

When I began this season, I remember I asked God to stretch me. Be careful what you ask God for because you just might get it. Well, he did, and it wasn’t pretty. I thank God for the village of family, friend, and my dear sister friend Johanna for encouraging me and inspiring me to not give up when it seemed too hard.

Thank you Johanna for a profound statement you made the other day that stuck with me and helped me realize how God was stretching me, pulling me towards my destiny one way and I kept pulling myself the other way because I wanted to stay where I am, comfortable and complacent.

I’m getting out my own way and will allow him to elevate me. Sisterhood and family are two of the most precious gifts a woman can ever want, have, or ask for. I thank God for my village! And while I am not sure where he is taking me with this ministry, what I am assured of, he will equip me with all that I need to fulfill his purpose that I may glorify him.

Be blessed! – JD

Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I will do a new thing; now shall it spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” (ESV)

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So You Say You Know About God, but Do You Really Know Him?

Especially For You JoaynnTo say you know God, know his Word, know what he desires from you to please him, and not do what he desires is to not know him but only know about him when you choose not to walk in obedience and enter into a relationship with him.

It’s easy to profess “I know God” “I love God”, “I know the Word of God” “God is good” when things go the way YOU expect. But do you really know him or only know about him because of what you profess? Genuine love reflects God’s love. Your life will reflect the love of God in your heart when you choose to keep his commandments and live by His Word.

For every occasion in life, many of us have an agenda we wish to accomplish. There’s something we want to do and we will make plans to do it. But we must always be reminded God’s agenda is not our agenda. Yes, sometimes things will work out as we plan and some things will not. In reality, it’s not supposed to. If it did when would we need God? I’m inclined to think never.

When faced with situations that are beyond our control yet are resolved because of decisions we made without God, don’t think it was because of you it worked out. It was all God. His grace was sufficient, in spite of. Don’t let your circumstances call for desperate measures in desperate times, or cloud your judgment and cause you to make decisions outside of God’s will, without God. Let him do what he knows best.

If you were to sit down and think about why that thing didn’t work out as you hoped, do you suppose it was because God allowed it to show you who is in control? Do you ever think maybe it was to get your attention to something he needs you to know about him to show his power?

Remember this, God is in control; not us. It is grace that works in and through us, not in spite of our weaknesses, but in and through it. God is working things out in our favor. It is a testament of our faith. Wait on God and let him do his work.

Wake every day with great expectancy from God. Allow His will, and not your will, be done. Get out of your own way and make room for God to do what he knows best. Don’t get it twisted. When things go right and you say, “That was God.” Yes it was but it was not by your agenda. It was his!

Be blessed! – JD

Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (KJV)

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You Are an Unlikely One, Chosen by God. Stop Trying to Walk in Someone Else’s Anointing and Walk in Your Own!

Not Their Anointing JoaynnGod uses the most unlikely people and circumstances to accomplish His purpose. You can be used by God. Follow your calling. He will get the glory. Trust in Him.

If you were to reflect on your life and think about how God used a broken vessel like you to accomplish his purpose no matter what you were going through, would you believe you are called and anointed by God? Would you believe your calling is your calling, your anointing is your anointing, you are an unlikely one to be used by God?

Get this, your gifting is your gifting. You have been chosen by God, to do a work in a special area that is not meant for anyone else. What God made specifically for someone else will not fit you. Stop running after gifts that are not yours. Walk in your own anointing. No one can lead in the specific area God has called you to lead. No one can do what God has called you to do. Stop trying to fit in with the rest of the world only to be like them.

Remember David? He was chosen by God to fight Goliath with the gifting God gave him. Saul tried to give him his armor, dressed him in his own tunic, put on a coat of armor on him, and a bronze helmet on his head (1 Samuel 17:38-39), but it didn’t fit. Why? Because it was tailored to fit him and not David.

After David fastened his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, he said, “I cannot go in these because I’m not used to them (17:39).” So David took it off. He took the very things he was familiar with to fight the way he knew how; a staff, five smooth stones, and his sling in his hand (17:40). With his sling and one stone he killed Goliath.

God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called. David used the things God equipped him with for the battle. David was not Saul. Therefore, he could not use the armor Saul gave him to fight the battle. It was not the right fit. He was not called to be a soldier. He was God’s chosen shepherd. He was anointed as the new king over Israel.

In order to fight like who he was called to be, he had to wear the clothing God gave him to complete what he was called to do. He was also an unlikely one. He was a murderer, betrayer, liar, and an adulterer. Ahh…he was not perfect. He was an unlikely 15-year old shepherd boy, chosen and anointed by God. He was a man after God’s own heart.

God doesn’t want your skills, or need to know how many degrees you have, or is looking for what you have done. He’s looking for an ordinary person to make a difference for His Kingdom. He chooses, not the best ones but broken ones to do his will. Don’t compare yourself to others. He anointed you for a special purpose. Be the person whom God has called you to be. Be used by God, just as David the unlikely one.

Be blessed! – JD

1 Samuel 16:11-13 “So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.” (NIV)

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September Pain Awareness Month has arrived! Be a Voice. Get Involved. Make a Difference!

Fibromyalgia Friends Chronic Pain Warriors-.pngIn case you don’t already know, September is Pain Awareness Month. Join me for the next 30 days and show your support. Wear or do something PURPLE. Be a voice. Get involved. Make a difference.

Through the month of September many across the nation are joining in to help raise awareness for the need of effective pain treatment and pain management for millions of Americans around the world who suffer with pain.

As a behind the scene pain advocate and one who is truly passionate about the cause, I try my best to do what I can when I can to make a difference. Before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and a host of other conditions that cause me to suffer daily with chronic pain, I could not imagine what it would be like to be in pain indefinitely. Or knew of anyone who experienced what I find myself experiencing every day for over the past 14 years. Even so, I cannot imagine one individual that does not know someone who suffers with pain.

What I have learned throughout this pain journey, it does not discriminate. It can affect anyone at any given time without any warning. You never know when it can happen to you. And sadly, I find it is not until someone experiences pain at a level beyond comprehension that will last past infinity, they may never understand the significance of the need for effective treatment and care. It is my hope one day, new treatment and new research develops that will help other American pain sufferers find some form of normalcy and have a better quality of life as a result of their findings.

There are a number of ways you can get involved. It can be something as simple as calling a friend or love one you know who suffers with pain and letting them know they can count on you for support just by checking on them from time to time. Love and compassion can go a long way. Let them know you love them and are there for them.

Lastly, find an organization that offer information and resources to consider during the month of September. You can visit various pain organization websites like U.S. Pain Foundation, National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA), or Power of Pain to get involved with planned events and activities. And by all means don’t just get involved during the month of September but show your support throughout the year. You don’t know how much your support, no matter how big or small, can change a life.

As for me, I may have Fibromyalgia and suffer in silence with chronic pain every day but you wouldn’t know it when you see me. When you say, “But you don’t look sick” you’re right I don’t. But I am sick. I don’t need to look like it for you to know.

I am a chronic pain warrior. I’m a victor and not a victim. I’m taking back my voice to raise awareness. I have a condition but my condition doesn’t have me. I may have been diagnosed with a disease but this disease does not define me. I may suffer with symptoms of fatigue, chronic pain, insomnia, muscle spasms, loss of concentration, and memory loss to name a few. Make a declaration today,

To My Fellow Fibromyalgia Friends, Chronic Pain Warriors, and Love Ones: Here’s to more pain-free days filled with laughter, joy, and praise! Proudly Wear Purple!

Be blessed! – JD

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