In my previous blog I shared “Forgiving Quickly” and that forgiveness is a matter of the heart. I know how hard it is to try to overcome when you have been disappointed, let down, and hurt and the revolving question that circulates in your head is, “Why?!” One thing I have learned is that you will no more get the answer to ease the pain than the individual has an answer to suffice their actions. I have been on that side of the fence myself. Just think back to when you were a child and your mom asked you, “Why did you do that?!” You looked up with tear-filled eyes and gave the infamous two-year old answer, “I don’t know.” Oftentimes that unanswered question renders emotions and sometimes you may be left feeling like it is your fault and there the emotional entanglement begins. So, what do you do??
You must find that pivotal point in your life…that LIGHT at the end of the tunnel where you reach wayyyy deep down inside and decide that you have a LIFE to live and let it go! Holding on to emotional pain and hurt is like trying to breathe underwater without oxygen – you will drown! I know it is hard to let go especially when it is someone near and dear to you…whether it be a dear friend, spouse, family member, or your child – you must release and let it go! If I may be a bit transparent, when I was experiencing heart pain and emotional entanglement I had no idea how to just “let go” because I was busy trying to figure out why and what happened? Things would play over and over and over in my mind because I wanted to know how, where, when, what, and WHY? I follow a young lady on Twitter that tweet some amazing nuggets that I would like to share with you. Please visit her website to read her blogs and you will be blessed! www.brittneymoses.com and @Brittney_Moses on Twitter.
“I don’t forgive people because I’m weak. Its cause I’m strong enough to know people make mistakes.”
“Unforgiveness is a testament to pride but to forgive is a testament to your ability to love beyond yourself.”
“Remember: Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner!”
“Forgiving someone does not mean allowing bad behavior to continue, it means not letting their bad behavior affect your life anymore.”
These are just a few nuggets from Brittney that confirmed for me that I was on the right track and now able to share with so many of you. This has been an ongoing struggle for me from past situations and past relationships that affected me in one way or another. One of the biggest struggles was the rejection of not having my father in my life. It was not until well after his death and failed relationships that I was able to ask God to take me to whatever the root of the problem so I can deal with it and MOVE ON! We’ll continue this in the next blog…stay tuned!
We have closed out 2011 and embarked upon a new year; we should carefully take a glance back and acknowledge that God has done it yet AGAIN! Of course, some of you may have had the BEST year of your life in this season and some of you probably did a rain dance to be glad that 2011 is over! As you celebrate either or both, do know that seasons of life rotate? I once heard, “you’re either IN…going IN…or coming OUT” and I have NEVER forgotten it. As we reflect back, what will we do differently this year than last year? How much longer will we hear and/or proclaim “THIS IS GOING TO BE MY YEAR!” What is the point of making resolutions just to be disappointed, not because the resolutions are not coming to past, but the effort in not working to carry it out? Even if things do not turn out as you hoped, be in position to say, “I gave it a shot.” I was one of those individuals who gave up as the newness of the New Year wore off due to situations and circumstances. NOW I actually want a “NEW KIND OF YEAR!” as a dear friend wished me the pleasantries of a Happy New Year. Those words are forever tattooed and echoed on the inside of me! I desire a NEW KIND OF YEAR! Let’s all do better and for those who have succeeded in your goals for 2011, CONGRATULATIONS! As you continue to move forth, help someone else along the way. Send an encouraging word, find out where the need is, sow a little of your time, knowledge, and other resources that can be used to ignite the fire in someone else’s life.
I allowed some of my goals this past year to lie lifeless as if on life support. I now have the choice to pull the plug and let it die or nurse it back to life! I choose LIFE! There’s an old saying, “If you fail to plan…you plan to fail.” I am now in position to challenge myself in ways that I have never considered and as faith increases so does oppositions. The most important thing that I have learned from 2011 is GOD IS FAITHFUL! Sometimes that’s ALL you need to remind yourself as you look back on what God has brought you through and use it as a memorial stone for your next Jordan experience!
“When the WHOLE NATION had finished crossing the Jordan…and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder…to serve as a sign among you…These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:1-7) The Word of God said THE WHOLE NATION! Are YOU not “…a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy NATION, a people BELONGING to God…” (1 Peter 2:9).
I encourage you to strap up your boots and stretch your muscles and get back in the race! Do NOT give up on God because He won’t nor will He give up on you! I’m a living witness! Let me leave you with the promise to stand on: “The one who calls YOU is faithful and he WILL DO IT!” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
Life happens. Sometimes our expected turnouts of situations leave us speechless. If you’re anything like me, you become entangled in a cyclone of emotions with your thoughts engaged like a tornado spinning out of control. Your heart is filled with a massive cloud of worry, frustration, and its ready to flood like a Category 5 Hurricane.
As with any natural storm, the storms of life also passes by. It eventually comes to an end. And as in most uncompromising situations you have to begin putting the pieces of your life back together. Sometimes you’re able to savage pieces of what were meaningful memories of your life and in other cases you will have to start over; as bittersweet as it may be…there is a brighter day beyond the horizon.
Just like insurance coverage covers us in the event of an emergency, death, and accidents that is what prayer does for us. Prayer covers us and keeps us in direct fellowship with Jesus Christ. Jesus offers us His divine protection through salvation. Prayer does not guarantee that we are exempt from life’s storms but He offers His grace to extend peace that helps us along the journey. Ask God to give you strength and keep…reaching beyond the break!!
The overwhelming joy of encountering love. The goosebumps. The stomach flip-flops. The suppressed appetite. You smile as that special someone name flashes across your Caller ID. There is a smile in your voice and you’re grinning from ear-to-ear but if only they could see it. Everything seems to be important to talk about. An hour on the phone seems like only fifteen minutes have passed. You had a to-do list that became secondary because the person became a priority, unintended. It feels to good to be true yet it feels “just right.” You find yourselves engulfed with talking about the future abstractedly, painting your dreams like a Thomas Kinkade portrait. Full of color and vivid imagination. Perfectly etched on the canvas of your heart hoping the other person sees it as clear as you do.
You find yourself talking about the past of what was and what you care to not go through again. You put the memory away with no chances of reminiscing about the encounter until now. You’re reminded of the pain although you have made peace with the past. You’re hoping the other person will appreciate the fact that you’ve conquered and won; the battle wounds are a simple reminder… or so we hope. You have now moved into the present and wondering to yourself, “Where is THIS going?” You try to calm the anxieties that are going on internally because you’re trying to decipher “hope” from “reality” so that you can stay grounded but the sensation of “Could it be?” overtakes your consciousness and you’re praying to God to speak clear so you can hear Him…but, oh to your own dismay your emotions are blasting like sirens! Drowning out the own inner voice. Shielding the things you should see. Time is suddenly moving at blur speed and you look back and ask yourself, “When did I arrive here?!” Your thoughts are contemplating in three and refusing to agree, “Yes? No? Maybe?” You believe and trust in what you feel and you plunge in the ocean of love in hopes to walk on the waves of everlasting. One day love makes an exit and what do you do…the day after?
We often hear that integrity means doing the right thing when no one is around. It certainly is a choice. A sound judgment; a precise decision to simply do the right thing…allowing the Holy Spirit to be free to operate from within. Yes, I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit that enables me to do the right thing. Outside of Him, I am not likely to make the right decision or do the right thing. I do not have the ability within myself to consciously do what is right; besides, I have the track record to prove it. The Apostle Paul says it best, “…for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.” –Romans 7:10-21 (NLT)
Have you ever wanted to say something that was untruthful and you thought of different ways you can say it and immediately you heard that voice in your head saying, “Why are you lying?” Or how about, “No, you should say it like this instead…” You know it would be easier to tell the truth because you work harder at coming up with a lie and perhaps even rehearse it in your head, even worse…with a friend to get their approval of “how does this sound?” The light of your integrity grows dimmer and dimmer and although we may be able to recover from our bad deed through repentance, however, it does not get erased from our past. Let’s all make a conscious effort to WANT to do the right thing by listening and submitting to the Holy Spirit who enables us and wants us to do the right thing ALL the time. Acknowledge your faults and failures. Take ownership. But also be wise enough to not use it as excuses or blame it on your human nature, as we sometimes do. Allow INTEGRITY to proceed before you, humility to be within you, and the grace of God to cover you…
Each trial seems as though it is going to last forever. How soon do we forget how God brought us through the last one? When it seems like no one cares. When it seems like your prayers are not heard. When it seems like God has forgotten about you. When it seems that the walk in the valley is so long. When the night sometimes seem so long…as the Psalmist says “O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” –Psalm 5:1-3 Whether dealing with a broken heart, disappointments, discouragement, hurt feelings, or the lost of a loved one, there is a promise that we can stand on! “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” -Psalm 46:1
Sometimes in my own walk with the Lord I often wonder and ask the forbidden question, “WHY?” Yes, I ask God, why am I going through this storm at this time? What is the lesson that I am to learn? Is this a result of disobedience or a testing of my faith? In all that I go through I ask God to bring glory to Jesus out of the situation so that He is magnified and my faith is increased to stand and give an account of what the Lord has done for me. Here is a story that a very dear friend shared with me. You may have heard a different version and I probably won’t do it as much justice as she did but you’ll get the gist of it.
A young lady was driving with her grandfather in the car. It began to rain as they were headed to their destination. The rain got heavier. Granddaughter: “I think I should pullover. The weather is looking pretty bad.” Grandfather: “Keep driving.” She continued driving and the rain came pouring down and other drivers had pulled over to wait out the storm on the side of the road. Granddaughter: “I really think I should pullover. The storm is getting pretty bad!” As she says with panic but her Grandfather says, “Keep driving.” She continues driving and the storm is getting worse and she could hardly see. “Granddad, I think I should pullover until it stops!” Her grandfather remained calm and just said, “Keep driving.” So the granddaughter continues driving and notices that the rain seems to be letting up but people were still waiting on the side of the road as they passed them by. As they continue driving and it is now drizzling, her grandfather says, “NOW pullover.” She gives him a confused look and says, “Granddaddy, why do you want me to pullover? The rain is letting up.” With much hesitation, she pulls over and her grandfather says to her, “Now look behind you. See, we kept going and made it through the storm but you see those people parked on the side of the road; they are still IN the storm! Sometimes you gotta keep driving!”
I encourage you as I am encouraged as well to keep driving through the storm. Yes, I know you may be hurting right now or facing some challenges but I PROMISE you that THIS TOO SHALL PASS. You will smile again. You will laugh again. You will be strong again. There IS purpose in your pain and do know that “…in all these things we are morethan conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 Just keep driving!