I have found my joy





I’ll admit that initially I thought to myself, ‘I’m not hiding. Anything. Or anywhere…’

I remember a very vivid hiding incident; I recently shared this with my son, and honestly now I believe it was God preparing me for today; I was probably 3rd or 4th grade.

My dad had been out drinking the night before and didn’t come home until just before it was time for us to go to school. As he staggered in the door proclaiming he was home, he made a suggestion(demand) to my mom that he would be taking us to school that day. For fear of an outburst that could result in another cyclical domestic violence ‘misunderstanding’; she obliged him. I can still feel the cold that clinched my teeth, froze my blood and locked my eyes on my mom hoping she could read my mind screaming “please don’t”. Taking us to school was the least of my fears. The thought of leaving my mother alone with him rendered me motionless. I knew what the morning for her would be like once he came back home. He dropped us off at school. I can still smell the stench of alcohol oozing from his skin smothered by thick chain-smoking cigarettes and cold coffee as he smacked on my forehead with an oscar-performance-worthy ‘have a good day baby girl’ stale kiss. I asked my teacher, Mrs. Shoemaker, for permission to go to the restroom. After returning from the bathroom, I leaned toward the doorway to ‘peeked inside’ to see if she was preoccupied. Our classroom sat at the end of the hallway near the outside doors. I had an escape plan. I bust through those doors and made a mad run for it, like my life; or my mother’s; depended on it. We lived 4 blocks from the school and I never looked back. I found my way inside the house through an unlocked door, ran upstairs into my sisters room and hid inside her closet. I still don’t know how long I was there, hiding, only that I could hear my mother speaking with someone. I could hear her explaining that I was at school. I could hear her voice and the other voices; a male and female; getting closer to the room where I was hiding in. The closet door opened and I saw my mother’s Indian moccasin slippers and she peacefully assured “Mimi, you can come out now”.


My childhood home. Canton Ohio


I believe God is peacefully suggesting to all of us, YOU CAN COME OUT NOW.

The God of Glory

Ephesians 1:3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

Y’all I love the way God loves us too much to leave us where we were, currently are or to our own wisdom & judgement of ourselves. (2 Corinthians 10:12; 1 Samuel 16:7)

As quick as I had the (self righteous) thought, immediately God leans in and whispers (when will you give me your whole heart)… (Jeremiah 29:11-13) The same heart that was in that little girl hiding in the closet?

My #JesusCalling devotional helped me unpack this heavy interference, revealing the truth that to fully embrace the opportunity to live in God’s presence consistently, I must expose and expel my rebellious tendencies.


*what the what* (I’m guessing the girl who busted through those double doors was a tad bit rebellious)


I don’t see any rebellion in that smile? Oh how well a smile can hide fears…


Y’all!!!! Who admits they’re rebellious?

Seriously I would have never considered myself in any such light or description until I realized rebellion is cousins to resentment, bitterness, suppressed feelings, approval addiction, dumbing down, anger, fear, comparison, guilt, shame, pride, rejection, self-preservation…



For as he thinks within himself, so he is (Proverbs 23:7)

In the garden of my heart, (Matthew 13) while I’ve seen the fruit of beautiful life-giving seeds that have been planted since that cheesy childhood smile, God is revealing the places where some sort of seed was planted that has produced thorns, thistles and weeds. Weeds that have choke the truth of our identity.

You do know that weeds can disguise themselves to look like flowers right? Especially if you’re unfamiliar with ‘gardening’. (Meditate right there for a minute)

You do know that weeds tend to grow wild and untamed right?

You do know that weeds are rebellious?!?!?!

Y’all These rebellious tendencies cause us to hide!


What causes us to hide? 

We could take this all the way back to the garden of Eden when Adam & Eve first realized they had done exactly what God asked them not to do. #rebelious

Satan imitates whatever God does, but with a different object. God uses the beautiful things He has made to draw you to Him. Satan uses the same things to lure you into his power, and draw you away from God. Since man has been in the world, he has had to work. And God has blessed work. But Satan takes work, and tries to make mischief with it. He tries to make you care for your work apart from God, and thus it is turned into dead, graceless, unprofitable work. As you go through life you will meet with all sorts of temptations. Temptations are Satan’s baits. Then, whatever you undertake, keep God before your eyes: keep God in your thoughts. Directly you begin to lose sight of God and to forget Him — then beware! Recover yourself as quickly as you can; you have somehow got hold of a bait which Satan is pulling towards him.

(The Baits of Satan S. Baring-Gould, M. A.)

apple on tree

Satan doesn’t have the ability to produce fruit. He doesn’t have the ability to create anything. All he does is dig up rotten apples. He puts them in front of us to see how we respond. When he sees that we’d rather run and hide, he knows this is an apple that didn’t fall far from that forbidden tree.

  • Hiding is a defense.
  • It’s a protection and a guard to keep us safe.
  • It’s a wall that is usually put up from a previous hurt or rejection or abandonment
  • It’s a wall that is built brick by brick and it becomes fortified the more we replay the scenarios.

Let’s bring these issues to the Light of Christ so that He can set us free.


We don’t have to hide A N Y M O R E !!!!!

“Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Acts 10:15

God is taking down walls. This is the only way it can be done. If we do it in our own strength and ability, then it becomes a thing that we feel obligated and pressured (lured by satan with his lies) to prove ourselves, perform and seek approval.

sunset girl



“No one lights a lamp and puts it in the cellar or under a basket, but on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see its light.
Take care then, that the light in you is not darkness. If, therefore, your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be entirely illuminated, as when a lamp shines its light on you.” (Luke 11:34-36)


Types of hiding (a few of the apples that keep dangling in the garden of my heart)

(previously mentioned)…resentment, bitterness, suppressed feelings, approval addiction, dumbing down, anger, fear, comparison, guilt, shame, pride, rejection, self-preservation…

  • Comparison
  • Running to/from/for protection, approval or affirmation
  • Overcompensation & performance
  • Intimidation


You can come out now

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart (Psalm 91:4 NIV)

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going!

But if you ask for directions, God freely & generously provides wisdom without finding fault. (James 1:5)

A few days ago I spent much of my day fighting what Jenni Catron calls a “clout killer” – comparison.

That thing knows where it still holds the apple over your head.

“When I compare my life to others it’s actually the sin of covetousness. It lures us to deeply desire what another person has, including God-given influence, gifts, talents, experiences and opportunities all the while discrediting our own” Jenni Catron

I was studying scripture, researching, writing and preparing speaking points for a fitness leadership group & our upcoming Refresh Summit and Satan wanted nothing more than to prove to me that I wasn’t qualified to step up. It took most of my day but I finally quieted that doubt. I thank God for the wisdom filled words of #WarriorPrincessDancerPoet Morgan Day Cecil and the truth of Psalm 34:5! Exactly what I needed to hear to remind me that God has called me to a very specific place & purpose; to come out from hiding, to put faith into action & to give honor & praise to Him.

Those who look to the Lord are radiant, their faces will never be ashamed!! Psalm 34:5 #knowwhoyouare

When my father past away in 2014, the Lord began showing me that my healing (Spirit, soul and body: an undoing toward wholeness) was directly linked to my father’s death. I knew that healing was directly linked to forgiveness, I had begun that process almost ten years ago; but what I did’t connect was that as cancer began to take over my dad’s body he had come to a place of undoing in his own life. He was allowing God to undo who he had become. As I leaned in close, I was that little girl again, I started learning my daddy. It was intimidating at first. I could still smell stale alcohol and broken promises. But, God took me by the hand and guided me. I came to know the man behind the stale cold kisses. I learned the man who turned to alcohol to hide from his own fears and insecurities.  I learned that God was taking me deeper  into my childhood so that He could actually show me who I was created to be and He was removing the walls of fear, guilt, bitterness and insecurity.

While Satan would have me to believe that I am still that little girl afraid of her father, running and hiding; though I now walk through the shadow of death, I am not afraid (of my dad or myself) because God is with me. The process of my healing and becoming; appreciating my reflection, my body, my gifts, my talents, my confidence; guiding me out from under the case of false identity; leading me to where I am today, in His presence; is an opportunity to live truly free. (Ephesians 1)

He wants you to know that you don’t have to hide anymore. You are no longer captive. (Romans 8:15-17)

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭13-18‬ MSG)


Come out from your hiding.





(Further study scriptures from Fervent study – Identity)

“The enemy has been telling us for so long that we’re no good, washed up, un-derequipped, incompetent, insignificant, un-loveable, and not quite up to par. Our story isn’t even close to being over. We are already seated in heavenly places. We’re fully functional with weapons our enemy has no answer for.” – Priscilla Shirer FERVENT

Psalm 34:5

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 6

Ezekiel 16:10-13

2 Corinthians 4:6-7


One Thought on “I have found my joy

  1. Myrnelle on January 11, 2016 at 3:51 am said:

    This is the blog post that God used as a tool to make me walk by Faith and not by fear, nor sight, nor intimidation, nor shame, nor guilt. The Holy Spirit led me to inneractive fit club’s website during a “valley of the shadow of death” moment in my life and family’s life ( ps 27:4). I started reading it not knowing what I was going to get out of it until I read about Ms. Amia’s testimony of her healing process after her father’s death to cancer.
    As I learned that my father was battling cancer for 3 years, this part of the post was like “a cup of cold water to a thirsty soul” to me (proverbs 25:25).
    A few months ago, my family and I learned that my father has been diagnosed with cancer. He’s been battling this alone for 3 years. He did not want to worry us.At the stage of the cancer, it was mandatory for my father to have surgery. The concern was whether or not it has spread to any other part of his body. We received the doctor’s report at the follow up visit and learned that my father is CANCER FREE! !!! Praise God! It had not spread (for 3 years). No radiation therapy!!! I thank God for His faithfulness!!! God is now showing me that He’s not only FAITHFUL, but Sovereign, and THE Restorer! He also revealed to me that what took the devil 3 years to “try” to destroy and kill, took God one night and one touch to heal, recover, restore, and set free, in Jesus’ name!!!
    God has used Ms. Amia (via this post) in the process of forgiveness, healing, and restoration by asking me to come out of hiding and allow myself to be naked, vulnerable, and undone before God (as Steffany Gretzinger so perfectly worded from God’s heart in her song “out of hiding”) as He walked every step with me.
    May God bless you and your ministry, Ms. Amia!!! 🙂 Much love!

    Your little sister in Christ,

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