One Powerful Word…

life, matters of the heart

The “rush” to be first or the urge to get it done “all at once” or “immediately” is a tempting choice. If you can relate, watch the video below about the power of the word #Wait …

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#HeartWork #Wait #Temptation #Patience #Endurance #Surrender #FaithInGOD #2020

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CLICK HERE to view the latest resources and books.

A Christmas I’ll Never Forget: A Broken Marriage Engagement + New Direction in Life…

life, love, matters of the heart, relationships

Some events in my life I’ll never forget as their impact have changed the direction of my life – forever.

One of these events in particular took place during the Christmas season of 2005. I know that seems like a million years ago to some of you reading this. I was young, passionate, zealous for the things of God, and about to make one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

I’d been “on and off again” in a romantic relationship with someone for about five years at that particular time. When he proposed marriage with one of the most gorgeous rings I had ever seen (most who saw it would agree), I thought that this could perhaps be “it.”

macro shot of solitaire ring on flower

I accepted the ring but soon after began to feel uncomfortable. I couldn’t sleep and began to question my choice for a variety of reasons. Still I kept up the facade. I continued to wear the ring as I made some “loose plans” to set a date for the wedding. One might think I would be happy, but I was truly miserable. I remember this feeling like it was yesterday because these were the days leading up to Christmas.

egg nog bottle near cupcake red berry fruits and ice cold drinks

When I should have been enjoying eggnog, Christmas lights, and most importantly honoring the birth of Jesus — I was privately suffering and pondering my complicated history with my ex-fiancé.

This blog post is in no way an attack against him but a reflection of my own choices and behavior. I take full responsibility. #Slander

So Christmas day finally arrived. I was grouchy and moody for no apparent reason. My mom even gently confronted me about my behavior before our traditional family dinner. I knew that I needed to make the hard decision to call off my marriage engagement. I had prayed long and hard and found no peace in the idea of spending the rest of my life with my ex-fiancé. This decision wasn’t like casually picking out a new pair of shoes – this was serious.

close up of shoes and bag

It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done to date. Some people in my life questioned my choice. I was criticized. Someone even tried to convince me that I was acting irrationally.

But what I learned in the moment were key lessons that I still carry with me today:

  • Don’t stop praying and inquiring of God’s throne when unsure about something. It’s better to tarry and wait for God to answer than settle for something that only “appears” to be a good thing.
  • God has the final say. I had begun to make my plans as life seemed to be “aligning” itself with my goals, age, etc. But the perfect will of the only true and wise God stands.
  • God had a very specific purpose (and husband) for my life. I met my husband of 13 years soon after my broken engagement. I answered the call to teach/preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and even established a consulting organization to help at-risk women in unhealthy or complicated relationships.
  • My biggest “gain” was not a new relationship, things, or opportunities but it was more of God himself. God’s love for me is unprecedented. He truly leads me like the patient and kind shepherd that he is. #Psalm23

I can imagine that you are a real person like me – all of your plans have not come into fruition. Some things you set out to do have gotten lost in the challenges of U-turns, pit stops, and delayed progress.

Read more about how God can use these circumstances in your life for good in my latest book, Life Redirected.

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CLICK HERE 

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Jason and I (May 2019)

When Women Gather: Mental Wellness Conversation + More

leadership, matters of the heart

I recently had the pleasure to meet with Kim Jones, founder and organizer of the GEM Experience in Trenton, NJ. Her upcoming event in February 2020 will include a panel discussion on mental wellness, domestic violence, and life changing moments just for women.

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I’ll be one of the featured panelists and I’m super excited about being able to contribute to this much needed discussion that benefits a diverse group of women.  The energy at our initial meet-up was epic as those who will be involved in February had an opportunity to share a bit of their story and their connection to mental wellness. I was able to glean off of the strength in the room as women testified of how they survived and overcame some of the most difficult moments in their lives. Meeting with these beautiful women also reminded me of my “why” concerning the work I’ve done at Healthy Relationships Network for over two years.

It’s always a pleasure to be in the company of focused and like-minded women.

I’m learning more and more that the gathering of women for a cause:

  • is necessary as there are arising issues and problems that need the creativity, intelligence, passion, and attention of women who are willing to help
  • can increase the personal morale of women who often feel “alone” or isolated  in the work they do
  • is advantageous for the communities, groups, and individuals served as talents, gifts, and resources are pooled together to enhance the effectiveness of the mission

*How are you working with other women in collaborative and impactful ways? Feel free to share in the comments section.

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The Call to Serve: Marriage

love, matters of the heart

November 4th will mark thirteen years for us…

I remember it like it was yesterday. On November 4, 2006, we said our “I do’s” in front of about 150 witnesses in the beautiful, cool, and crisp fall season of New Jersey. The wedding reception with our loved ones, Bahamas honeymoon, and endless celebratory moments were a wonderful entry point to our marriage. Real life for us began not only in the good times, but also the bad times. Some of the things we’ve faced together as a couple – I know it was only the Lord who kept our hearts, sanity, and faith.

It’s been an interesting journey and I don’t regret one moment. Every year I’m convinced that my role as a wife is a unique calling designed by God to serve Jason.

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Daytime date of hiking in the park (May 2019)

I feel like I am constantly learning and growing in this area as I depend on God to enlighten me regarding it. Marriage is one of the most intentional areas of my life and if not tended to with a posture of service (sacrifice), I will neglect the important things for sure. I’m not afraid to say that it’s tempting to take my spouse for granted in our busy lives while pushing to the side the necessary dating, couples’ prayer time, spontaneous fun (not just sex), and focused attention.

This thing called marriage takes work.

But it’s worth it and I’m up for the challenge…

Happy Anniversary, Jason. I look forward to many more to come. #Year13 #Called ToMarriage #CalledToServe

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“Because answering the call isn’t always easy…”

1547466329Ironically enough, Keturah shares her personal and spiritual journey of ending a previous marriage engagement in order to answer God’s call to obedience. She would then encounter Jason – her husband of thirteen years and a deeper sense of just how sovereign and purposeful the Lord is. CLICK HERE to download and read.

Here’s to “Firsts”

leadership, matters of the heart

#Leadership #MattersOfTheHeart

Exactly two years ago, I had no idea what I was being drawn to. I really didn’t have a clue about “my next big move” or what specifically God wanted me to do in my ministry and service to women. I was compelled to publish a resource – CLICK HERE – that would educate women about God’s view concerning healthy relationships in lieu of the recent reports of increased domestic violence, female-victim assaults, and murders at the hands of vicious perpetrators. My heart was overwhelmed by how young some of the female victims were.

I had to do something… Even if it was just something small…

So I became more active on social media. I wrote inspirational posts, blogged more, and spread the word about an Ebook I’d published about faith and dating. A few months later, I made Healthy Relationships Network official. The year was 2017 and I was gaining some focus about my calling. Since then, I’ve gotten more training while pursuing certification as a Trauma Healing Facilitator. I rented office space, ran support groups, searched out biblical scriptures about how God helps people in need/crisis, and served as a guest speaker at several college campuses, churches, and radio stations. It’s been a journey and God has been so faithful.

I write this post all to say: Believe God when he nudges you to do something bigger than yourself. Small steps matter too.

It’s easy to yield to doubt and fear as the temptation to stay “comfortable” is a reality.  I am a living witness that my running shoes were calling my name a few times as I sought to get as far away as I could from this purposeful work. Still I say, the journey has been worth it. It’s worth it because God is with me. He is in the work that I do. I sense his nearness as more people are served and His grace, healing, and love is made more known to those who need to understand that God is on their side.

So here’s to “firsts” – first plans, first meetings, first proposals, first steps toward the call to serve…

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Healthy Relationships Network’s first resource

CLICK HERE

Our Partnerships Matter…

leadership, matters of the heart

#Leadership #MattersOfTheHeart

Sometimes what we want and what God wants are two entirely different things…

Godly career people, CEOs, ministers, missionaries, authors, founders, presidents, etc. desire to do right by their Lord and the people they serve. Such leaders are often caught between several choices in any given year that could either make or break the success and longevity of their mission. It can often feel like an awkward place to be as they pray, ponder, and weigh the pros and cons of all the contributing factors of their choices.

Additionally, great leaders don’t approach all of their affairs alone and will often pursue partnerships, networking opportunities, and team efforts to bring their vision to pass.

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Certainly their collaborative efforts must be a “God-thing” because unity is the righteous way to go. Or is it?

Consider King Jehoshaphat of 2 Chronicles 20: 35 -37

35 Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted wickedly. 36 They agreed to make ships to go to Tarshish, and these were built in Ezion-geber. 37 Then Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.” So the ships were wrecked and were unable to sail to Tarshish.…

King Jehoshaphat seemed to be putting a great deal of effort in his new business affairs of building ships for trading. I’m sure the prospect of such an endeavor was promising as the idea itself was extremely exciting and lucrative. But we can see that business came to a halt because of this reason: King Jehoshaphat’s association. How disappointed he must have been to find out that his vision, hard work, drawn-out plans, and pursuits were “ship-wrecked” literally. What a sight it must have been to see the new construction go to waste as the ships were stationary and unable to sail anywhere. #Tragic

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I’m sure the King’s choice felt “right” in the high emotions of excitement and forming something new. Still, God had the final say. This leader’s partnership choices mattered to the Lord.

What can we learn as leaders on a mission? What can we learn from King Jehoshaphat’s story as leaders destined to work with others on important projects?

  • Pray about all business affairs and related choices.
  • Ask God for wisdom – the wisdom to properly discern versus acting on emotions alone.
  • Decipher between “good people” and “good partnerships” – every “good” person or friend is not a guaranteed successful partnership.
  • Remember that God is gracious. It’s not too late to modify or change a questionable partnership choice you’ve engaged in. Pray for the tact and wisdom of how to best handle it.
  • Don’t wait to pray for partnerships. Begin now. Pray that God send the partnerships that will most glorify HIM and serve others well.
  • Selectivity in partnerships does not make anyone less of a “Christian” as unity of mind and heart with other believers should still be of utmost importance.

#OurPartnershipsMatter

#business #ministry #entrepreneur #influencer #writer #blogger #CEO #leader #emotions #collaboration #relationships #Christianity #faith #prayer

Because answering the call isn’t always easy…

Copy of Copy of Untitled Design (1)Excerpted from her 2015 best-selling book – Affirmations for Women: God’s Healing Words for the Heart – Keturah Ford has revised one of the chapters in the form of a Bible Study. Be inspired to not only pursue your calling but pursue it with confidence. Download your copy – CLICK HERE.