Finding Freedom from What’s Holding You Back

Finding Freedom from What’s Holding You Back

Have you ever found yourself in a place where you didn’t think it was possible for you to get any more confused? It makes you feel stuck, doesn’t it? You just want to show up where God has placed you, but it’s so hard to find freedom from the very thing that’s holding you back.

Maybe you find yourself here today because of that breakup you thought you’d be over by now, but when you’re honest with yourself you aren’t. Or maybe you feel confused because you feel like God is calling you somewhere else, but nothing else is working out. Or maybe you feel stuck because you’re in living in what you thought was your dream only to find out it was nothing like you pictured and you aren’t sure what to do next. The list could go on and on, but please know you’re in good company.

It’s time to spill the tea! Just when I thought I had reached the peak of my confusion, it got worse. What in the world was going on? What was God up to?

The door that I thought I had a shoo-in slammed right in my face. The more I replayed it all in my head the more confusing it felt.

I had asked Him to slam the door shut on the opportunity if He had other plans for me, but why did the slamming sting so much?

It didn’t happen. I didn’t get the job.

I never pictured my career at this company ending that way. I had been there five years and gone all in. We moved here for this company. Why did I have to leave? Why was there likely going to have to be a financial sacrifice involved? What in the world did He have for me next?

Just to paint the picture, all of this went down while I was on maternity leave with my daughter Remi. I had no idea what was next and you know the anxiety and fear that comes with this, don’t you friend?

The only thing clear to me was that He wasn’t calling me back to the place I was in. This stung more than I thought it would. I didn’t realize how much of my identity was wrapped up in this job – this was just what I had always done post-grad and it became a part of who I was to others.

I started freaking out. I don’t know about you, but when I freak out… I start striving. I start craving control. For a few weeks, this is what I did. I thought of everything from opening up my own business to trying to book speaking engagements. The more I pushed, the more I felt like I was up against a huge brick wall.

After weeks of doing this, I decided I just needed to trust God… not just say I trusted Him, but truly trust Him. I called my husband and told him that I didn’t feel called back to the job I was in. Since that was the only thing I knew, surrendering that over to God had to be the first step.

The second step was to stop striving. When God plans to open a door, you can’t stop Him or His timing. That afternoon I told myself that God not only knew where to find me when He was calling me to somewhere next, He had placed me in this very spot. The rest of this story blows my mind.

The next day I checked my e-mail and had an e-mail from someone who I had connected with three years prior at a company that was literally my dream place to work. This person was coming into town in a few weeks (which was very random) and wanted to connect. The rest is history now.

Isn’t it just like Him to open a door that was three years in the making and create an opportunity that in the past I was told wasn’t possible?

It would take days to tell you everything God did and all of the ways He showed up. Seamless interview logistics is just one example. It is wild, but my last interview needed to be in the city where this organization is. Prior to ever even going through the interview process, Will and I had already planned to be in this city on that day for personal reasons.

I don’t know where you are today, but I do know that God is in the details. Someday you’ll look back on this season and say:

What felt like a rejection was God’s redirection.

When God felt silent, He was not only listening… He was making a way that felt impossible.

If I hadn’t gone through that, I wouldn’t be ready for this.

What felt like a delay was actually His perfect timing.

From someone on the other side of this, if you don’t know where to start, try out the two steps:

  • First surrender over the one thing that God is making clear to you.
  • Then stop striving and invite Him into it.

Don’t forget that He not only knows where you are today, He placed you there. Nothing can stop Him and His plans for your life. This season is going to be game changing, friend.

Keep leaning in because confusion has nothing on what God has for you. Your purpose doesn’t pause and He’s cultivating a way for you to press play in your everyday like never before!

Hope Reagan Harris is a wife to Will, mom to Remi Claire, coffee connoisseur, author, and product manager for YouVersion on a mission to encourage you where God has you.

If there was one thing that she’d want you to remember, it is that your purpose doesn’t pause. She is passionate about helping women break free from confusion so they can get unstuck and show up where God has placed them each and every day. She’s so passionate about you finding freedom from what’s holding you back that she wrote a book on this for you called “Purpose Doesn’t Pause” and you can pre-order it here today!

Become her friend on Instagram or TikTok friends with her @hopereaganharris.


What Overwhelms You?

What Overwhelms You?

How often do you feel overwhelmed? Does this season of life make you feel overwhelmed more times than you can count, too?

Just the other day, I got to have coffee with my friend (and Live Original ambassador) Georgia Brown. My thoughts and feelings were all over the place as we talked about the season of life I’m walking through as a new mom. As soon as I was done sharing, she responded with something so powerful not just for me, but for you, too: “This was all God’s idea.”

Those five words left me speechless for a second. Go ahead and give yourself a second to let that sink in. It is powerful, isn’t it?

The longer and longer I let that sentence simmer, the more my perspective started to shift. It got me thinking: What if there is a way to pivot our perspective when we start to feel overwhelmed? What if we traded feeling overwhelmed by our circumstances for being overwhelmed by the power, goodness, and faithfulness of God?

Think about it: God isn’t surprised by the blessings He has given to you to steward in this season. He also isn’t surprised by the deep waters you’re treading through. Not a single day in your life is without a plan or a purpose.

In fact, your entire life was God’s idea. He gave you your specific gifts that are unique to you. He gave you the people around you to love on and do life with. He not only created you, but He made a way to live with you forever. God chooses you. He loves and adores you.

What if we let these truths overwhelm us instead of whatever is going on in our life? If we let our circumstances or the situation that we’re in the middle of overwhelm us, we’ll feel stuck with no way to move forward. If we choose to be overwhelmed by who God is, how He has intentionally orchestrated our life, and what He has done for us, we’ll be able to walk out this season with the power and authority He gives us as His children.

Don’t you see? So often what we see as a dead-end is where God is just getting started. We don’t have to live like we are defeated – He has already won! We are far from paralyzed where we are. We are not without next steps where we are. We are not alone where we are.

We have an invitation to walk through this season and the next one with the One who already had you in mind before He created you. He is the same God who had you in mind when He made a way for you to spend eternal life with Him through Jesus before you were even born.

This won’t be the first or last time that we are overwhelmed, but it can be the last time we sit with the same posture and perspective we had before. There is a choice for us to make: What are we going to be overwhelmed by?

Will we choose to be overwhelmed by our never-ending to-do lists or will we choose to be overwhelmed by the One whose love for us is never-ending? Will we choose to be overwhelmed by our situation that seems hopeless or will we choose to be overwhelmed by the very One who gifted us with hope? Will we choose to be overwhelmed by the mess we’re in the middle of or will we choose to be overwhelmed by the One who makes miracles happen?

We can choose to sit with a posture of one who has already lost when we feel overwhelmed or we can choose to walk with the One who has already won. Deuteronomy 31:6 MSG says, “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”

As Georgia says best, “This was all God’s idea.” He’s got you and He’s never going to leave you.

Here are some verses we can set our gaze on to help us pivot our perspective and become overwhelmed by God’s power, goodness, and faithfulness today:

  • “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matthew 6:34 MSG
  • “But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthly bodies into glories bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.” Philippians 3:20-21 MSG
  • “Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done that whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” Ephesians 2:7-10 MSG
  • “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:26-28 MSG

Keep going, friend! Let this set the tone for how you run your race today.

Hope Reagan Harris is a wife, new mom, coffee connoisseur, author, and corporate junkie on a mission to encourage you where God has you. You can become Instagram or TikTok friends with her today @hopereaganharris.

Kingdom Keys

Kingdom Keys

There was a large group of people in the corner of a car dealership. Normally when you see a crowd you know something really interesting is going down. Naturally, I had to go check it out.

After a few minutes of observation, it was clear that ten people had car keys in their hand. Supposedly these ten were selected from a raffle drawing. One person had keys that would start the brand-new white SUV that everyone was surrounding. 

The crowd watched as one person after the other sat down inside the push-to-start car to see if their key would start it up. The suspense was real. We were down to the eighth person. They sat in the seat and the car didn’t start.

Now on to the ninth. The math was pretty simple. If it didn’t start for this person, we knew the winner would be the tenth. 

The ninth person hopped in the driver’s seat. The car didn’t start. The tenth person celebrated. The camera crew started asking her about her job and how she would use the car she just won.

Just for good measure and a fun photo op, she sat in what she thought was her brand-new car. She went to start the car up and nothing happened.

The “winner’s” keys didn’t work. The crowd was shocked. A few whispers that were easy to overhear said, “What in the world is going on? All ten people went. How did this happen? Who won?”

The other nine had a glimpse of hope again. Who would it be?

We watched five people all hop in and hop out when it was confirmed that it wasn’t their new rig. The sixth person got in to find out that he was the winner. His daughter and wife started crying tears of joy and jumped up and down in a group hug. Apparently, he had forgotten to press the break as he pushed the start button the first time.

I can only imagine the shock, joy, and excitement he was experiencing after already counting the opportunity as a lose.  I can also only imagine the disappointment that the lady was experiencing after thinking the car was hers.

This got me thinking: What if we lived like we had the key to an everlasting Kingdom that God created for us?

As we get to know God, we learn that we hold the key to the Kingdom through our confession that Jesus is the Son of God. (Matthew 16:16-19) Isn’t that worth bouncing around with joy and excitement?

This key is unlike any other. We didn’t get selected because we bought a raffle ticket. It is not limited to one individual like that of this story. It was made possible because of the One who came to live on this Earth and die for every single one of us – Jesus, the Son of God.

Talk about the ultimate unexpected gift. He already paid the price for us. God cares about you so much that He cultivated a way for us to spend eternal life with Him. Can we take a minute or two to jump up and down and celebrate that today?

This key can be shared and given to those that we encounter in our everyday. Are you up for a challenge?

Friend, you hold the key that comes with the Good News. You’re positioned exactly where you’re supposed to be to “duplicate” and share this key.

Here’s a verse that sheds some light on what God calls us to in our everyday: “But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you–from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 MSG 

Your assignment is important. It is literally life-changing. Guess what? You don’t have to do this work alone.

God invites us to partner with Him in our everyday: “Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” Ephesians 2:7-10 MSG

Lean into where you are today. Focus on sharing your “key” with one person. Seek Jesus and ask Him to give you opportunities in your day to shine your light. Be present and alert because He is with you in this important role you get to partner with Him on daily. Smile and celebrate.

You have the key to the Kingdom that is everlasting with the One who delights in you, friend! 

Hope Reagan Harris is a wife, dog mom, encourager, iced vanilla latte drinker, first-time author, and most importantly a Jesus seeker. If you were having a coffee chat with her today, she would want you to leave believing that you are seen, known, and loved more than you could ever imagine by Jesus. Become sister friends with her today @hopereaganharris on Instagram!

What if Our Happy Place Isn’t a Location?

What if Our Happy Place Isn’t a Location?

It was a hot summer day in Northwest Arkansas. The back-to-back Zoom meetings in the middle of a pandemic were wearing on me. My overwhelming thoughts were getting loud so I decided to take a walk around the block. 

I’ll be really honest with you: I just wanted to quit everything. At the ripe age of twenty-six, I found myself wishing for retirement more days than not. Have you ever caught yourself in this place? 

“There has to be more to life than this,” I thought to myself. If you’ve had the same thoughts, there are two things you need to know before we dig in: 

  1. You’re in good company and not alone. 
  1. Your thoughts are spot on: There is more to life than this place we often catch ourselves in. 

Up until this point in time, my happy place had only been a physical location. If you would have asked me what my happy place was, I more than likely would have said any beach along Florida’s scenic Highway 30A or Jackson Hole, Wyoming or hanging with my husband in a cozy coffee shop, even though moments in these places are few and far between. 

Why was I wishing and dreaming of escaping from the very place God had called me to? On my walk that day, I picked a random Christine Caine podcast to listen to. Guess what she talked about on the episode? Retirement and how we are called to do kingdom work every day of our lives! 

You know those moments when it feels like God is speaking through someone else directly to you? This was one of those. As I took one step in front of the other on my walk, my mind led me to a question that has challenged me to pivot my perspective ever since: What if our happy place is our everyday journey with God? 

Trust me, there are days when I look at my own life and I remember picturing it to be so different. I was a public relations major. Have I ever had a PR job? No. I love running and being outside. Do I sit behind a computer screen every weekday for work? Yes. The list could go on and on. 

Life often looks very different from how we pictured it, but where God has positioned us is exactly where we need to be. This is where the freeing yet challenging choice we have to make comes in: Would we rather spend our days wishing we were somewhere else or spend our days soaking up the very place where our feet are planted? 

Just a few weeks ago, our LO sister and friend, Olivia Steingraber, said something on the phone that stuck with me. She told me how her pastor refers to our time on Earth as “going camping.” Think about that for a minute: When you go camping, you typically bring a light load with you and have a posture that is expectant for some type of crazy adventure. 

Friends, we’re on an everyday journey to do kingdom work until we are called to our forever home. It’s not an arrival moment we are aiming for but a voyage with Him. Our God is not only for us but is with us. 

Are you ready to pivot your happy place from a precise location to anywhere He takes you in this life? Ephesians 2:7-10 in the Message Version says it best, “Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” 

There’s no better time than now. Welcome to your everyday happy place! 

Tips & Tricks for Creating Your Everyday Happy Place: 

  1. Accept your ticket from God to let Him be a part of your daily journey. 
  1. Lighten your load. Give your burdens to God and allow yourself to receive grace. It’s the ultimate gift that has no strings attached and requires no transactions. 
  1. Get in the Word and really get to know God. Lean not on your own understanding and focus on seeking Him every day. 
  1. Spend time in prayer and confiding in God. He truly listens and will find the most creative ways to speak back to you. Instant gratification has nothing on the satisfaction you experience when you start seeing God reveal Himself to you. Come to Him with the good, bad, and everything in between. 
  1. Make moves and know that God is with you wherever you go. Love people on your journey and enjoy the abundant life He wants you to have now. 


Do you need a new perspective on life? Are you looking for cozy, inspiring, guided journal pages that will both meet you where you are and encourage you to keep going? Look no further than the new journal from DaySpring, This Is My Happy Place: A Positivity Journal to Finding God’s Light, by Hope Reagan Harris! In it, you’ll find encouraging messages, fun, interactive activities, and compelling, thought-provoking questions that will lead you to a deeper understanding of yourself and God’s purpose in your life. You’ll be challenged to choose a positive perspective in which, with God’s help, all things are possible. Write your heart out, explore your God-given potential, and find your happy place in the pages of this truly unique positivity journal. 

Get your copy of This is My Happy Placehere today, and for a chance to win a copy, head to LO sister. We’ll be choosing TEN winners! 


God is Working in the Waiting

God is Working in the Waiting

We may not know the duration of our waiting, but we do know that God is at work.

I’ll never forget my senior year of high school. I gained a whole new perspective on waiting.

Let me preface this story with the fact that even on a good day, I don’t think any of my friends would use the word patient to describe me. Waiting is something I’ve always struggled with.

In sixth grade, my grandparents told me about this college nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains right next to the Pacific Ocean called Pepperdine University. I decided at that moment that it was my dream college.

I applied to seven colleges my senior year: three in Arkansas (where I was born and raised), one in Tennessee, one in Texas, one in Oklahoma, and Pepperdine.

My logic for making a college decision was pretty standard. I would simply go where I got the most scholarship money.

As scholarships started rolling in and I started seeing the cost of tuition, it hit me that Pepperdine wasn’t a super realistic option for me. The only logical choice was Arkansas Tech University, so naturally that is where I decided I would go.

I still remember going to Arkansas Tech with my mom that summer to get my student badge, pick my classes, check out my dorm, declare a pre-med major (this is comical in itself – I ended up majoring in Public Relations), and get familiar with the campus.

Pepperdine was still at the back of my mind, but I counted it as something that wasn’t going to happen. I tried my best to cover up my disappointment and move on.

My mom still had faith.

Just to set the stage, it was now eight days before Pepperdine would start their New Student Orientation. I was having just another ordinary summer day, that included babysitting two little girls, when my iPhone 5S started ringing.

My mom was calling.

I picked up the phone and she immediately said with excitement, “You’ll never believe this.”

She proceeded to tell me that she had called Pepperdine’s admission office to withdrawal my application since it wasn’t going to be affordable for our family.

The admission’s counselor responded with crazy news.

She said to my mom, “What if we told you Hope received an additional scholarship that would bridge the gap to cover one hundred percent of her tuition?”

I couldn’t believe it.

While I felt frustrated, disappointed, forgotten, and anxious, God was working in ways I couldn’t see, feel, or understand. God opened a door that only He could open in His perfect timing.

The same is true for you while you are waiting. Our waiting doesn’t have to make since because we know He is working.

As I look back on this crazy story, I’m reminded that:

  • Even when you feel stuck and like it is too late in the game for anything to happen, God is working. God working in our everyday lives is not conditional on whether we feel Him or see Him. We must confidently remember that He is always with us.
  • It is worth celebrating that His ways don’t follow a step one, two, and three approach. His ways are higher and mightier than anything we could dream or possibly imagine. We would shortchange ourselves if we planned our own lives.
  • God uses the unexpected and the unthinkable to change it all. It is in the waiting that He prepares us for what He prepared for us!

How to Travel Through Your Season of Waiting

We can both agree that waiting has purpose and it is preparing us, but how do we take action and cling to God in this season?

I stumbled upon Psalm 13 in the Bible where David, a shepherd boy and the future king of Israel, is writing from a place of being totally drained and asks the inevitable – how long?

The entire Psalm is short, but something I think we can both relate to:

“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” (Psalm 13: 1-6 ESV)

In this moment, David was alone and had nothing. His enemies wanted to kill him and their ETA was getting closer and closer. He decided to cry out to God in desperation.

This Psalm reveals to us that despite David feeling distant from God and forgotten, he was still living on the hope and promise that God gave him earlier. In 2 Samuel 7, God told him that he was the anointed King of Israel.

In his waiting, David takes a three-step approach that we can apply to our lives when we find ourselves in a similar place:

  • Step 1: Take a moment to cry out to God and let Him know how you are feeling.
  • Step 2: Ask God the burning questions that are weighing on your mind.
  • Step 3: Trust that God is for you and that He is still good regardless of your season.

Just as David had hope in the promise of becoming a king someday, we can have hope in the promise that God wants to spend eternity with us.

Our current circumstances and season of waiting doesn’t have to intimidate or defeat us.

David had enemies ready to kill him if they found him and he still trusted what God had in store for him. He was a shepherd boy and perceived as an underdog and God still used him to rein over all of Israel to bring His kingdom glory.

If He can transform David into a King, what can He do through your life?

Friend, let’s add that pep back in your step while you walk through your waiting. Waiting has nothing on the steadfast promises He has given each of us.

You were made for this moment and God is going to use you in ways to glorify His kingdom that you wouldn’t believe even if you were told. 

“But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7 ESV)

Hope Reagan Harris is a wife, dog mom, encourager, iced vanilla latte drinker, and most importantly a Jesus seeker. If you were having a coffee chat with her today, she would want you to leave believing that you are seen, known, and loved more than you could ever imagine by Jesus. Hope is counting down the days until her first book is published with DaySpring on March 1, 2022.

Become virtual friends with Hope today on Instagram @hopereaganharris!

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