Never Belonging Became My Strength

I have had a strange life. Everyone has a different definition of what normal is, but I don’t think that my life so far could be defined as anyone’s definition of normal. Several weeks ago, I was sharing about my life with an individual and they laughed at how diverse I am. Here is my life summed up.

My parents were raised in Christian environments. My mom went to Bible College, my dad went to art school. When I was three years old, my family was invited to a Chanukah service at the local Messianic congregation and my mother experienced imitate shalom. Visiting just for Chanukah led into attending the following Friday, and every Friday evening preceding that. My family gave up Christmas, Easter, and Halloween and those festivities were replaced by Chanukah, Passover, and dressing up in costume for Purim. By the time I was 10, I could not tell you the name of a single hymn but I could recite and chant countless Jewish liturgy. Does my family have descendants from Israel? Nope. I am very Swedish actually. Did that make a difference when my parents decided to change their ways and convert? Nope.

From a young age I was forced to learn how to be confident in myself because I didn’t really have a cultural identity. Am I bitter about how I was raised? Not at all in fact, I feel that the believers who are NOT messianic are missing out on great blessings. At the same time, I have always been a misfit. As I grew older, I started to notice how anti-Semitic  thought has entered the minds of many Christians. It did not take long to realize learn how even young Christians were being persuade by these beliefs. The thing about being Messianic is that it’s not exactly accepted by the Christian or the Jewish community. I never felt as if I belonged because I never really did. My personal religious beliefs and convictions were a huge part of my life but I was rarely in environments where I could freely share them. My parents NEVER forced their own believes on me, I personally experienced the complete shalom of God myself and when that happened I knew that God is real.

My parents sent me to a highly academic private Christian school and I am NOT book smart by any means. I am dyslexic and had difficulty finding techniques to help me overcome that. Even though my life has been different, I have learned a variety of life lessons from not ‘belonging’ in the places that God has led me.

  • Know who you are in God
  • EMBRACE who you are
  • Accept and make a point to have diversity in your life
  • Don’t feel pressured to fit a certain mold that society has made, it’s not worth conforming
  • Always always practice the golden rule, epically to other misfits
  • Find a way to learn from anyone regardless of their age or background

After I graduated high school, I had a desire to be a makeup artist but God closed every door for me to pursue that, but when I surrendered that to Him He opened up different opportunities. The same week that I gave up the idea of being a makeup artist, this blog grow more in a short period of time than it did the prior year. Within the same season, God was tugging at my heart to pursue the entertainment industry to be a light for Him. Additionally, God granted me several opportunities to perform. Within eight months after graduating at the age of 18 years old, I was offered to guest write in an online magazine. Shortly after that, I was asked if I would interested in being a regular columnist. What kind Magazine? A Pentecostal magazine! Everyone on staff has been so incredibly encouraging and supportive of me. I am definitely on the young side of the staff but I see that as an honor.

As God has led me to pursue the entertainment industry, I have found that there is power in never feeling that you belong. I am petite and few probably see a model in me because of my height, but am I going to let that hinder me? Nope. I have probably done more photoshoots then some of my friends who are built as fashion model have. I never fit a stereo type so why start now, right? Because I never felt as if I belonged, I don’t feel as if I HAVE to do what my peers from high school are doing. I don’t feel this pressure to go to a state college for four years, find a spouse, get married after graduation, and start a family after that. Is there value in that? Absolutely but I have no desire to follow a path that society has paved for me.

Everyone has something that they want to try but are scared to because they are scared to try. I refuse to live a life of regret because someone persuaded me not to try it. In the beginning of the month, I competed in a talent competition called Shine. At this competition, there was talent ranging from the age of four years old to elderly adults. I greatly admire the older adults who got on the stage and acted, sang, danced, ect. If nothing is stopping them from pursuing their dreams, what is stopping you?

 

“Don’t be so thirsty you will drink anything” – Nate Butler

This past weekend I competed at a faith based talent competition in Chicago. While a variety of things stood out to me, I have been fixating on came from quote Nate Butler that said, “Don’t be so thirsty that you will drink anything”

If you have been following my blog for the past several months, you would be aware that I felt God calling me to pursue the entertainment industry to be a light to the world. When I have shared what I have been doing with other believers I typically get two responses which are, “Good for you to be going where God has called you” OR I am told, “I want you to know that it’s a really dark field that you are going into.” While I understand and appreciate the concern fellow believers have given me, I want to share a few things that I have been keeping private about this journey.

First of all, I have no desire for fame but to make a positive influence upon others in this field. If I began pursuing this for, “fame” I could be closer to my goals by now IF I was willing to compromise. Shortly after I said, “Okay God lets do this” I made a HUGE contact in the industry and they promised me a music tour if I was involved in a scandal with an individual that they represented. I told them that I was not interested and blocked them from every platform that they could try to contact me from. After that, I was offered a role in a film production that compromised my standards. From the very start, I saw how DARK the industry is. At times I don’t understand why I have been giving so many opportunities IF I compromised but then I am reminded that not every opportunity is from God. While I am in this to be light, I have not always kept my testimony. I have associated myself with individuals who represent darkness and within time, their own darkness began to enter my soul and dimmer my flame almost to the point of it being blown out. Within a matter of time of this happening, I became a version of Leah that I did not like.

I got to the point where I absolutely hated myself and when I realized that, I knew that something had to change. One morning when my phone alarm clock went off to the song, “Overcommer” by Mandisa I woke up with a new abundant amount of self-respect. That day with the help of new friends, I made the choice to cut out the dark influences. Yes, we made beautiful art together but when someone influencing you to be a worse version of who you are instead of a better one, they need to LEAVE.

Within the short time that I have been pursing the industry, I have learned a few things.

  1. Within ANYTHING you do, ask for the Holy Spirit to be present
  2. Listen to spirit when it does not make any logical sense. I have given up several opportunities because my gutt feeling told me to flee. At the same time, within the times that I did not listen to that I dealt with individuals crossing lines
  3. Use caution when trying to be a light to someone who desires to live in darkness
  4. Remember that God is keeping you accountable
  5. Don’t be afraid to leave a set if you are being put in a compromising position
  6. remember that you are not even known but you are still a role model to someone

No matter what you are pursing, these six points can be used throughout almost all areas of life. And remember don’t be so thirsty that you will drink anything.

Dear Death, I choose life- A Suicide Prevention Letter

I write this with great heartache.

The pain that I am experiencing is unbearable and I can’t live this way anymore.

The demons of my past are taking over my soul.

For I have been hiding how much pain that I am actually in.

For years I have been finding the strength to stay strong but I can no longer seem to find it.

By the time you will read this, it will be too late.

I am no longer going to be a burden to the world.

Do not blame yourself,  this is my choice

I love you more than you can imagine, this is why I must make this decision.

-Leah

 

I write you this time with joy in my soul

The pain that I experienced was unbearable, but I received help. I have learned not only how to cope with it, but find joy within any circumstances even if it is just an ounce of joy.

The demons of my past that had overtaken my memories no longer have a place in my life. For I no longer have to life in the past.

For years I hid how much pain that I was actually. I over time however I was able to find a smile that was not fake.

Holding on just a little bit longer was the best decision that I have ever made. I did not think that life could get better, but I was wrong. I truly belive that I was placed on this earth for a purpose.

I am going to continue searching and achieving this purpose. My story has an eliminate of hope and I need to share this hope with the world.

It was my choice to want to try to die, but I am eternally grateful that I didn’t and am still here today.

I love you more than you could ever imagine. I am starting to realize that if my plan hadn’t fell through, I would have caused so much heartache to my loved ones. At the time I believed that I would have been doing the world a favor by leaving it, but I have  realized that nobody else can take my place in the world except for me.

-Leah

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or actions, please know that there is always hope. ❤ NOBODY can replace you. You are absolutely priceless for endless reasons. It has been on my heart to cover this topic with my Lama-Leah readers. On January 22, 2015 at the age of 16 I tried to end my life but God had other plans, so much beauty came out of my pain and story. A few months after my attempt, I began to anonymously share my heart on this blog. A little over a year after I started blogging, this site started impacting individuals in ways that I could never imagine. If I could go back to that cold January night I would have told myself, “You have no idea what God has in store for you and the ride is worth it.” This pain is temporary and easier times will come. Life is worth the journey. To find resources for help head over to the page titled, “Hoepline Help.”

-With love,

Lama-Leah

 

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Why the Shema?

The Shema is a  meaningful prayer in the Jewish faith, however I have come to question what would this world look if all believers in Yeshua were to fully keep this prayer to its fullest extent. If you are not already familiar with the Shema, it can be found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9

 “ Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”

This passage is found in the Torah. If you are a Christian, you may be reading this verse and be thinking, “How does this concern me as a Christ follower?” While you may not see the value in this passage because of the place that it was written in the bible, I argue that this piece of scripture holds the power to change the world if believers actively applied it.

A religious Jew would recite this prayer daily. Additionally, the words to this prayer is posted on the door frames throughout the home on an item called a Mezuzah. Traditionally when the door frame is walked through that piece of scripture is touched or kissed as a reminder of the essence of the prayer.

If you break down the Shema it can be broken down into two parts.

  1. Love God
  2. Take His commandments in a serious manner

Fundamentally, I question how would the church be different if completly loved God took His commandments as the Lord instructs in the Torah? If every day when we pass through the door frames of our homes when we are on our way to work, we were reminded to have the intention of keeping his commandments? As a Torah follower, I have found that the mitvahs that are scribed into His word are not a burdan but a great reminder that I can only follow His laws with the help and grace of Yeshua.

As a follower of Christ, keeping the Shema could be a reminder as closely as a religous Jew could teach us a few lessons.

  • Love God (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
  • Love others as Christ did because you love Him

But more importantly….

  • Be set apart by keeping His ways 

We are called to be set apart and I believe that keeping the Shema can be a way to achieve that. This world is full of chaos and it needs more of the love of God in it.

 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 “Do not be conformed to this world,[a] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” – Romans 12:2-4

As always, I write with love. These are some simple thoughts that I have. I love feedback from readers and you can shoot me an email or message me on social media.

-Leah

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Hope in Hopelessness: A Response to Bullying – Written by Kori Diaz-Schott

What does it mean to be in high school? The fashion trends, good grades, or activities that bring young people together under one roof. I wanted to give some thoughts on my high school experience and shed some light on the hope that all students, graduated or not, can take for their own negative high school experiences.
All my school life, from the second grade till my senior year, I had struggled with this idea, I’m prone to call “fitting the mold.” For this particular school the “understood” criteria was as follows:
-The popular girls get good grades (4.0 is a MUST!)
-The popular girls are naturally talented in sports (A team is the place to be!)
-The popular girls have lots of friends (they are the role models!)
-The popular girls wear make up (not too much to where it is over the top) and they dress in an attractive dressy casual, while keeping dress code
The list could go on and on in my head, and though most of these where my thoughts the nature of bullying came into play when I attempted to put them into practice.
I want to take a moment to address the definition of bullying, and what bullying means. Webster’s Dictionary gives this definition: abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger, more powerful, etc. I’ve narrowed it down to three main contributors that bring about bullying.
1. Physical Bullying
The most obvious of the three, I’ve watched movies and heard more stories with a physical abuse as the collaborate. Karate Kid anyone? It’s a cliche storyline of students picking on the “weaker” students, whether it be shoving them into lockers, calling them names, fill in the blank.
2. Emotional
God made us to be in relationship with others, and that emotional need is what drives the last part of abuse. Like the mental it can all be just what’s going on in the head, but it’s also about the student in relation to others. When I read/write books, I like get so into the characters heads and relationships, it gets me more emotionally involved in the plot!
3.  Mental Bullying
Self afflicted abuse, discriminating yourself and others. This can be the result of physical bullying or just the false ideas believed in a students head, in which they believe. The consequences of this type of bullying is depression, self infliction, low self esteem, or anger and retaliation.
From those definitions, let me share with you some examples of my own experiences.
1. Physically
 I knew my classmates since the second grade. If you asked about them, I could probably tell you a complete biography from their school life, but when walking around, or in class, there was no relationship. If I talked with one of my classmates, it was simple as if they were talking to a stranger. I’d seen how they talked with their friends, and the body language and what they talked about was distant with me, therefore I gave them the same.
2. Emotionally
My mom has told me since the beginning that I get carried away with the idea of friendships. Because of the small conversations with my classmates, whenever a new student would come into my class, I’d jump on the opportunity to have a new friend. The problem came when they would make more friends than I. Jealousy would eat me alive and I’d curl back into my shell. I was therefore the quiet kid, not at all who I wanted to be, trapped in this allusion that I was at the bottom of the pecking order. That crushed my spirit and my self esteem.
3. Mentally
God created us as human beings to have relationships with others. I can remember many days after lunch while others talked and laughed with their friends I would sit in the corner of the room and pretend in my head to talk with my characters in the novel I’m still in the process of writing. I told myself that I couldn’t measure up, that I was hopeless. To this day the feeling brings tears to my eyes, because mentally, I had given up.
So depressing right?! I mean why would a God who loves me so much and calls me his treasure, allow me to walk through this crushing pain of loneliness?
Let me tell you why.
God made us as humans to have a relationship with him and others, a point that may be repeated more than once. The relationship with God was severed, therefore so have ours with others.  Not just in bullying, but in marriage, friendships, family members, the list goes on.
Living in a fallen world isn’t the only answer! I know if I was popular, excelled at sports, and kept a 4.0 in high school (if all my wants were met), I wouldn’t have room or possibly a desire for God. Though it’s hard to say, I needed those moments of loneliness and the days where homework was just too hard, to know that life was not something I could do on my own.
I can still remember the day I found this out, and a smile comes to my face with the memory. We were discussing a book in bible class, I can still remember sitting in that desk, in Mrs. Wuthrich’s room, and she saying something that has changed my life forever. Here is a paraphrase of what she said:
“Sometimes God takes away friendships, or distractions, to draw us closer to God.”
For a girl who was broken, that was an answer I had never heard before. I love the verse in James 4, where James is talking about submitting yourselves to God, and rejecting the world. Paraphrasing again, he says that those who seek friendship with the world are an enemy of God. We must resist the devil and he will flee. The verses I want to emphasize is James 4:8a, which states:
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you!”
So what does that look like? Even for those who have graduated already? Well, there’s a few challenges I’ve discovered over the years that may help you in your walk with God, and your relationships, both good and bad, with others.
1. God made you to be you.
I had to learn that “fitting the mold” was not what God has called us to do. Yes, we must obey authority and do our best in our schoolwork, but He has made each one of us with different talents and gifts. We all have original personalities given to us, from conception in the womb. We have been given an identify in God as his sons and daughters, and each of us hold a piece of His face. We have been filled with his love. This idea is hard to live, but life gets a little better when our value is found in God rather than in fitting the mold.
2. The Bully Struggles too
Most people don’t think I was bullied when I share my testimony. I have many stories and experiences I could add to this post to tell you how in many ways I was. But I wanted to touch on my own struggle because that’s what I should hit on, instead of tearing others down. For those, like me, who experience the downcast of others, I want to challenge you to look into where the bully comes from.  When I study up on my characters in the novel that I am working on, and consider who I want them to be, I have to do that. What experiences drive their choices? Thinking on that is far better than giving them the reaction they expect and want from you.
Cue a To Kill a Mocking Bird quote:
“…You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
3. Count your blessings
I was so focused on all the negative things that I couldn’t have hope in any of the positive. This was a step I could discover now, looking back, because I would not be who I am today without the positives. From this time in my life, here’s a couple that I’ve never been more thankful for:
– A God that gives me hope (hope changes everything!!)
– The teachers I love and respect so much, I wouldn’t have made it this far without them
– My mother and father, their experiences of being bullied in high school and sharing that with me.
– My older sister telling me to never give up
– My book that has educated me in more ways than I can count
– A cat that was almost like a dog in the way she followed me around
– He gave me a friend, outside of school that opened the door to the friend group I have now!
Count your blessings name them one by one…
4. Forgive and Forget
The bully wins if all that all you have for them is hate and memories that hold grudges. God has given us repetitive forgiveness for our sins as an example toward us. I know in high school I had a hate for those people who “left” me for new friends, I had a hate for that school and felt like it was my prison. I still may ache and have pain when I think of those days, but it wasn’t until I forgave those people who I believed wronged me (with or without their knowledge) and moved on with my life that I could for the first time experience peace!
For those of you in high school that feel as trapped as I did, I want to comfort you by saying, high school is not the destination. Don’t be discouraged, take heart. As one of my favorite comedians, Mark Lowery, puts it, “It came to pass, it didn’t come to stay!” And those of you who love high school or are graduated! YAY! Praise the Lord, but I want to challenge you to look out for others around you. Be a friend.
Wow that’s heavy! It’s hard talking about my past, but just like history class, hard things, if they are remembered they are less likely to be repeated. Therefore be hopeful! Remember what God’s son Jesus has done for you, and go do likewise!
Thank you for letting me share! I hope this helps reach you where you’re at and challenges you to  develop new relationships and continue to strengthen your current ones! God Bless!
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An Open Letter of Apology to Those Who Watched Me Suffer in My Addiction- Guest Blog

I can never use enough words, say enough things to explain how sorry I am.  Some of you knew about my addiction for two years, others only for a few months. But it doesn’t matter if you watched me struggle for two years or two months, this is for everyone who watched me suffer in the middle of addiction. You all watched me as I chose a quick fix over love. You watched as I ran to the razor instead of you. All the while hoping that I would use the people available to me and reach out to them on the days when the struggle was so hard. You watched me drown and struggle in my addiction when you were right there the whole stinking time. You must have wanted to scream at me come on we are right here, don’t destroy yourself, we believe in you, we love you, please don’t do this to yourself. It’s like I ignored all that love that was surrounding me. You were right there loving me the entire time and you watched as I chose a quick fix over love. I can never explain how sorry I am for that. It must have been awful watching me struggle but not being able to do anything. You all watched me drown when all I would have to do is grab one of the many hands reaching in to help me and stand up. I’m sorry for the nights you would lose sleep because you were worried sick about me. Wondering if I was going to hurt myself yet again. Wondering if I would cut myself too deep and lose too much blood. Praying with so much passion that I wouldn’t cut myself, that I would stop hurting myself, that I would see the light, that I wouldn’t give into the addiction. Some of you watched me for a very long time wondering if I would ever come back to the me I used to be. I want to thank you for waiting so patiently throughout the years.

I’m sorry for putting the addiction first. I know that sometimes I wouldn’t consider how it would make other people feel when I gave into my addiction. And oh, how wrong that was. I should have considered not only the damage I was doing to myself, but also the damage I was doing to my parents, my friends, my pastor, and my mentors, my siblings. I’m sorry for the many times you had to let me go to make my own choices yet want to do everything to stop me. I’m sorry you had to watch as I slowly destroyed myself. I’m sorry for all the destruction and pain my addiction caused everyone in my life.

I also wanted to thank you guys. Thank you for never walking away. Thank you for believing I could overcome. The faith you all had in me really helped me overcome my addiction. Thank you for caring about me when I continued down the road of addiction and showed how little I cared for you guys. Thank you for loving me even when I loved my addiction more than I loved you guys. Thank you for never once giving up for me. Thank you for all the times you were there for me. Thank you for giving me hope that I could overcome. Thank you for pushing me to do what I thought was the impossible. Thank you for loving me at my absolute worst.

Thank you.

UnFiltered

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is a common quote. Within this culture, we are constantly consumed by statuses and pictures.

I recently came across a faith based blog that stated,  “Do not post a picture without editing.” While this is a harmless phrase, I had a difficult time emotionally processing it. I understand where the author is coming from. As a blogger, I desire my website to be a relection of Christ. I want lama-leah to be well formatted, have few grammatical errors, and post pictures of good quality. However, there is definitely another side to consider when making this statement. When I first read it,  I immediately thought, “How can you portray real life if all your photos are fake?” In May I addressed the flaws that are on this website in my post titled, “I (Will) Have Typos.” You can check out that post here: https://lamaleah.com/2017/05/26/i-will-have-typos/

Shortly after reading this, I took a look at my own social media accounts. I found two pictures of me being in a natural state while I have dozens of photos posted with a full face of makeup, straighten hair, and a few touch ups with the help of the beloved program, Photoshop. I began to ask myself the question, “Why do I want to be transparent as a writer but not with the pictures on my instagram feed?”

The truth is I am scared of showing the world who I physically am. I like to believe that I am confident but I think I am more vulnerable when I share a picture in my “natural state” than I am secure.

I have physical and emotional scars. I have cellulite. I wear loose shirts that hide my belly fat. My thighs are big and I have hips. I cannot naturally get a tan in the summertime and I use my hair as a way to hide. However, now that you know that, do you think that my value has decreased? I would rather be portrayed as someone who has flaws but is secure in their self than being just an average ‘pretty girl.’

Below are two pictures. The first picture is in my modeling portfolio. It has over 60 ‘Likes’ on my feed. I was doing something that I love to do. My hair and makeup was done and I was modeling. The second photo was taken after the county fair dog show. The dog that I had been working with won her first award as reserve champion in Rally-Obedience. I was also doing an activity that I love. One picture is art and the other one I am in my natural state of beauty. No makeup. I had done nothing to my hair, and I had been at the show throughout the course of the day. Which one is my favorite? The spider. But which one am I being real?

I challenge you to be real when it comes to what you share on social media. Edited photos are great but so are the ones that are not. They each contain there own unique characteristics of beauty.

.

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Dear God, what am I doing?

Shalom readers! If you have been a Lama-Leah reader for a while, you would probably be aware that my life over the past year has been chaotic but in the best way possible. From graduating high school in May of 2016, briefly moving to a different city to work in June of that year, my college program being cut in August, experiencing a prophecy from the Lord in October, being asked in I wanted to a permanent writer at a small magazine in February, and in this past spring being called into the entertainment industry in the spring. Within this season, I have grown closer to Him in ways that I had yet experienced as a recent highschool graduate.

This past spring, God lead me to a different career path that I really hadn’t considered before. Within a series of events, He led me to be a part of Actors, Models, Talent, for Christ perusing a career in acting, modeling, and music. When I signed with this organization, I had no idea what I exactly I was getting into. Within a matter of weeks after starting this program, I made a contact with an influential man in the Christian entertainment industry. Almost immediately, I was exposed to the dark side of this industry that desperately needs Jesus. I am still learning what this career path entails but I can only say that it is….dark!

This has been physical journey but also a spiritual one. I have been both spiritually attacked and blessed. God has become more real to me but spiritual warfare has been too. My lifelong battle with food has worsened. My appetite has greatly decreased making it difficult to eat on certain days. Days before my first training with AMTC I became ill and lost my voice (and I had to sing at that class). Despite this, the blessings from the Lord have been abundant. When I worship Him, it has become sweeter with more Shalom.

However when still deal with those voices of doubt. Am I equipped? Why me? Am I really talented enough? God, you sent me here but what I am I doing?  When I examine these thoughts, I realize that they are not from the Lord but the adversary and I can refute this with the word of God. I know this in my head, but am I really taking the time to examine these scriptures? Not always

Unless one has been called into a modern day Nineveh, it can be difficult to explain to the believing community where the Lord has led me, especially because it appears that I want a glamorous life. If you are under that impression, let me explain that I don’t desire fame or fortune I desire to make a difference and impact for HaShem within this culture.

I was recently asked the question, “Leah how long are you going to stick with this?” First I was surprised that someone would ask me this. I admit that I found it to be odd then I realized that this probably won’t be the only I’m going to be asked this. It would be easy to simply stick with my career as a writer. I am doing alright in this field for being 19 years old. I could continue to make a difference for Christ through Lama-Leah and the other platforms that I write for. I am going to continue this work but God has led me on this new path. God has blessed me with more connections and opportunities in the past six months than most individuals have in a lifetime. I am excited for the future even though it is unknown. The industry is dark but blood of Jesus sheds light! I often times ask Him what I am doing here, but He always guides me in His perfect direction. In this past year, I have learned about faith and I am applying those lessons daily. If I have learned anything in the past year it would be the following, “The trials of yesterday became the blessings of today.”

With love,

Lama Leah

 

 

 

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The Entire Amor

Recently I was on Twitter and I came across a quote that has been resonating in my heart. The tweet stated, “When you feel like praying the least is when you need to be praying the hardest.”

In a believers walk, there will be highs and lows. There will be times where you have the fire for Christ and seasons where opening up His word feels almost physically impossible. In my most recent season, I was on fire for HaShem. I was determined to be a light in the darkness and I currently feel discouraged with this mission. It seems as if my efforts are not doing anything for the glory of God. However I know that these thoughts come from the enemy and NOT the Lord. Instead of feeding into the lies, I need to be clinging to the armor of God. If I am being completly honest, these days don’t feel like going through the motions of going through the Christian walk. Do I still do them though? Yes. Is it difficult to push though? Yes but when I do connect with the spirit I have His shalom thoughout the day.

If you are going through the same season, I have some scripture to encourage you with.

“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.” -Ephesians 6:12

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” – Ephesians 6:11

Thank you for bearing with me as I have vented. As always, I write with love. Feel free to contact me.

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Praying with Faith

Prayer should be a common activity in a believer’s life, however, in my walk I have often times gotten in the habit of going through the motions of having a prayer life without considering coming to HaShem with faith that He can do miraculous works.

Make New Year’s resolutions whether that be during the spiritual New Year or the fiscal year. My goal for the spiritual New Year was to use my testimony for the pure glory of God and my goal for the fiscal year was to become a prayer warrior. I made a small rule to pray when I am driving. Whenever I am driving on the road to exit my small town, or am on the highway, I will pray. Whenever I am driving near my congregational leaders home (I live on the same side of town as them and drive in that direction often), I will pray for the leadership of my congregation and/or the future synagogue that we are to make our home. At times, when I am on these roads, I have little desire to pray, however, I try to make it a point to practice the rule that I made.

Within the past several months of doing this, my faith has been transformed in a new way. I have learned the difference between praying because I think that is what I am supposed to do, and praying with belief that He will transform his children’s lives. This past fall, I was baptized. While this is a joyous occasion, as soon as my head came up from that water, my life was changed. Almost immediately after the ceremony, the enemy started attacking me. That evening the spirit of suicide entered my presences. I recognized those spirits and rebuked them in the name of Yeshua’s blood. Almost every night, and through parts of the day for about a month after that service, the enemy continued to try to attack me. In this period of time, it was the beginning of His sacred High holy days, the enemy was trying to distract me from the reasons that I rejoice in these holidays.  As a believer, this season was the most enduring that I have yet to experience. The enemy was feeding me lies, but this time I was strong enough in my faith to recognize them as being lies from the enemy. I would never desire to go back to last fall, but through the trials my faith expanded and I learned something that is priceless. I learned how to pray and fight the enemy. My prayers that I previously prayed out of simple habit were not enough this time. I had to constantly put on the full and complete amour of God. I had been in a season where I was always needing Him. I admit that I did not always desire to fight but I knew that Satan comes steal, kill, and destroy.

Honestly speaking, one way that I tend to pray without belief is before meals. Growing up in a Torah following household, I was taught by my parents and grandparents to pray before eating. It is a habit. Is it a bad habit? Not at all! Do I ever just do it purely because that’s what I was taught to do? Yes, I do. “Dear Jesus, thank you for this food, please use it as nourishment to our bodies, and bless the hands who helped produce the food, in Yeshua’s name, amen.” Does a variation of a prayer similar to this sound familiar? I admit that in certain instances I ‘zone out’ when thanking HaShem for my food. In my life, have I ever gone hungry though? God has always graciously provided. Do I need to be thanking Him? Absolutely! Habits are not necessarily bad, but do I sometimes choose to forget why I am thanking Him? I do.

A few weeks ago I had my first audition as an actress. It was for a Christian film and I was genuinely interested in working on this project. The night before my audition, I had a dream that I failed. I woke up declaring to Satan that he has no power over me or my performance later that afternoon. On my way to the audition, I continued to combat the lies from the enemy while asking for the shalom that only comes from God. I did not ask God for the role but I simply asked Him to help me to act to the best of my abilities, and for boldness and discernment. I thought that the audition went well overall. I recently received a call from the director of the film asking if I wanted the lead female role. I was shocked to have been offered that job. I sought the Lord on this project before and after the audition and He showed me that I should not be working on this particular project. However, I recognized the spirit of Satan before my time in front of the camera and rebuked him before setting foot in the audition room.

Earlier, I shared about my goal of praying frequently in 2017. I did not share about the testimonies that have happened since starting the regimen. Every time that I am on this road, I try to be open to the Holy Spirit in prayer while still praying with complete faith. HaShem has put it on my heart to pray for a few of my former bullies and the Spirit has been working! One of the boys who sexually harassed me contacted me and apologized! One of my former bullies asked if I would pray for them. Lastly, one of the friends that I have been praying for accepted an invite to come to service. These are just a few examples of what all has happened in the past several months.

There is a common phrase in the believing community that states, “Prayer changes things.” I am going to add a Lama-Leah twist to this. I am changing it to, “Prayer with complete faith changes things.”

Trials produce perseverance. I am grateful for the trials that HaShem has allowed me to go through. Through them I have learned how to pray believing instead of habit.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14

“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.” ~Psalms 17:1

“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” ~Psalms 145:18

If you have questions, comments, or prayer requests, feel free to contact me. I would love to communicate with you.

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