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.