It’s Already Been Paid Pt2

itsalreadybeenpaid2So, remember last week when I didn’t have any money?

Now here is where we pick back up.

As I made my way back to the table, the young man I met with was packing up his stuff. I noticed that the manager I spoke to was now speaking to our server. I saw them looking towards my direction and I got a little nervous, but then I relaxed because I thought my honesty had paid off. I gathered my belongings and the young man and I said our goodbyes.

Immediately, I pulled out of the parking lot of the restaurant and rushed home to get my wallet with my ATM card.  (All the while hoping I wouldn’t get pulled over for speeding and driving without a license.) I went to the nearest ATM and withdrew some cash. I had decided that I was going to not only go to back to the restaurant to pay for my drink, but leave the waiter a really good tip. I wanted to show him how utterly sorry I was for not being able to pay earlier. I wanted to him to know that I was not some broke, foolish girl who goes around to restaurants eating and drinking to skip out on a tab. I had to make up for my mistake.

Does this behavior sound familiar to anyone? Do you often feel like you have to try to make yourself pay for a mistake, perhaps even going as far as to punish yourself?

Well, imagine the look on my face when I showed back up to the restaurant to hand the waiter a twenty-dollar bill apologizing only to discover…well, this is what happened- I said, “Here you are and I’m really sorry about that.” The waiter then says me, as he takes the money, “It was no problem. The guy took care of it.”

What?! You mean to tell me I panicked for nothing? I embarrassed myself for nothing! I ran home and to the ATM for nothing! I did things in my own strength. I broke speed limits to bring this back up here when the man already paid for it! He paid for it and I didn’t have to ask him?!   Did I add that I gave you a big tip to compensate for my mess up, you took my money anyway! And he paid for it?!

Oh man! That’s a funny story now that I think about it. Of course, I was not laughing then, but if only I knew then what I knew now! But isn’t that how we often handle situations? Too prideful to ask for help, we often take situations into our own hands instead of waiting to see that it’s already been handled.

My “Sarai” decision cost me twenty dollars when all I had to do was wait for the promise since apparently, the guy was going to take care of it anyway. All I had to do was sit there instead of pretending to go to the bathroom, looking for an ATM. Let us all learn from Sarah. Don’t manipulate situations and try to take control of them. 

In my strange situation, it really was already handled – taken care of – been paid.

Beloved, if you can’t afford it, don’t worry! Jesus paid the price for you when He died on the cross – it’s already been paid! He delivers you, saves you from a mess, and keeps on moving you to the next level. When God helps you, He doesn’t throw it back in your face. He doesn’t keep reminding you of your failures and shortcomings.

In my situation, the guy never even mentioned to me that he paid for my drink. I just assumed he only paid for his because he didn’t say anything about it when we left the restaurant. I didn’t ask him, either.

Likewise, with God, you don’t even always have to ask for his help. HE JUST DOES IT.


It’s Already Been Paid Pt1

itsalreadybeenpaidI love the story of Sarai because she reminds me to WAIT. Do you remember her from Genesis 16? If not, I will sum it for you.

Sarai had no children and was married to Abram. She then gets a bright idea.

She told Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

What?! Sarai’s bright idea was to take matters into her own hands. She grew impatient and wanted to give Abram a son. And guess what? Hagar eventually got pregnant. Abram named his son borne by Hagar, Ishmael. Later, when the Lord visited Abram, he renamed him Abraham and renamed Sarai, Sarah.

The Lord also said that he would bless Sarah and would surely give Abram a son by her. However, this was unbelievable because of Sarah’s old age. She was 90. Then God said, “Yes, your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.”  Sarah thought this was funny. The thought of her having a child in her old age was laughable, but the Bible says, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?”

Later on we read to find out that the Lord was indeed gracious to Sarah as he had said he would be, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age. Abraham gave him the name Isaac. It was through Isaac that God established an everlasting covenant.

The beautiful point is what when we wait for anything that is of God, it’s always worth the wait.


I can remember back a few years ago when I was in college, that a rather interesting thing happened to me where not only did I not know how to wait, but my lack of this ability caused unnecessary stress. I took matters into my own hands.

I had a meeting with a member of a student association from another college. We met at a local restaurant to discuss activities for students to do at special events and exchange other ideas. While there, the guy ordered something to drink and so did I. As the evening ended and before we got the checks, I reached for my purse to get my money out of it to prepare to pay for my bill. Imagine the look on my face when I saw that not only did I not have any money, but I also had no ATM card either. Where was it? Did I lose it? Then it hit me as I panicked.

I had changed purses earlier and forgot to put my wallet into the purse I was now carrying. I started to panic more than a little at this point. The guy I was with was still talking about the college projects, but I was not listening to anything that was saying. His mouth was moving and so were my thoughts. I was trying to figure out how I was going to pay for my drink. In hindsight, I could have just asked him to pay for it, but I was too embarrassed to tell him I left my wallet. Crazy, I know. I knew him already prior to this meeting, but for whatever reason I didn’t feel I knew him well enough at that time to ask for help. (There was that rebellion and pride in me, again. And for what? A full $1.75?) So, I did what most people would do -I excused myself to the ladies room! I mean, wouldn’t you have done the same?

On my way to the ladies room, I motioned for one of the managers to come meet me by the bathroom. This is where it gets really good. I then proceed to tell him the truth of how I didn’t have the money to pay for my order. He just looked at me and I said, “Thanks for being understanding,” and I walked off. Although, I didn’t give him much time to respond but it also didn’t look like he knew how to respond to me. He just stood there… Yes, this is a true story.

There’s more to this story, beloved…

So be sure to stop back by next week to see how this saga came to a climatic close. You won’t believe what happened next…


Fakery Part 2

fakery2Last week in my post, I said that I had to get honest with God about a situation I was dealing with at that time. I had to come clean with my own fakery!

Yes – I was being a phony. I was being two-faced.

How was I being fake?

I wasn’t being authentic with Jesus or genuine about the pain I felt. I tried to present myself to Him like “it” wasn’t bothering me because I wanted Him to know I could handle any hurt anyone directed towards me. I was hurting so much emotionally and spiritually that I honestly felt like a failure and that I letdown God because I thought by now, “These kinds of issues shouldn’t bother you, Trina. God expects more out of you. Get it together!” When in actuality, the issues did bother me and truthfully – I wasn’t ok.  Yes, God did expect more out of me. He expected me to be more real with Him than the way I was behaving.

I exalted myself.

I thought I misled God (even though He knows all) into thinking I had it all under control. I wanted Him to know “I got this!” and that all He had poured into me for the last few months and years wasn’t a waste. I wanted to let Him know I was “really trying to do better and be better” at things like this – when truthfully, I wasn’t handling it (which He already knew wasn’t true).
Even as I was tooting my dictionary horn about this new word I learned –for whatever ever reason, I either thought I could hide it or I thought I was supposed to push it down and pretend to be over it. After all, that’s what a good Christian girl is supposed to do…right?

I thought because admitting my disappointment and anger over a situation that I was somehow letting God down. What a lie!

I didn’t humble myself.

Honestly, what I wanted to say to God during several months of tears was something like this:

“How could You let that happen to me? I don’t understand. I needed You Lord and where were You? Are You gonna deal with those people/that situation? Why does it feel like I have to be the bad person and feel so bad? I feel like I’m being punished. Furthermore – I can’t do this. I don’t want to and will not. How can you expect me to…after all that has happened?”

There was more to it than that, but for months and months, I never said anything like this or anything close to it.  Don’t get me wrong – yes, I cried. But I just kept praying the basic prayers (Lord, help me, etc.) but I NEVER GOT REAL.

We usually don’t like to get real because getting real is too intimate. It’s too close. I didn’t want to get too real with Jesus because it hurts too much to talk about it. But yet I knew, I couldn’t continue to operate this way. It was wearing me out!!

When I did finally say to God what my attitude had been saying for months, I felt a release. But it felt like the hardest release ever! There were times in prayer that I would think of what I really wanted to say and it would take minutes to an hour for me to actually verbalize it. This took me to a deeper level with God, unlike anything I had ever experienced before. When I did finally say what was in my heart, it reminded me that I’d been carrying an unnecessary burden for too long! Instead of being honest from the get go, I tucked my pain beneath my broken heart until one day – the pain erupted.

I learned that being honest and real with God is not a sign of INFERIORITY, but rather a sign of MATURITY.  The person who hides how they really feel in many ways, is carrying an attitude that says “Because this is so hard – Lord, I don’t need you. I can handle it.” While the person who is honest carries an attitude that says, “Lord. I can’t handle it. I need you BECAUSE this is so hard.”

For a person who can bow their knees before God with hands stretched up high is one who is humbled and ready to be healed. But the one who is walking tall with pain in their heart is not only full of pride, thinking they can manage it all themselves, but one who is bound to trip and will undoubtly need a savior to pick him/her up.

Beloved, don’t let it get that far and that deep. Today is the day to start that conversation with God about that ache in your heart.

Beloved, stop with all yo’ fakery!

Because if you can’t keep it real with Jesus…who can you keep it real with?

Hoping to meet you at the cross, where I laid down my fakery,


Fakery Part 1

fakeryMatthew 23:12  (NIV) For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.


Yes. This is a real word. I did not neologize this. (In other words, I didn’t make up a new word.)

And yes. Neologize is also a real word.

A couple of my friends reading this right now are most likely laughing because they know all too well that I have become nearly addicted to I signed up for their daily emails in order to further my vocabulary. Occasionally, I like to share with my friends a few of the new words that I have learned and sometimes they are appreciative. Other times, they laugh. One friend jokingly suggested that I unsubscribe from the daily emails because it was getting a little beyond ridiculous with some of the words I discovered and so was my excitement to share. 🙂 One of the words that stuck with me like glue was fakery – the title of this post.

So, let’s define fakery.

FAKERY – the practice or result of faking. One that is not authentic or genuine; the inclination or practice of misleading others through lies or trickery

Quite an interesting and catchy word, isn’t it?  I’m sure many of you reading this by now have already thought of ways you could use it and are just waiting for an opportunity.  That’s how I felt when I discovered it and due to what I was going through at the time – boy was it perfect! Even when it didn’t fit a situation, I would find myself just trying to make it fit because I liked saying it or texting it to friends in order to make them laugh.

“Stop with all yo’ fakery!”

“Girl, that’s just some fakery right there.”


What’s even more intriguing about this word is that although I was using it to describe what I was dealing with at the time – I never realized that it would have also described how I was acting in those situations.

Yes – my actions. My actions towards the Lord.

If the tables were reversed, and if the Lord spoke to me in this manner, He could have easily said the same things to me.

“Trina, my beloved…stop with all yo’ fakery!”

“Trina, my daughter – that’s just some fakery right there.”

Seriously? Yes.

One day, I got really honest with God about the situation I was dealing with and I began to be set free from the emotional bondage I created myself. It was after this fact that God revealed to me that I too was being fake with him the entire time I was carrying this hurt.

How was I being fake? Well, beloved, you will have to check back next week to see how this story ends…

Who knows? You may recognize yourself in some of my examples….

See ya’ next week! It’s gonna be real! (and not fake.)


THANKFUL: Identity Crisis Solved

Years ago, I would have stolen someone else’s identity if I could have. Why?

Because I didn’t love myself and hated who I was.Identity-in-Christ1

Being me was never good enough or even “ok.”

I wanted so desperately to be told who I was. Why?

Because I didn’t know. I didn’t know what that looked like.

I had no concept of anything such as an “identity.”

So, I learned to rely on and took in too often the opinions of others (that were not Godly opinions and full of blessings). I became who I needed to be for those people in order to say I had an identity or because it brought attention to me that I desired so deeply.

  • If I needed to deny things I liked in order to fit in- ok!
  • If I needed to give and give until I had nothing else to give – ok!
  • If I needed to be the used and abused – ok! Sign me up!
  • If I thought it (whatever it was) would make people (especially men) love me – I was all in.


So, in order to get an identity – I did what I knew best at the time.

I decided in my own strength, that I would fix the situation.

Have you ever done that? Tried to take care of a situation yourself and failed.

Looking back on my life (Before Christ), I can see patterns and behaviors that screamed “I don’t know who I am and whoever this person is that I am – I hate her!” I overdid and under did things. I overdid to get recognition and under did because I didn’t want to overdo it and then “be too much to handle.” There was no balance.

The pain of rejection still hurt at times. I tried so hard to work for what I called “acceptance” and unconditional love by doing anything necessary.

Unconditional love and acceptance  can only come from God.

With everything, it’s not what you do, but your reason behind it.

I didn’t understand that. My reasons for doing a lot of things had been wrapped up in pride and brokenness of heart. (Anytime you make decisions as a result of a broken heart, it will always leave you more empty than you were before.) One of my favorite teachers often says, You can take that one to the emotional bank.

No group, no job, no organization, no nothing can accept me nor you like Christ. No person can give you your identity, purpose, and unconditional love.  It took me a long time to know that that’s the role of Christ and the authority belongs to Him. He was the one who formed us in the womb!

Thinking of times I wanted “in” to a group or a special relationship – yet wasn’t selected or “chosen” often haunted me.

What’s wrong with me? Why don’t they want me? Why won’t they love me?

My self-esteem was so low. I didn’t like the way I looked or dressed.  I often asked God, “Why did you make me like this if no one was going to like me or love me?” I felt like Romans 9:20-21 that says,

“But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

I wonder if any of you have you ever met people who, at times, come across as though their identity is wrapped up in someone or something, like a job or their status in a group? As though it made them? These people take offense at the simplest thing when they feel ignored and can demand that people respect them. These people often feel mistreated, overlooked, and are often on the defensive (and paranoid if you will, as if someone is out to get them (and most of the time, they are not.)  These people (who are deeply insecure), sometimes, believe they can only get respect by constantly reminding people that they are in charge or in control. It makes them feel important. When I meet people like this, I wonder… “Who gave you your identity? Surely it’s not in this job, this person, this thing, etc.”

These people spend a lot of time waiting for someone or something to give them a purpose that God has already given them…if they seek Him.

The bottom line is that we can’t force people to love us the way we need to be loved. We can’t force people to see the beauty and value in us. If we tried to do that, we would be let down and angry all the time.  (That was my issue)

We can’t even force Christ to love us.

As a result of God’s love for us and our love for Him, we will show compassion and do works on this Earth, but those works alone can’t save us or make Him love us more or less. We can’t sweet talk Him into loving us, but He does, even in our sin. Then, He delivers us from our sin.

Who wouldn’t want a love like that?

Who wouldn’t want someone like that to give us our identity?

I know I would want it. What about you?

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8

Set free in Christ,


Listening to the Voice of the Lord

Divination Will Not Heal Your Broken Heart


I couldn’t wait for the funeral to be over! The service was really nice and thank God, I didn’t pass out. I was actually a little smiley and perky, but still thought several times about jumping into the ground at the burial. The night of the funeral, I went to a club and stayed out until at least 5 a.m. the next morning. I didn’t want the day of my friend’s funeral to end because as long as the day was going, it was like he still existed. The next day, I would have to face the fact of no phone calls, no more programs and caskets…just life.

Days turn into weeks, and weeks into months and I found myself slipping away.  Going to church was not enough to help me through my grief. In fact, I just stopped attending church altogether because I didn’t want to be a hypocrite. I just couldn’t say the words “God, I love you. You are worthy” without flinching or anger arising in my heart. How can God be so wonderful, yet I felt I was dying on the inside?

The Bible says that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” and yet, I did not feel Him. I was angry, and honestly, did not want to feel Him.

My heart was broken.

Beloved, when your heart is broken and hardened and not open to God – it’s setting the stage for anything and anyone to come in your heart.

When you don’t communicate your heartache (towards God) to God, your heart is no longer guarded FOR GOD. Instead, you begin to guard your heart FROM HIM.

I tried everything and did everything after my friend’s death to null the pain. You name it I did it. I did it all including going to someone I would pay to see whenever I wanted to. I liked talking to her because she was someone I didn’t know. No – she wasn’t a counselor.

She was a psychic.

I was in a really hard place and I needed a place where I could be free and the devil took advantage of that because I opened that door.

When you close God out from your heartache – you will let anybody in and listen to anybody but God.


The few people that I did manage to tell this to asked:  “Did she tell you anything that was true?” My response “Perhaps. I don’t really know or remember.”

And then I say, “I honestly didn’t go to her because I thought she could tell me the truth—I went to her because she didn’t judge me or try to make me feel better . She just listened.” says,

“… it is undeniable that psychics sometimes know things that should be impossible for them to know. Where do they get this information? The answer is from Satan and his demons. “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Satan pretends to be kind and helpful. He tries to appear as something good… It appears innocent at first, but soon people can find themselves addicted to psychics and unwittingly allow Satan to control and destroy their lives. Whatever the case and wherever the source of the information, nothing connected to spiritism, witchcraft, or astrology is a godly means of discovering information. How does God want us to discern His will for our life? God’s plan is simple, yet powerful and effective: study the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and pray for wisdom (James 1:5).

When I went to go see the psychic, talking with her made me feel at ease and I needed that,. but because of my decision to entertain her and others, I paid dearly and spiritually for years. I spent years dazed, confused, and in utter despair because I refused to bend my knee. Eventually, I was able to make a confession about this to a pastor in 2008 and praise the Lord I have not been back since,  but it also took me being willing to surrender to His (the Lord’s voice) and casting down the evil and distracting voices I was hearing. I had to position myself to hear from Him and ask for the desire to want to hear from Him, which wasn’t easy – but I did it.

Sometimes hurts can go so deep that it appears to take the very breath out of us. We have things that happen to us. It damages us and if it keeps happening enough times or hits hard enough, it can kill your hope. It will kill your faith. It will try to kill your trust in people and even God.

As I encourage myself, let me also encourage you. We can’t hide our pain or our disappointments from God. Nor, should we feel guilty or bad because we feel pain. He can handle the truth.

Divination and any form of manipulation won’t heal your broken heart.

Only God can.


Emotionally Damaged Emotionally Driven

Proud to announce a new member of the Leading Young Women to Hope Ministry Team!

Introducing Katrina Hunter:


LYWHkatrinahunter1Growing up, I was always looking and searching for love, going to the wrong people and the wrong things, hoping those things would fix what I thought was wrong with me. I hoped that those things would heal those deep hurts I didn’t have the courage at the time to face. I did not press into God, and to be honest, I had no interest in doing so at the time. I had no concept of what that would even feel or look like until later on in my life. Because of this lack of pursuing God (and giving into His pursuit of me) I kept a lot of pain bottled up inside.

The need for attention. The need for acceptance.

The need to feel free to cry. The need to feel safe. The need to feel loved.

These were all places where I had been damaged and didn’t allow God to work in my life. Subconsciously, I drew boundaries for Him. God was only allowed in certain areas of my life – surface areas – not the deep ones.

So instead, I used relationships with men to deal with the deep pain that I was in. Then, each relationship opened up a can of worms at various times called:

Anger. Disappointment. Neglect. Shame. Rage. Crying Uncontrollably.

I didn’t know where to submit these feelings and definitely didn’t want to face the source of them. Deep down, I knew where they stemmed from, but it was easier for me to ignore them than to confront them. So, when things happened that hurt or bothered me, all sordid types of emotions and memories would surface and I would explode with my behavior (unhealthy behavior). Whether it was because I didn’t receive the phone call I was expecting, I was offended by something someone said or did, or I was ignored, I would react in a way that was not of God neither did I express myself directly to God about those situations and how they frustrated me. I threw things, tore things up, kicked, yelled, etc. You get the picture.

I was being led by my emotions and not spiritually led by God.

Instead of focusing on the root and taking the root before God – I took the damaged fruit that was growing and ran with it. The damaged had life because I kept watering it with unforgivness, judgment of others, offense, anger, etc.  My emotions were like a drug to me that had me hooked and high. When something happened that triggered a memory – it was on. One minute I was up – the next minute I was down. I never surrendered anything to God.

My Damaged Emotions Were Driving Me.

The fruit I was bearing almost destroyed my mind and my relationship with Christ because I was getting to a point where I was saying,

“Lord, I don’t need you. I got this. I will take matters into my own hands.”

At that point, I stepped into a dangerous zone that over a period of time, God brought me out of when I surrendered to Him.

Beloved – when your emotions and memories have been damaged, those are things that have to be taken by you to God ALWAYS. When you don’t, the end result will always be you solving matters without His counsel, manipulating situations, and then trying to put a “Jesus” twist on it as if he instructed you to do so.

Beloved – you must remember that those damaged places will always drive you to a place where they will continually have control over you if you don’t take control of the wheel.

Don’t be driven by damaged memories and emotions. Instead, be led by the Holy Spirit and be healed.

Katrina Hunter

Founder of Call Me Set Free Ministries