Once a Slave to Money

By Nataushia Miller

I was once a slave to money. The lack of it, the need for it, the ever-fluctuating amount of it dominated my thoughts, emotions, actions, and in many ways, my life. The concept of money kept me up at night; the reality of it kept me anxious throughout the day. After experiencing ten months of homelessness in 2012, as an educated woman (with a master’s degree), wife, mother of one child while pregnant with number two, could you blame me?

We didn’t become homeless overnight. It was a slow occurrence after an unexpected job loss two-days before baby number one was born in July of 2011. Such a traumatic experience opened my eyes to the lies I’ve been told for years: “Go to college and get a degree so you can get a good-paying job. Then start a family, buy a car, buy a home, etc.” Those lies that were probably once the truth back-in-the-day hoodwinked me into believing that life would unfold smoothly in chronological order because no one told me the real deal:

“Inflation never ends! The job market is flaky! Unions no longer exist! The old retirement plan is extinct! Economy recessions occur in cycles! Unemployment is a reality! More importantly, homelessness does not discriminate!”

After landing a one-bedroom apartment in November of 2012, after ten months of homelessness, one month before baby number two was born, I made it up in my mind that such a devastating blow will never happen again—not on my watch! So, what did I do, you may ask?

I jumped from one network marketing company to the next. First, there was 5Linx, then Melaleuca, and finally, It Works before I realized that network marketing isn’t my jam. The recruiting component was nerve-racking, the marketing of the products was too routine-ish, and no matter the momentum of the company, I would lose excitement and find myself cruising down the boredom lane. Then eventually, I wrote a book.

Now, although I’ve always wanted to become an author, starting many books, never finishing any, I did not intend to write this book. One night while reflecting upon my healing journey from experiencing homelessness, I cried out to God, desiring to know why I still felt so far from His presence internally. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that it was because I never dealt with my physiological responses to Hurricane Katrina (yes, I am a Hurricane Katrina survivor).

Immediately, I began to journal daily as a means for inner healing. By day five, while reviewing my journal entries, I thought to myself, “this looks like a book,” and the Holy Spirit replies with two words, “It is!” I completed the manuscript for my first book, Is Freedom Your Reflection in the Mirror? Eight Steps to Overcoming Trauma, in six weeks fall of 2014 and released it in August of 2015 (the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina).

Although my book is valuable and life-changing for readers wherein I inspire them with my personal story, educate them about trauma, and guide them through the healing process, I was still on the prowl to conjure up ways in creating streams of income. In the back of my mind, I was like, “Show me the money,” totally oblivious to the fact that I AM THE MONEY!

At that time, we were still living in a one-bedroom apartment with our third baby as of July 2015. Don’t get me wrong; there was nothing exploitative in what I was doing. I found legitimate legal ways to incur extra income to support my family. However, as a child of God, I was committing an idolatrous crime by not keeping God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the forefront of my pursuit.

I was in self-preservation mode; I was not purpose-driven. I was all about making sales; I was not aspiring to make or be a difference. I was looking for ways to create multiple sources of income; I was not casting a valuable vision that would attract the monetary provision. Until one day, when the Holy Spirit knocked on the door of my heart, asserting, “We will not move you and your family from this place (our one-bedroom apartment) until you get your mind right about money.”

At that moment, it became clear to me that I had become a slave to money. Yeah, I appeared to include the LORD on my income building excursions with my religious talk, but from the depths of my heart, the LORD was not in the equation at all whatsoever. For the Word of God says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have; for He said, I will never leave you or forsake you. So, we can say with confidence; the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6 NRSV). I had to shift; I had to repent. I needed to return to my first Love in my life regarding money.

How did I follow through with my repentance? Since the Bible tells us that it is the LORD our God who gives us the ability to create wealth (Deuteronomy 8:17-20), I conducted an in-depth word study on the word wealth in October of 2015. As I allowed the Holy Spirit to renew my mind about wealth as a noun is a state of being, I came to know and believe with conviction in my heart that I AM THE MONEY!

No longer was I obsessed with building streams of income. My focus was on pursuing the Source of wealth who resides within (the Holy Spirit) for clarity on how to unlock my genius creative ability to build wealth from a posture and position of my divine purpose for being. Shortly after that, in January of 2016, my family and I moved into a two-bedroom apartment! Then the Spirit of the LORD gave me my first money-making Signature Coaching Program, the Freedom from Trauma Boot Camp (formerly known as Fear to Freedom Boot Camp) that I launched March of 2016. Won’t He do it!

YOU ARE THE MONEY! Practical Application

The following are a few practical applications from my word study that I pray will help you come to know that you are the money:

  1. Wealth is a mindset. The dictionary defines wealth as “an abundance or profusion of anything; plentiful amount.” Jesus, while in His humanity, stated, “I came that they might have life more abundantly” (John 10:10). The word might, implies that there is a prerequisite to tapping into the possibility of the abundant life that Jesus came to give because it is not a guarantee. Therefore, you must commit to cultivating a mindset of wealth.
  2. Wealth is a vision. Without vision, people cast off restraint (Proverbs 29:18). In other words, wealth requires discipline, and to maintain diligence, you must have a solid concept, and to develop a secured vision, you must have the ability to see with your mind (imagination) and not your sight—physical eyes (Hebrews 11:1). When you are wealthy with divine insight, you think creatively, consciously, and critically to receive strategic clarity and act courageously.
  3. Wealth is the Word. The company you keep determines your worth, value, and wealth. Are the thoughts, behavior, people, places, and activities of your life liabilities or assets? Are they subtracting or adding value to you? Who is your most considerable investment?  Conduct a wealth inventory assessment to align every thought, behavior, person, place, thing, or action in your life with the delight of the law of the LORD—the Word of Life that will bring you great success even as your soul prospers (Psalm 1:1-2 & 3 John 1:2).
  4. Wealth is Ever Increasing. Wealth will continue to increase as you do. When you remain committed to your growth, development, and transformation process as a carrier and creator of wealth, you will live in the realm of more than enough lacking no good thing. You will witness excess productivity and results in your life; your leaves of prosperity will not whither, as who you are, and all that you do, and touch consistently grows (Psalm 1:3).
  5. Wealth Reflection. Journal your responses and thoughts to the following: What is wealth? How do you obtain the ability to create it? Read, review, and reflect upon 2 Kings 4:1-7.

Wealth is who you are and can create!

~Freedom Coach Nataushia Miller

NATAUSHIA MILLER is a daughter of the King, Author, Freedom Coach, Global Speaker, and the Founder of Character for Life Global, Inc. She has helped countless people break through internal barriers such as fear, and shame due to unhealed trauma. Her life-coaching style offers a unique approach with Biblical Principles and sociological concepts for leaders who desire Healing from Trauma God’s Way.

Contact Nataushia: www.c4lglobal.com

From Rejection to Restoration

By Shavia Johnson

In life, everyone will experience some form of rejection. For some people, it can be traced back to single events that had no lasting effects on the individual. Then there are others, like myself, who encounter rejection at an early age without the cognitive tools or spiritual awareness to recognize that such a toxic spirit came to wreak havoc in my life.  According to Apostle John Eckhardt, “the most damaging type of rejection experienced, is that experienced early in life.” I can testify to the truth of his statement as I have lived it for most of my life.

When I was a child, I had an encounter with my dad, which left me feeling abandoned, inadequate, and rejected. I had nowhere to turn with my thoughts and feelings, but inward to my seven-year-old brain, or so I thought. I allowed the lies of the enemy to become my truth. I hated myself and everyone else. Yet, I never stopped loving my dad but would harbor animosity toward him for years to come and punish myself for how he made me feel that one day.

Every decision I made was a result of the rejected perception I had of myself. The crazy thing is that all my life, I was surrounded by genuine love from family, friends, and potential spouses, but I could not comprehend that love, let alone see it. I was double-minded, frustrated, and a people-pleaser, all because in my heart, I did not know or comprehend who I was or to whom I belong. I spent almost two decades walking around bound to this horrible spirit. Even after salvation, I was in captivity of my past. However, Abba worked through me slowly and patiently, one step at a time.

I once believed that after I accept salvation in Christ, Jesus, I would be good to go and free, but that was not my experience. I received the gift of redemption at the age of 16, and it wasn’t until almost 20 years later that I would fully surrender and allow God access to the depths of my heart to begin restoring my inner brokenness. I famished the decade of my 20’s with depression, drinking, drug usage, fornication, toxic relationships, dysfunction, and in so much unhealed pain. Pain so deep that I did not know if I could ever be whole or where healing could begin. But Abba…true to His nature, He met me right where I was and begin to bring me out, with inner healing and deliverance at a slow and steady pace.

Not too long ago, I believed that only healing was a process, not realizing that deliverance is a journey also. Somethings have established such deep, thick, and entangled roots in our hearts that it takes time to remove them entirely, residue, and all. I had to start.

Abba presented the spirit of fear as my starting point. He guided me into learning and understanding the ins and outs of fear: what it looks like, where it came from, why it launches gruesome attacks, and how to triumph it. Abba used fear to begin to show me how He works with, in, and through us as we journey through healing and deliverance and into restoration and redemption.

Have you ever noticed that Abba addresses an issue that entraps us to reveal to us His redemptive power and love for us? God, the Father, engages us in the capacity we can receive His guidance, intimacy, and revelation.

While in training to combat the spirit of fear, God was preparing my heart for more intrusive surgery. I did not realize this until three years later. It was part of the process where my faith and trust in God had to increase so I could receive a more profound level of inner healing and deliverance. I kept peace and comfort in knowing that becoming whole in Christ Jesus is an ongoing process.

After fear, frustration became the issue of life that flowed from the depths of my heart. Why may you ask? People-pleasing, double-mindedness, and feelings of inadequacy are manifestations of the spirit of rejection, which all can become a form of frustration.

One day when I was in quiet time with Abba crying out to Him, asking why do people frustrate me so much? The Holy Spirit showed me a vision of me when I was a teenager; I was getting up from a sexual act with a man and felt so empty. The Holy Spirit told me that I am frustrated with people because I am always willing to give up my soul in exchange for the feeling of being loved. Whoa! The scripture “What profit a man to gain the world but lose his soul,” popped into my mind. It was at that moment that I repented, cried, and sat with my thoughts of interactions with the men in my life, friends, colleagues, everyone. I was ready and willing to sabotage my very soul for a temporary emotional experience.

At that moment, I did not fully understand what had taken place, and it would be a couple of years later when I would realize that Abba wanted my heart, mind, body, and soul, and He wanted all of who I am whole. Yet, it was at that moment that my heart shifted, and I was strong enough to continue the process. I was able to look at myself and Abba in a healthier perspective. He wanted me to understand what real intimacy was, and how my desire to feel love was my soul gasping for an intimate relationship with Abba. Such a burning bush experience with the Holy Spirit brought me from a superficial knowing of Abba into a deep space of oneness I did not know existed.

Over the following months, I continued to identify and uproot areas in my life that distorted my perception of myself, God, and our intimate connection. I continued to invest in myself, learning about rejection and deliverance, relationships, my identity, and Abba. Once you repent and come out of agreement with the lies you once believed about yourself, you are free to move forward to the next level of healing and deliverance until you obtain restoration and reclaim your God-given authority.

I began to see Abba as my Heavenly Father. He is all things to us as we need Him to be, and in this season, He was dealing with the matters of my heart regarding my biological father, where the seed of rejection all began for me.

Earlier this year, my earthly father suffered a rare form of stroke caused by a ruptured aneurysm in his brain. He had an emergency surgery to address the three aneurysms he had and received a 10% prognosis of survival. My dad was in a coma and on life support for 23 days. During this time, I was able to lay everything on the table about my dad with Abba; I received a prophetic confirmation about the healing that was taking place and how much Abba loves me. I experienced Abba in a new way, that released the chains of my heart to receive all His love for me. As a result, there was a release to forgive my dad completely AND to love him wholly and unconditionally, as Abba loves us. Today my dad is recovering well, and we are closer than we have ever been in my 37 years on earth.

You may be wondering what took place with me? I will tell you that Abba used my pain to purify my heart, to draw me closer to Him, to allow me to see Him, and discover my authentic self so I can move forward in the next season in my life. All of it was preparation for the fulfillment of my purpose for being. I could never fulfill my God-given mission while in bondage to pain, and neither can you.

God has been showing me and allowing me to experience His love for me, and in change, I have finally learned to love myself. Rejection is not my portion. I am loved, necessary, and I am more than enough! The spirit of rejection has no power in my life anymore. I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit, ABBA, and Jesus that would draw me into a place where I love myself, entirely. I no longer seek the approval of people. I now trust the LORD wholeheartedly while waiting for guidance instead of moving in doubt and double-mindedness. No longer do I allow negative internal thoughts to run wild in my mind. I have taken back my God-given power and activated my authority over the enemy and his attacks on my life.

Redemption Leads to Restoration

I have been redeemed, in my identity, my relationships with people, and my relationship with God because I allowed Him in to do the work that only He can do. I can finally see myself through Him! Hallelujah Lord Jesus! It has not been a comfortable journey but having the Holy Spirit with me through it all empowers me to keep going while enabling others to start or continue their process from rejection to restoration.

The following are three practical principles to help you ensure that the spirit of rejection and its manifestations have no place in your life:

  • Repent– Confess any lies you have believed and agreed with verbally, mentally, and by action. Remember, those decisions and actions were in your heart. With repentance, you are removing and releasing the lies to make room for the Truth.
  • Participate in your Process– Intentionally and consistently spend time with the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to flow through you as He guides, reveals, and comforts you. The more you rely on the Spirit of the Lord, the more you are inclined to stay the course.
  • Invest in Yourself– A huge part of my continual progress in my healing journey has come from me taking the time to work on my heart, mind, and emotions. Everything else follows, aligns, and falls into place because I use this standard in every area of my life. We should consistently invest in our growth and development in all areas of our lives through prayer, training, books, webinars, etc.

Remember, everything we do begin in our minds. In Christ, rejection is powerless. We are accepted, healed, and restored. Our lives should reflect the freedom, power, and authority we possess. I encourage you to address any areas in your life that rejection has kept you in bondage. The world awaits the arrival of your redeemed and restored self.

Shavia Johnson is a woman of God, Author, Speaker, Youth Advocate, and Restoration Empowerment Coach. She is driven by the desire to see young men ad women experience healing and deliverance from the effects of pain suppression caused bu unresolved childhood trauma. She helps people navigate through the healing process, helping them identify and break down barriers that hold them captive to toxic cycles of bondage.

Contact Shavia: johnsonshavia@yahoo.com

Unpacking Self-Reliance to Trust

By Debbie Renee Howard

It was nothing for me to spend at least 120 hours a week working in the marketplace. My extreme work ethics began with excuses such as, “I had to sharpen my craft, skills, and abilities in my related field within the healthcare industry.” There were very few women of color in my role. Then, it became the projects, and there were never enough hours in the day to accomplish them all. I certainly wasn’t spending as much time as I needed in prayer, meditation, reading, and studying of the scriptures, or even communicating with God consistently. There was so much Holy Spirit wanted to reveal to me, but my posture, position, and priorities wouldn’t allow Him to penetrate the altar of my heart.

I was seized by fear, panic, and exhaustion, trying to ensure that others perceive me as valuable. I was so focused on what I could do instead of what God wanted to do in and through me! You may ask, where does such a mindset originate? I wasn’t living the life of abundance, peace, and freedom, and I indeed wasn’t experiencing God’s presence in the way that I had read about in the scriptures. I knew in my heart of hearts that God hadn’t changed but that I had lost my way, and some unhealed areas were leaking from my heart. So, I began a retrospective journey back over my past experiences that created the unhealed wounds of my soul.

I reflected upon my childhood, in which there were some traumatic experiences. My parents divorced just before I reached that awkward adolescent stage of development. It was a critical time when I was struggling with my body image, self-worth, and identity! I was a die-hard Daddy’s girl, and I was trying to make sense of why my Daddy wasn’t physically present in our home anymore? Why wasn’t he around to protect me? I can remember thinking it must have been something I’d done! I came to understand and learn that adults deal with situations that have little or nothing to do with the children that are a product of the relationship! The exploration and explanation of such relational dynamics are other topics for a different blog article at another time!

Back to the subject at hand, at the tender age of 12, I was fondled inappropriately by an adult, adding to my trauma experience. My external defense manifested as weight gain and engaging relationships that weren’t healthy and NOT at all good for me! To be transparent, maintaining a healthy weight was something that had been an ongoing area in my life that needed constant attention and discipline. Weight gain became my way of hiding in plain sight.

My family had labeled me the “quiet one” in contrast to my sister. The fact of the matter was I didn’t know how to share what had happened to me. I carried so much fear, shame, guilt, blame, and the burden of wondering: who would believe me? I was just a child; there were others I was trying to protect! In hindsight, I cannot comprehend the irony of such a selfless act that was simultaneously self-sabotaging. How did I possess the capacity to suppress what happened to me for the sake of protecting others? I have come to realize and know that Abba Father had given me the strength to endure what was eating away at me internally.

During that time in my life, I also mastered the skills of isolation. It was a way to protect myself from hurt, disappointment, rejection, abandonment, and a whole barrage of internal buildup that I’d need to heal, address, and get FREE from in the decades ahead!

I took on quiet confidence and disposition of “I can do it on my own,” I didn’t care what “IT” was; I wore my fake badge of honor proudly! However, such a false form of armor became a problematic barrier as I began to grow and mature into a teenager, young-adult, then adulthood!

In my teenage years, I spent time engaging in the self-discovery process. I’m sure you think that’s the same as most teenagers. However, I believe that the Father wants us to be secure in who we are in Him. I didn’t realize that until my young adult life.

One day I was tired of carrying the load, it was time to let it go, and I couldn’t do IT on my own. I began to pour out my innermost thoughts in a very candid conversation with the Abba:

God, I’ve tried to carry the weight of the hurt, guilt, and shame because I did not trust you. I’m nothing without you; I need you in my life. I surrender my mind, will, emotions, thoughts, and all that I’ve tried to FIX on my own, and I give it all to you right now at this moment.

At that very moment, I felt such a release that I hadn’t experienced ever before. It was as if the Father had been waiting for me to STOP my self-reliance, strength, abilities, what I knew, and give Him the reigns of my life.

I began to meditate on the word to shift my mindset and posture to trust God with every part of my inner being and life: But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV; And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty. Phil 4:13 TPT

The following is a parallel example of how self-reliance can cause us to move away from Abbas original intent for our lives subtly:

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American poet, essayist, and philosopher. Emerson won fame as the leader of the transcendentalist movement. Ralph Emerson was invited by Boston’s Second Church to serve as pastor and was later ordained. Unfortunately, after only two years, Emerson’s wife died; this made him question his thoughts and beliefs. The man who once believed in biblical miracles decided to resign his pastorate. He firmly believed that the individual must have the courage to investigate his own heart for spiritual guidance and trust his intuition. Emerson’s views suggest that men can generate completely original insights and that the truth can be experienced directly from nature without any divine help.


Paragraph citation: https://www.goalcast.com/2018/07/30/ralph-waldo-emerson-quotes/

Reflect. What path Mr. Emerson’s life could have taken?

I’m not implying that self-reliance is a bad thing, but it can be a disguise for mistrust—idolatry. Perhaps your idol isn’t self-reliance; it could be the mindset of independence to the point where you aren’t able to trust our Father in every area of your life or with the wounds of your heart. Whatever your idol is, be honest enough to explore it, the root of its existence, and know that God is waiting to partner with you on your journey to healing and freedom.

“Because I cannot rely on myself, I rely on Him, twenty-four hours a day.”

~Mother Teresa

Debbie Renee Howard is a woman of faith, an Executive Pastor, Speaker, Consultant, and Transformation Coach. She has an innate ability to empower, inspire, develop and equip men and women to identify areas in their lives that lack purpose, and need healing. She achieves this through God’s Wisdom and her unique gift of insightful communication which provokes clarity and introspection.

Contact Debbie: dezigned4greatness@gmail.com