You ever have a time in your life when you don’t feel like YOU?
I had surgery a few months ago because I was tired of being in pain, not sleeping and being frustrated. I chose surgery because it was a permanent solution and I had tried all of the temporary solutions. They tell you the recovery period and you understand it on some level but I’m not sure They can make could you understand the true healing process.
I’m tired of not feeling like myself, it’s like my body has become a traitor. The aging process takes a toll on the mind and the body; I never imagined a life full of pain. Between menopause, allergies, migraines and a torn rotator cuff I’ve gotten lost.
I understand how people become addicted to pain killers and how they become depressed. This is not the way I planned to spend my spring and summer but it’s the cards I’ve been dealt. Thank God for people who let you rant and rave and vent because without it, I’d be lost.
When I find myself at my lowest, my most vulnerable, I hear a little voice telling me that this is just a test, reminding me that I am not alone, reminding me that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Then the voice gets louder and louder and and says You can do all things through Christ, yes even this. Then I am reminded in 2nd Corinthians that I can take pleasure in my infirmities because when I am weak, he is strong. Then that voice gets louder and louder and reminds me that in Isaiah 40:29 God gives power to the faint and provides them strength.
Then my heart stills, the voices in my head quiets and my soul is at peace.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
Romans 15:13 KJV
It’s not How you pray , it’s WhenUPray!
I looked across the room and there was a woman
looking back at me, she beckoned me to her with a smile and a nod. As I approached the woman I made a few assumptions about her based on my limited life experiences. I assumed she was fairly well off because she was dressed well, had a nice bag and shoes (my favorites). I assumed she had no problems or concerns because she had a smile on her face with smile lines that indicated she smiled a lot. I had no idea what she could want with me but something inside would not allow me to turn away. I took one step then two, then a third and I stopped. My feelings of apprehension increased because there was something in the back of my mind telling me to run the other way. I stopped and stared at this woman because there was something oddly familiar about her and it made me uncomfortable, I was feeling dirty, abused and unloved. I had feelings of discontent and I was scared. How odd that I would feel this way when all she had done was beckoned me forward. My spirit leaped and my heart pushed me to keep walking, I took one more step and one more and there I was face to face with this woman, she looked at me with that smile and all my insecurities tried to turn me away, I felt as if she could see my damaged but patched up heart, my bruised but healing soul, my mind and all it’s confusion. I thought, she can see me! She never said a word just reached out an hugged me and invited me into her life. It was then I that I realized I was looking at me, my adult self, the hurt and damaged little girl who had grown up, who had forgiven my tormentors and myself, the me who had turned her life over to the God of a second chance, the me who had been saved by grace, loved by God and given peace by the Holy Spirit! She loves me, she loves her youth, and accepts her into her womanhood with no regret, no hurt, no pain and I love her back, with my arms open wide, my heart squeezing me in my chest and my love shining for the world to see. I have learned to love Me!
As we prepared to bury our father last week my siblings and I decided to bury him in the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery which is reserved for veterans of the Navy, Army, National Gaurd and the Coast Gaurd. This was a new experience for me as I had never been to a military burial and had no idea what to expect.
I sat there as the military honored his service in the playing of Taps, I was truly moved by the rendition and I sat there and felt a variety of emotions ranging from extreme pride to intense sadness. I was proud that my father fought for this country so that his family and every family in America could experience freedoms that are foreign to many other countries, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and so on and on. I was saddened because all of the fighting he and other veterans have done appear to be in vain. I look across the news and incidents in the United States and I see the freedom of black and brown people being violated without repercussions almost daily. I see the Leader of the country and his political party rallying around divisive legislation and practices and it saddens me. I keep thinking, “ Is this what my father fought for and was willing to die for?” I think not. I would like all of us to think about taking a knee, not because we don’t honor the flag and the sacrifice of our veterans but because we do! They fought for the very rights that are being violated every day. My father understood that taking a knee against racial profiling, systematic abuse of black and brown individuals and illegal sentencing were not what he fought for.
But I have hope that one dayour nation will relizethat it is not the color of our skin that separates us and that we are more alike than different and that we can live as one.
The role of mother is so important that God made sure his son had one. I believe that the thought of Mother’s Day creates strong and varied emotions in everyone. The expectations for a mother are so vast that no one could meet them all. A mother is expected to take care of the home, her spouse ( Significant Other) the children and any pets brought into the fold. She cooks, cleans, does laundry, car pools kids from one event to the other, cares for the pets and many times the automobile as well. Some are required to maintain the lawn and snow and any gardens present. Pay the bills, buy the groceries and make everybody happy, al before and while she holds down a full or part time job. Mom is required to be your counselor, teacher, preacher and motivator. Ahh, I forgot she also has dreams and ambitions of her own.
In the course of trying to be everything for everybody she often times neglects who she is , what she wants and what she needs. Stop and look at your mom, all the things she did for you, and remember, every person is different, has different needs and requires something different to be happy and we expect mom to know those things.
Honor the women in your life today, the journey is never as easy as they make it seem!
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
Ephesians 6:1-3 KJV
To all my friends and family who are without their mothers, I feel you. This time of year makes many of us reflect on our mothers, the missed events and missed happy moments. I am normally very sad when I realize that my mom never got to meet Devion, Nyla or Zoey, she would have loved them. I think about the missed moments when she was alive and I was busy or mad or distracted. I say this to say, enjoy your mother while you have her, don’t sweat the small things, don’t try to change them because they don’t fit your vision of what your mother Should Be! Enjoy your Mother, find a way to forgive her for whatever happened in the past. You already survived your childhood and it didn’t kill you but made you stronger. We blame our Mothers for so many of our issues and really you did not come with instructions, there is no video on YouTube or anything on Pinterest. We all could tell many stories about where our mother and/or father did not meet our expectations but let’s use that knowledge to be better parents and not to hold a grudge. Ok I’m done…
Listen to your father. Without him, you would never have been born. Respect your mother, even when she is old. Truth, wisdom, learning, and understanding are worth paying money for. They are worth far too much to ever sell. The father of a good person is very happy. A wise child brings him joy. Make both of your parents happy. Give your mother that same joy. (Proverbs 23:22-25 ERV)
You ever went to God and pointed at something or someone for him to fix it/them? You just know that your explanation will allow God to see how much they need him, how much work they need. As you are explaining to God he does something so amazing, he stops everything to hear you. He immediately looks at the finger you have pointing at that thing and then he concentrates on the other 3 fingers and the thumb that are pointing your way.
“The Lord is near to those who are discouraged; he saves those who have lost all hope.”
Psalm 34:18 GNT
The thing I love about God is he never leaves you the same way he found you. He gets down in your heart and starts to heal those things that caused you to react negatively. He brushes up against your pain and creates a new spirit in you so things don’t aggravate you anymore. He fixes you and trusts that you will know he will fix the person you are pointing to IN HIS TIME! So in the meantime trust the process!
“Create a pure heart in me, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me.”
Psalm 51:10 GNT
How do you feel when you see me?
You know who you are,
You know what you’ve done.
When you see me are you reminded?
Do I remind you of a love you lost?
A friend you betrayed or a hurt you caused?
Do I remind you of Love denied, of guilty pleasure?
Do I ever cross your mind?
I see you whenever I see you. I see the hurt, the pain and the destruction. I see you
when I see you and I wonder if your heart is broken and I want to provide a way for it to heal.
I wonder if your Spirit is low and I want to tell you, it’s ok, I survived you and I want you to survive too.
I want to tell you I forgive you for your part in my pain, and to let you know I’ve grown because of it.
I pray that God will heal that place in you that caused you to hurt me. I pray that you will have strength to resist the enemy the next time temptation comes knocking on your door.
I pray that all of us are better for the lesson you helped us to learn. I place no blame at your door or anger at your presence for I know one thing is true: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 KJV