Tag Archives: prayer

Expanding the Tree

Well. I was woke up early today. Thought it was my alarm and ignored it like I’m programmed to do. Lol. My second grandson, Noah, was born 4 1/2 weeks early. His lungs are under developed but his weight is good: 5 lb 2 oz. Please pray for him to recover quickly.

Little bug, Noah

Little bug, Noah

All this has brought a flood of emotions and tears. It amazes me how we can love something so much before even meeting them. Little Noah looks like his daddy. The majority of our stuff is still packed and stacked in boxes in the garage. Wish I could get to the album that has Noah’s Daddy’s baby pictures in it. I did have a couple on my phone. Mind you, these are pics of pics so the quality sucks, but, the emotions are still there.

My bundles  This is all three of my bundles, back in 1993 when my youngest was born. So tiny. 5 lb 9 oz. My kids kept shrinking: 8lb, 1 oz; 6lb 13oz; 5lb 9oz. Lol. I look at this photo and I’m transported back to the hospital on that day. Couldn’t see her the first couple days because I was sick…that was so hard. Amazing how I can transport myself back to that hospital on all 3 occassions. I can recite the hours leading up to their birth, the hours following, but I can’t remember the exact pain. I know it hurt, but I can’t fathom it like I can the emotion I felt holding each one. God does that on purpose. We recall the best, the best. The scars fade, even if we know they are there.

Any who. I keep getting distracted. The point of this blog is just to share the unconditional love of parenthood. The innocence of infancy. The wonderous emotions that come along with being a parent…a grandparent. I look back and I can see all the things I did wrong, but likewise, I can see what I did right. Without my faith, I would’ve gotten no where. I praise GOD for watching over me…and I’m proud of myself for having faith and pulling through the rough times.

I wish my Mom could see this…me being a grandma, my children becoming parents. Her birthday was 4/4, she passed 4/20. Noah wasn’t due until 5/22. I know my Mom would be honored that Noah was born in her birth month. Out of 30+ siblings, neices and nephews, only my brother shares the month with her. And she would just love his name. I know she’s around me, but I’ll always miss her. I guess, what I want to close with is this: today is a day you’ll never get back. Only in memories. So make the most of it. If you regret today, be better for it. And if it filled with a great memory, cherish it. No day is guaranteed. Time has this way of continuing…

 

God, please watch over little Noah and his parents. Bless him and guide the doctor’s so they can ensure his healthy recovery. Tell my Mom ‘hi’ for me. And tell her I’m sorry for all I put her through when I was young and stupid. And thank you, Lord. Thank you. For everything. ~Amen

 

 

 

Standing in the Rain

So, usually I have some type of epiphany that leads to a post, but not today. Today I just want to write. A lot has been going on lately and at times I just feel plain overwhelmed with it all, but, then there’s that still small voice that reminds me to stay calm, stay on track, be focused and keep trudging forward. Eventually there comes a moment where I can pause and look back…I made it!

It’s hard to watch our kids grow up; they know everything…ironically, just like we did at their age. Gone forever are the days of being a youthful sponge and “I can do it” transforms into “I’m gonna do what I want.” Sometimes it’s like watching a wreck as it unfolds. There’s nothing we can do but just wait it out and pray they are wearing their seatbelt.

In this phase of life we find a new appreciation for the endurance our parents had with us. But, we had to learn in our own way, on our own time. Our parents kept faith in us, or at least tried, and they surrounded us with prayer – in kind, we keep the faith, no matter how hard it gets. We remain at their side in some fashion, no matter how distant…even if they don’t realize we are still there.

This is the cycle of life. Up. Down. Pause. Reflect. Repeat….just maybe not always in that order. (lol!) Life is like a rose garden: full of beauty, demanding of work and dotted with thorns.  We’ve all heard the phrase ‘life’s downs are temporary’, but I’m here to tell you, the ups are temporary, too. That’s why we are supposed to enjoy them to the fullest. We can’t have all sunny days – how would the grass grow? How would the trees provide shade? What would we have to drink? The rain is necessary. The sun cannot always shine, yet, it can’t always rain either. Life is a series of balancing acts. A series of ups and downs, decisions and reflections, joys and sorrows. Just as the rain rejuvenates the Earth, so do our troubled times. They help us grow as humans. They challenge our perceptions and keep our brains in motion. And we will continue to grow no matter our age, no matter our status in life. Maybe that’s why in times like these, I miss my Mom…

Yeah. I actually find that funny. My Mom was a very compassionate person, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes when I would call her she’d simply tout, “Well, what do you want me to do about it?”  Loving? No…and yes. That’s what I needed to hear sometimes. Often we put ourselves in positions that no one other than ourselves can dig us out of. And I’m a firm beliver that when we do the work, we appreicate it a hell of a lot more. I may not have gotten showered with hugs and kisses or ‘I love you’s’. I may not have always received the best advice, but it made a huge difference knowing she was simply, ‘there’ for me. A sounding board if you will, yet…sometimes she got me out of a bind when she shouldn’t have. She listened too long and helped me too much (yes. That IS possible.) I accept my fault in that..it only hurt us both: prolonging the lesson for me, and the pain she must have felt as she helplessly watched the wreck unfold. Yet, I’m better for it now. I finally did ‘get’ it. And hopefully, someday we each ‘get it’ on our own accord just like I did.

This reflection reminds me that I just need to do the same: be there even when what I have to say or do is tough.  Listen but don’t enable. Encourage but don’t demotivate. Love but don’t smoother. My Mom did the best she could with what she knew and that’s all I’m trying to do. Ican  humbly admit that I am not perfect – nor do I expect to ever be – but I am the best ‘me’ I know how to be. Our goal in life should not be the pursuit of perfection, rather, to do the very best we are each capable of. I can’t fix it for them; I can’t always pick them up. All I can offer is my love, my advice, my shoulder or my ear…whichever is more appropriate at the time. My Mom taught me it’s not always best to throw out a life raft or spread out our wings for shelter. Life has a cycle that we each must experience on our own. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It doesn’t mean I’m not here. And it definitely doesn’t mean I love you any different…we just each need a little time, standing in the rain.

Embracing the Journey: Navigating Life’s Detours

And so, here I am….again. Now, after reading the next few lines you might be wondering why the heck I choose this photo….just keep reading. (If you like my photography, please ‘like’ my Facebook page.) I’ll cut to the chase. My daughter had a miscarriage. We went for an ultrasound last Thursday and they didn’t see anything. I knew then something was wrong. The following 5 days were hell: waiting, wondering, worrying, praying, doctor appointments, blood work, and more doctor appointments and more blood work. So…here I am to public deal with my thoughts.

All along I knew God’s hand was in it. Never doubted that for a second. She didn’t do anything wrong – matter of fact, just as my daughter always excels, she did everything right: drinking lots of water, eating right and exercising. It just wasn’t meant to be. My main concern is her. Her mental health in dealing with it. I also had a miscarriage when I was just short of her age. I didn’t even know I was pregnant and my relationship was going down hill fast, so I was actually relieved, but she had really accepted this and embraced it. We all did…

I still see some disappointment in her eyes and she is quicker to get angry – but I understand and I let her know I’m here if she wants to talk. I asked if she was going to try again and she said ‘no’ – she wants to be out of school and have her own place – she wants to do it right. (Funny, she didn’t say married. Thanks society.) Regardless, I am proud.

In order for me to be the supportive mom, it’s best I filter through my emotions right now. It’s been hard and I think she’s handling it better than me. Why?? At first I was a bit mad…at everyone. I had bought so much already and really had embraced the idea of being an awesome Grandma; determined to be the most Mom to my daughter, too. Now. It was gone. Just like that. Why? There is no answer. God is God. Suddenly, I felt I had nothing to look forward to. But, what had I looked forward to before this?? I had to get out of this funk so I prayed the most simpliest, shortest prayer I know, “Help me, Lord.”

As days go by, I am reminded of things. Just days before finding out about the pregnancy, I had completed separated myself from my ex – deleted, blocked, the whole 9 yards. The headache, the turmoil, the mistrust, the manipulation and games; I just couldn’t do it anymore – I was fooling myself to think he had what it takes to build a strong relationship…and maybe I was fooling myself that I was ready for it, too. I had to admit that what I thought we had was only a fantasy and fantasies are dreams that never come true. We were far from equally yolked. Even God had taken a back seat. We had common interests and goals but we were worlds apart on so many other important levels. Squares don’t fit into circles and if you try, you better have some Excedrin on hand cause all your gonna get is aggravated.

It was amazing…after finding out I was going to be a Grandma, dating quickly lost all it’s luster. I still missed him, but I knew I didn’t need him…or the headaches. The ‘whoever’ that was going to be in my life, my grandbaby’s life, would have to be extremely special and since my rose-colored glasses were finally coming into focus, I knew meeting anyone possessing those qualities wasn’t going to happen any time soon – and I was more than okay with that. I eventually decided to play the field, meet some new people while keeping my emotions in check and analyzing ‘me’ in the process. All of our habits have a root – and there has to be a root which causes my focus to blur, landing me in bad relationships. So, why do I do what I do? Some of the books I’ve been reading are excellent – “In the Meantime” by Iyanla Vanzant and “Yesterday I Cried” also by Iyanla (just found this at a book sale yesterday and already engulfed in it’s contents.) I’ll write a blog just about each book soon because they are so enlightening and inspiring – I’m actually reading the first book a second time – it was that good.

Long story short, after losing my grandbaby, I have no desire to even date – still up to meeting people (sometimes) but my grandeous idea that Mr. Right is out there has all but faded. I realize life is not about that anymore. Life is about relationships in general – my daughter, my friends, my family. No one can make me feel better but me – the light I’m looking for, the reason to live that I am looking for, is right here – in me. I love me! I’m a great person with great goals and great achievements. I have wonderful talents and some I’ve barely tapped in to. I WANT TO BE ME. That’s an awesome feeling.

I have so much going for me and I’m not letting another moment slip by or get put off because of some guy. I’m pulling my head up out of the sand and refusing to take one more blessing for granted. In the last 3 days I’ve been invited to set up a photo booth at a major event (which could prove to be very profitable), booked a FREE 4 day vacation to Nevada with my best friend and purchased a new refrigerator and stove. I even joined Sigma Alpha Pi; after attending orientation, I feel a strong urge to run for a leadership position – maybe fund raising.

So, maybe now my photograph at the beginning of this post makes sense. It’s not where we end up, it’s how we navigate the now – the roadblocks, the obstacles, the challenges, the upsets. It’s not that we win every time, but it’s how we get back up and keep going. Cry if you need to cry, be mad if you need to be mad. They are your feelings and you’ve got to let them out – just don’t let them stop you from moving on. Life’s journey is scattered with beauty.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”~ Revelation 21:4

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk, and not be faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31

“When times are good, be happy. When times are bad, consider; God has made the one as well as the other.” ~ Ecc 7:14

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” ~ Colossians 3:1

“If you like yourself you’ll never run out of good friends.” ~ Joyce Meyer

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Hiding Our Faith: Do Not Throw Away Your Confidence, Share It

For several months I’ve been struggling with how others view my faith. I didn’t fully realize it until recently, but I think my fear lies in the belief ~ the knowledge ~ that it scares some people away. They don’t understand it and so they fear it. I’ll meet someone I’d like to get close to and, if I don’t see that they have a faith system, I unknowingly hide mine, revealing only the slightest glimpses if it feels ‘safe’. But why?? I’m not ashamed of it…am I? Well, I guess in all honesty, I am afraid of being rejected because of it. Afraid of losing something because they don’t see, agree or respect my passion for it. What?? That’s stupid. That makes me no different than the many characters in the bible who denyed their faith (read about Judas and Peter in Matthew 26). I think standing up for our faith is something He calls us to do. It’s what He meant about loving our neighbors and being equally yolked to someone…but that’s another blog.

For those who have an understanding of their faith, or an acceptance of faith in general, it doesn’t bother them; more often they are inspired by it. It’s those that don’t have a similar grasp on their spiritual side that bother me. It’s like being the new kid at school, feeling all the examining and assessing eyes as you clumsily walk into the new, unfamiliar surroundings. You just want to be liked: accepted. Do they think I’m strange? Do they think I’m a bible thumper? I’d like to say I’m not but what’s the definition? Cuz if posting bible verses is considered bible thumping, then yeah, I guess I am. I’m not versed enough to quote like some people, but yes, i do feel that many of our answers are contained within the pages of the bible and I will refer to the ones I know but I’m not in people’s faces with it, I’m in my own face, reminding myself what life is all about: not just you, not just me, but progress as a people bound by love.

I don’t have all the answers and I’m not perfect. Let me say that again: I’m not perfect. I still cuss, I still make mistakes and bad decisions but I know what my faith has done for me and I’m not willing to sacrifice that for anyone, and I’m more than willing to share. I’ve come to realize that I either need someone who is willing to lead me or walk with me; I can’t have someone dragging me down no matter how bad I want that relationship to work. No one should. It’s just not meant to be. I know what I feel and what I have experienced. I will not turn my back on it even if I can’t explain it. After all, faith is believing in what we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1) I don’t want someone pushing me to justify my beliefs, and equally, I do not want to push anyone to believe in mine. There are sooooo many interpretations of the bible. I just hope that others give God a chance…that’s all. A simple answer to the knock at the door is all that is required.

So, feeling unaccepted is normal but we cannot succomb to that fear of rejection. We must stand firm in who we are and who we strive to be. It is simply our duty to stand up and proclaim the good things He has done. Stand strong in our resolve. And when I do, I don’t expect you to sit down and consume it all – watch me, examine my life and see how my faith impacts me. I’ve been there and I’ve done that. I have the scars. I have been and still am broken at times. I fall but I get back up. It’s a process. I pray that God uses me to show others how He wants to work in our lives. I give Him everything, no matter how scary that is because I trust Him. Positivity is a choice. I chose to open the door and I let Him in. If you are curious about even an ounce of what I’ve got, maybe you’ll consider answering, too. He has done and is doing a work in me like no one ever has, or ever will. I’m seeing love as it should be: pure, true, unconditional, relentless. Sometimes it hurts like hell, but just like childbirth, I would do it all again.

Face it. Rejection hurts, so what do we think God feels when we reject Him? Are we just going to throw up our hands or go hide in the corner? Well, I need God in my corner. With Him anything is possible. He is not human flesh like you and I. He doesn’t battle with sin like you and I. He is the Creator, the Healer, the Redeemer, the Almighty, Alpha/Omega, the Everything. Now that God has revealed this to me, it’s time to take action. No greater love have I ever known than the love and grace I continue to receive from Jesus…how can I deny Him? When I cry, I go into His arms. I need not say a word because He knows me. Yet He longs for a relationship with me so I will continue on my walk with Him no matter how scary it gets. There is no prize for the fighter who doesn’t fight. God does not want me to be ashamed. I will not throw away my confidence or give away my strength because of fear. He wants me to stand strong and share all I’ve learned. And it’s not so much a matter of sharing the word, but sharing through how I live and how I chose to be. Positive. Inspiring. Motivated. I didn’t become like this. This is who I have always been but I’ve let people bring me down. I know what I want and I’m not settling for less. You call it chance, you call it luck…I call it blessed, I call him Lord.

“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” ~ Hebrews 10:32-35

“But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 10:33

“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” ~ Jeremiah 17:10

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” ~ 1 John 4:1

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” ~ Romans 3:23

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” ~ Hebrews 10:26-27

Setting it Free

I originally wrote this on 12/7/10 and thought to myself…what am I waiting for? More later…

God is revealing something to me again…and as usual it takes me a few days to make sense of it.

I’m driving to my friend’s house last week and pass up a mall that has seen better days. For those of you familiar with the area – Washington Square mall. There are still some profitable businesses residing there, but it is far from the spectacular shopping experience that it once was. I remember how filled it use to be with people, businesses, stores and parking lots packed with vehicles. The lights and sounds of the merry-go-round filled the corridors as people scurried from store to store collecting bags of new goodies. Kids begged their parents for a coin to throw into the wishing well. Now, there are still some people but the crowds are smaller, parking is a breeze and the halls are quieter…some store fronts are dark and empty.

Driving home I pass by an abandoned lot where a busy department store, grocery store and a couple other stores use to thrive…but it’s been dead for some time. (First and Diamond Avenue – use to have Hills, Venture, Great Scot, Fashion Bug, House of Chong, BlockBuster video, cell store, etc.) The windows and entrances are boarded up, the lots are vacant and weeds have overtaken the cracks in the pavement. There was talk some time ago about different businesses we were looking to buy/rent the property, but I assume those deals fell through for whatever reason. Some say the owners of the property wanted too much money. Maybe it was greed…who knows…all I know it, it is a shell of what it use to be. While Washington Square at least still has a pulse, this shopping center has truly flat lined. I can imagine the view and feel from the inside: Hollow. Dark. Cold. Empty. Tomb-like.

If you drive on either side of town you can see the growth in our area. What once was fields and woods is now new and improved shopping centers, parking lots, apartment complexs, shops, restaurants, fast food joints and grocery stores. Business is booming and the atmosphere is filled with excitement from the newness. Even the trees and shrubery are young and vibrant.

Then it hits me. We experience these types of changes in our lives, too. Just like the tree that loses it’s leaves in winter, we go into hibernation. Some areas are meant to bounce back, but others are meant to be raized. This cycle of birth, death and sometimes rebirth are signs of a new season, a sign of growth: the death of one way and the birth of another. Sometimes we may witness growth in one area of our lives, while another area dwindles and fades away. Some times we get back to that area but other times, that area has served its purpose…we forget (or not) and it just dies away to a memory. Some cling to it far too long. Greed places a higher value on it than what it really deserves and we refuse to let it go. It dies anyway, but like a sinking ship, if we don’t let go, we die right along with it. No one knows how long those seasons are suppose to last, or even what to do with them after they have fulfilled their purpose, but we just know they are there. And that’s why we need to turn to God and depend on Him for guidance.

There’s a certain mourning that a person goes through when they realize a part of a chapter of their life is done. I’m sure the recesses of our brains where memories are houses have their own share of cobwebs. It’s hard to say goodbye to an old friend, especially when we’ve grown to know them so well. Even if it is a horrible part we are struggling to leave behind, it is still painful. We become use to our ways: our failings, our disappointment, our flighty dreams. Some call it hope…but at some point we realize that what we were holding onto was selfish. There is no purpose to living aside from the one that God has given us: to love each other and stay focused on Him. (NOTE: love does not equal sex, nor does it mean I have to invite you into my life, only respect you for the time you are in it.) And until we let go, we cannot work on ourselves and God surely cannot work on us. He wants our attention – our FULL attention. I told a friend that sometimes the things we hold onto the tightest are the things God wants us to let go of the most. I fully believe that. Some of us will hold on until our fingers bleed, believing, hoping, and having faith…but sometimes that is all done in vain because it is for our glory and not His. He wants to be first. No exceptions. And He doesn’t have to force Himself on us, He has all the time in the world. No wonder He cries for us as we aimlessly wander around the mountain, over and over again, wondering why the same actions produce the same results.

Don’t get me wrong. I still hope. And I most certainly still have faith. And I am not pessimistic, quite the opposite. The glass is neither half full nor empty, sometimes it is just time for a new one. I have learned so much in my life – no wonder I want to write a book. If it’s one thing I’m really beginning to see is that, I am willing to say goodbye to my past. To let go. If that ‘building’ in me is meant to be rebuilt or reoccupied, that’s up to God. All my deals fall through. I DO NOT GIVE UP – BUT I DO GIVE IN; I GIVE IT TO GOD. They say if you love something set it free but what they don’t tell you is that you truly have to let it go for it to be free in your heart. Then, whatever happens can be of God. How can God fill you if your already filled with something else?

To…Someone

Someone needs to hear this. Someone needs to see that they aren’t much different than me. Someone can relate to my desperation and needs to see the true meaning of faith…so…here goes.

As you may know from reading previous blogs, I was devastated to find out my special friend wasn’t who I thought he was. I thought we were both following God, trying to get our lives straight so that we could potentially enjoy a healthy life together in the future, if God allowed. Yet, I found out he was seeing someone two months before we even met, and it brought me to my knees. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t work. I wanted answers, I wanted to understand what was going on: surely it couldn’t be as bad as it appeared…but it was. The reality smacked me like a brick to the forehead. How could someone outright lie like that? How could someone toy with love and emotions? On eHarmony he listed that the quality he was looking for most in someone was ‘honesty’. He told me secrets of his past, his introduction to God…he said he loved me, that he never thought he would love again after what his ex-wife did to him. It was lies, all lies. My world, or at least that part of it, crumbled around me. 

Sitting at home for days, I read my bible and listened to praise music. I spoke to my friend and accountability partner from church – matter of fact she and another Christian friend were the only one I spoke to those 5 days besides my special friend and God. The bible says he will give us a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13) but where is it?? Why is it so elusive?? There is no worse place than being stuck in despair, but I knew God was with me. He had to be. That’s what His Word says over and over again.

Here’s where we have to remember the definition of ‘faith’: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1. I sure couldn’t see the way out, and I sure couldn’t feel the love surging through me like I wanted, but I knew He was there because of my faith. There was not going to be a glowing neon sign above the path I needed to take – I had to trust Him. At times I did feel a glimmer of calm, and that helped, but I needed more. So I prayed for it over and over again. I put my trust in God and tried with all my might to let go, but it would creep back in and take my heart and soul over like a hostage attack.

Even in this time I stumbled. I probably texted him when I shouldn’t have. I probably rationalized where I shouldn’t have, but I always prayed, always asked God to help me, give me clarity, light my path. My mind just seemed to keep going and going. I couldn’t shut it up, no matter how hard I tried it crept back in like a cunning thief. No sooner did I feel a bit of relief, I succumbed to the pain, the memories, the reality that maybe he was just a liar and a cheat and I was a fool. What did I do to deserve this? I couldn’t bare it. At one point, I had the notion to just polish off a bottle of sleeping pills. I wanted to escape so bad – anything to numb the pain. (I have a bottle of prescribed sleeping pills that are at least 5 years old. I only use them when my restless leg syndrome prevents me from sleeping which is very rare – I hate pills.) Thankfully, I made it over that hill. I vividly recall kneeling at my bed, crying, wailing, hurting, praying. I imagined God at my side, holding my head while I hurt. His eyes…

Later, that desperation returned in full force – this time it was even more powerful. I wanted to escape again. I’m not stupid enough to commit suicide or try to hurt myself, but what’s the harm in taking one pill so I could sleep it off? But…I knew it would be there when I returned. I’m sure I looked like an idiot, sobbing uncontrollably and aimlessly pacing the house. I justified to God that I needed this little pill in my hand. “I can’t handle it anymore, Lord!” Almost immediately, I recognized that I did have a choice. Oh, I wanted to take that easy way so bad but I just knew it was the wrong way. Going that way would only lead me around that mountain again and I was tired of traveling that same lonely path of pain and sorrow. In reality, I was debating on taking the easy way out – a temporary escape. Boy did I need God, more than ever. I WANTED A TRUE RELEASE NOT TEMPORARY!! I raised that pill to heaven and said “God, I DON’T NEED THIS! I NEED YOU!” I slammed it on the kitchen table, clutched my bible and collapsed onto the couch. It’s a good thing I write my favorite passages on note cards for easy access – I pulled those cards out and just started reciting them out loud. My mind was so scattered I couldn’t focus on the words; I’d have to read and re-read them through sobbing tears. I spoke them out loud and offered them as a prayer to God because I didn’t know what to pray or what to do; I just knew what I couldn’t do. I wanted God to know how serious I was about wanting to heal, about wanting to get off this old beaten path. I wanted to demonstrate my faith, exercise my trust in Him. And that made all the difference in the world.

Did I snap out of it? No. Not immediately, but I did return to a peaceful place. Peace doesn’t mean the removal of doubt or pain, it means the acceptance of it of whatever it is we are going through. In church that Sunday I confidently felt the words “do nothing”. I couldn’t believe it, but try as I might, I listened. That’s when I realized the truth would only come from his girlfriend. Was it right for me to contact her? Some would argue, but I really don’t care…I gave that to God. I needed the truth, not all of it, but enough to move on. At that point I only suspected he was dating us at the same time. Was it hard to let him go? Your damn right.  I can’t just stop loving someone. My heart doesn’t have a shut off valve. We all have faults and I was willing to accept his, but he was bad for me. I can’t accept lies and unfaithfullness. He said he was following God – I had to let go. I had to give him and my situation to God. Even after that day I had to give him to God repeatedly, but today, I am much better off because of it. I see more than just the truth about him, I see the truth in God, in myself. He is there. Faith is real. His love is unconditional and overwhelming and I can do it with Him at my side. PRAISE GOD! I walk with Him in confidence because I know He will shed just enough light for the step I’m on.

Whatever you’re going through, whatever trials you’re facing right now – whatever you do – don’t give up. Don’t take the easy route. It will be hard but don’t succumb to your desire to escape whether that’s through pills or enduring more hurt. You are worth more than that! Face it head on. Have faith. I warn you, the devil won’t like your resistance and he will try harder than ever to pull you back into your bad habits and bad choices, but you must resist. It will be the battle of your life, for your life, but there’s a victory that can be yours if you choose to invite God to be at your side. When you aren’t strong enough, God is. Trust Him. Have faith. It may not feel like strength, it may not be anything you ever expected, but I promise you, you are not alone and this is not the end. The end is not the end. Once you move towards God, you become a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17). The death of who you use to be will not be without pain – you didn’t become this way overnight: these trials and tribulations didn’t just happen. It’s a process. So, give it to God, repeatedly if you have to, keep praying, keep reading, keep worshipping and praising Him through the storm, keep your faith and let the healing and the transformation begin! Surround yourself with a church family. Take the opportunity to let the end of what you’re feeling be the beginning of something great. You are worth it and so am I.

‎”The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so you can endure.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” ~ Proverbs 1:7

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”. ~ Proverbs 9:10

“An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.” ~ Proverbs 20:21

“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” ~ Ecclesiastes 7:8

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

A Day in the Life…

Yesterday was hard. And I mean the hardest so far. Seems some days I am bombarded with epiphanies and realizing things about myself that I can’t even think straight. My brain goes faster than my hand can write. I feel a poem itching to get out but I don’t have time to even allow it to materialize. Then, there are other days, where the sadness creeps and stays like a surprising yet steady summer rain. I just want to cry. And I do.

As I pondered what to write yesterday, I was trying to think of something motivating, inspirational, but then it hit me. I need to write what I’m feeling…what I’m really feeling. It’s that whole being transparent thing. And this blog is supposed to be about my walk, not my desire to help others (although I hope it does.) ‘Transparency’ means being who we really are: faults and all. I admit, I sin – we all do – and I cannot always be strong. I’m just me. I have my own fears and insecurities just like the next guy. Sometimes being transparent means being vulnerable. Vulnerable scares me…that’s how I’ve been hurt before. But if I can’t tell God what I’m really thinking, from the depths of my heart, then how can He help me? And if I can’t be myself with my readers, how can I really help anyone? Why would they care to read what I have to say? And how can anyone, including God, help me? By being transparent, some of you might be sitting there saying, “Yeah, I know what you mean” and we connect…just as the body of God’s people is supposed to do. (Romans 12:4-5) And to be one functioning body, we have to be truthful to each other. (Ephesians 4:25) We help each other in this way. Being honest with myself, you, and God, I speak the cold and ugly truth…and grow from it. And…maybe, hopefully, someone else out there does, too. (Ephesians 4:15-16, you gotta read 1 Corinthians 12:22-25)

So what the heck has me so upset. Well, I could say bills, work, kids, etc, but it starts with my head not being in the right place. Off and on for the past few days I’ve thought about gambling – it just pops in my mind. I discard them easier now but, I think it mainly stems from my desire to escapre the thoughts I’m having about my special friend. I hate to even say that. I feel like that’s the one thing I just can’t fully let go of. I feel so flawed, so weak, so low. If you love something set it free, blah, blah blah. I try to, and for awhile there, I did , then we’ll start texting again and it isn’t long before I find myself wanting to be with him all over again. I wonder if that will ever change. Is this a pipe dream? Is he a distant crutch? It doesn’t consume me but it still hurts. See, I could handle talking occasionally but I don’t think he can. Then again, I don’t think I can either because the thought of just being friends means I might have to one day watch him date someone else – that would be devastating. What hurts the most is, we talk for awhile, then find we have to stop. There is an area we can’t go no matter how bad we both want to. In order to let those feelings subside, we have to quit talking. He told me the other day that we just ‘can’t get too comfortable’ with each other. What the? How in the heck do I do that?? If I had the recipe for a perfect life and if I had that kind of perfect control, don’t you think I’d be cooking it?? It’d be on the daily menu! Heck, I’d be canning it and selling it online (a brick and mortar store would be too much of a hassle with all that business, ya know.) So…I am at an impasse. If I want to quit hurting I have to be proactive and do something about it. I have to remove the temptation. At least for now. I can’t just sit here and cry and blame the world (which is what a lot of people do and it really ticks me off.) Thing is…I know what I have to do. And I don’t want to say it…let alone…do it, which is why I’m sure many others opt to sit around and complain instead. But I can’t. I’m walking with God and I’m being honest with myself. I see my growth and once you see growth, it’s hard to stop. It’s hard to settle when you know there is much more to be gained by persevering. I want to continue my growth and sitting around moping isn’t gonna do me a darn bit of good.

When we didn’t talk for a week or so in the beginning, I was doing much better. I had my focus right. The occasional “thinking of you” message was enough at first. I was just glad he was thinking of me. While I may have been holding onto the hope that we would eventually work it out, I was letting him go. I didn’t have the need to constantly check my phone or wonder what kind of message I could send him in hopes of starting a conversation. I’m starting to get to the point; every time my phone goes off I look at it in anticipation wishing it was him. I thought about him a lot before, but it was…different. When we talk I am happy and content at the time, yet when it gets to the point it has to end, I feel like my heart is being ripped out all over again. It’s like pulling off a scab – it’s gonna bleed again and the healing process willh have to restart from the beginning. But just like a scab, if it keeps getting peeled off, it’s gonna leave a scar. I see that my desire for him is pulling me away from my walk and his desire for me is pulling him away from his. We have to walk with God alone. Not together. I have to talk to God, not him. There. I said it. Now I just want to cry again….how do I let go??

Those who know me, you can see my analytical side working impulsively in my life. As any good programmer knows, you have to think it through, have a plan. I can’t just end it with crying. I have to find a resolution. (This may appear as confidence but sometimes the duality is a curse.) So, I am determined to answer my own question for myself and for anyone else out there who feels they are in a similar situation. I can’t just have a bunch of people moping around crying now, can I?

So, how do I let go? Well, I do a lot of things and sometimes by force. I stop watching TV and I start reading my bible. I may re-read notes that I’ve taken. I pray to God – and by pray, I mean have I full out conversation with Him as if He was sitting right next to me. I tell Him how I’m feeling and ask for what I need help with; sometimes I even ask Him to help me figure out what it is I really need cause I just flat out don’t know. I STOP listening to secular music which ALWAYS gets me down, especially when I hear one of ‘our’ songs. Instead, I listen to powerful Christian music. Something uplifting and empowering that reminds me of who I am and who I am striving to become – like this one, Fireflight: Unbreakable. And if it gets really bad and I can’t talk myself out of the slump, I talk to other spiritual people or my advisor. She’s out of town this week but I recall what she told me before: ‘lay it at the cross, Angie, even if you have to lay it there a thousand times.’ And she’s right. God gives us a way out by allowing us to cast all our cares and anxieties on to Him. (Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7). Laying it at the cross means giving your worries and fears to God. When you realize the scope of God’s reach, when you can begin to realize the amazing depths of His love for us, when you can get a mere glimpse of the amazing power God holds, then you can understand that He can handle it all. And most amazingly, He wants to. We can’t have it all and neither can we do it all. We sure try to, but we can’t and that’s because we aren’t supposed to. God wants us to lean on Him. I will surely fall alone but with God, He will sustain me. He will pick me up. He will forgive me, guide me, if I ask Him. (Think footprints in the sand.) He will not put me through more than I can bear and when I feel I am being tempted beyond my resistance, I can turn to Him – always. (1 Corinthians 10:13, Psalm 55:22) Because I can appreciate His astonishing love for me, I am motivated. Because I can visualize Him throwing a rope down to me in my pit of self pity, I want to get back into the light. I long for it. And what gets me is, God can and does show me the love I’ve longed for all these years: the acceptance, the security, the stability. He is my ROCK.

I am reminded of my favorite verse Romans 5:3-4, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” This is all a test and I just need to hold on. Regardless if my special friend is there in the end or not, I know I will be there. I’m the one who has to make it through this. If he or anyone else is in my future, what good is it if I lag behind, unable to greet him? I cannot waver. I have to put my trust and faith in God and persevere. This too shall pass and I shall grow stronger as a result of it.

Most of life is about attitude. Joyce Meyer said it best: if you want a hot fudge Sundae, you’re gonna end up going out and getting one. If you think you’re fat and ugly – you are. If you think you’re stupid and never do anything right – you don’t. This is what she called ‘wrong thinking’. If I keep telling myself I have to be with him, I’ll end up believing that, too. Instead, I need to tell myself to give it time and in time we will see if we are to be together. I can see that some secular music sets us up to fail with wrong attitudes. Of course I miss him but I don’t need to sulk about it. It is what it is. You know…since she did such an excellent job on this topic I’ll spare you my spill and just add her video below. I really enjoyed it. It helped me to re-train and redirect my thinking from ‘poor me’ to ‘what can I do to make the world a better place today for my kids, my friends, my Lord’.

As the bible instructs, I need to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. (Philippians 4:8) God doesn’t want me dwelling on ‘what if’ or ‘why’…He wants me to think bigger. I need to think about heavenly things not things of this earth (Colossians 3:2). I’ve said it many times and I’m gonna say it again, the mind the devil’s playground – I’ve GOT to shut it down. Just like laying my burdens at the cross, I may have to do it a thousand times. I love Romans and especially this verse in 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” That explains so much of what I need to do when I feel down like this. I need to renew my mind, allow this test to grow me. Submit to His will and leave mine at the door. I know where my will has left me before and I know it’s that child-like behavior in me that just wants to stomp my feet and demand my way, but, I’m not a child anymore and I’m putting those childish ways behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11)

“Faith is moving without knowing”

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” ~ Ephesians 4:15-16

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” ~ Romans 12:4-5

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” ~ Ephesians 4:25

On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.” 1 Corinthians 12:22-25

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” ~ Psalm 55:22

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” ~ 1 Peter 5:7

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” ~ Psalm 55:22

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” ~ Philippians 4:8

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” ~ Colossians 3:2

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11