You Can’t Sprint Through Grief

May Jesus give you time and space to feel your hurts, heal your wounds, and grieve your losses.

May He lead you beside still waters and restore your soul.

May He bring you friends who love you right where you are.

May you refuse to be cynical or jaded; instead, may you dare to dream again, right in the midst of the pain you’re in.

Don’t be afraid of lament.

You can’t sprint through grief.

But avoid self-pity like the plague.

You don’t need pity.

You have the promises of God!

You have the presence of God!

And He still has a powerful purpose for you.

You won’t stay in this valley.

You’re just passing through.

One honest step at a time.

You’ll get through it, and you’ll be stronger on the other side.

You can do this.

God bless you, dear one. ~ Fenich Jerry

http://www.poeticallyprophetic.com

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Things Don’t Always Go As Planned

   I am quite upset today. I had to bury my new little feathery friend. 

Let me back up and start the story from the beginning. 

We have a bird nest high up above our front door under our porch covering. It belongs to a swallow couple and their babies. Every spring the mama and daddy bird come back and build their nest or use parts of their existing nest from the year before. Sometimes the nest is gone because the power washer destroyed it. Quite honestly, the birds and the nest showed up after my dad chased them away with his pokey contraption preventing them building their yearly nest. My dad had enough of the bird poop on his front porch and front door mat. So they relocated to my house across the street. 

We were happy to greet them and watch their babies hatch every year and fly off and start their own families. This year they had trouble after trouble. First the power washer guy accidentally sprayed their nest away with their baby eggs falling and breaking on our front door mat and exposing their underdeveloped selves. That was sad to see and I was so mad at the power washer guy. He immediately told my husband he was so sorry and said he tried to avoid it and it just exploded and fell. 

My husband and I watched the bird couple remake a new nest in less than 48 hours. New eggs were laid and a new family hatched. A fresh start and a total of five baby bird heads emerged  from the tiny nest!!  While I was gone on a vacation two baby birds had fallen out and were found dead under the nest. It was sad to see them not make it. Nature is the survival of the fittest is what they say. Well, another bird fell out and this time I saw it. I immediately made a new plastic nest complete with soft paper towels. I tied it up high on the window where the mom and dad could still feed him. That worked for about half a day when “Mr. Jump out of My Nest” decided he wanted out and landed on the ground again. 

I lowered his nest to the bottom level and he still didn’t like his nest. He wanted out!!! So I put the plastic nest on the ground. For two days we watched as the mom and dad dive bombed us to protect their baby. I kept an eye on him to see if he was still strong and flappy. He was walking around chirping with his mouth wide open begging for food. I tucked him into his bed at night and he flopped down with exhaustion. He woke up this morning perched in the regular spot at the edge of the step waiting for his food to swoop down and land in his mouth. 

Little did I know his parents were not giving him much to sustain him and he went from super strong  to laying down hardly moving in a matter of an hour. My daughter and I rushed him to the animal refuge thirty minutes away. He made it to minute 15 in the car and was gone. We turned around and gave him a nice burial in my backyard complete with a scripture reading and flowers to come. 

What’s the point of this silly blog about a bird?

God cares about everything in our lives

It didn’t feel so much like it at first. I have been praying over this bird, spending time with him and caring for his every need that I could.  

All for nothing it felt like to me. I was more upset than I expected and probably surprised my daughter with my emotional response to our bird battle lost and now buried. 

As I was cleaning up the bird poop off the front porch and sat scrubbing away all the places he had perched and rested. I was telling God it’s not fair. He brought life and didn’t protect it. This is not what I asked for and this is not the result I expected.  As I was scrubbing away,  I  thought of people who are watching their children die in hospitals, hospice, unfair tragic circumstances or just the heartaches that can find their way to our doorsteps. This is just a silly bird. 

How do these people cope with such tragic loss. 
Maybe they too prayed for a miracle only to not receive one. It doesn’t make sense to us in the natural. No one can fully explain how God works or doesn’t seem to work on our behalf. 

Quite honestly, I don’t think you can be comforted until the time is right for you to clear away the grief and be willing to hear the still small voice whispering to you. 

It’s God reaching out you to comfort you. 
We live in a fallen world full of brokenness brought in by sin. This was not God’s plan when He created us and the world. 
His plan is to bring life out of death and joy out of sorrow. As I continued wiping away the bird poop, I heard the whisper in my head. 

He can now fly forever.

You showed great love.  

Love never fails. ❤️

This is a time for me to reflect and receive comfort from above that God cares about everything that I care about. 

Thank you God for caring about me and my baby bird. 

~Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofspendor.com 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 

3 To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:

2 A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,

3 A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up,

4 A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6 A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away,

7 A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak,

8 A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

He Is Here 


Many times in my life I have questioned, “Is God really here?” Is he here when a mother loses her precious child? Is he here when she cries out in pain? Is he here when grief seems harder than living? Is he here when sickness has no end? Is he here when hate is favored over loving? Is he here when it seems as if the world were going to break? Is he here?

Even still,
HE IS HERE.

“He told them a story. “Look at a fig tree. Any tree for that matter. When the leaves begin to show, one look tells you that summer is right around the corner. The same here—when you see these things happen, you know God’s kingdom is about here. Don’t brush this off: I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too—these things will happen. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.” Luke‬ ‭21:29-33‬ ‭MSG‬‬

~ Baring His Beauty,

    Tiffany Thomas 

Restoration Stories – Audrey Lee 


There were times I would feel so unsure about my life, and I would often question God. I would ask God time and time again “why me?Why were all of these things happening in my life? 
It seemed like every time I turned around something bad kept happening. 

I often remember thinking to myself, all I wanted was to have the typical life: the American dream. Get married, have children, a beautiful home, a nice car, and a decent job. 
I really felt like I wasn’t asking for too much. 
It seemed like I started out going in that direction and then suddenly there was a change in plans.

I remember asking God to use me to be a blessing to His people and His Kingdom. 

I didn’t realize what was going to transpire in my life, in order for God to do what I had asked Him to do. 

I’ve always had a heart for families and marriages. I never liked hearing about divorce and families being broken up. I told God how tired I was of seeing the devil destroy marriages and families.  

With that being said the devil launched a serious attack on my marriage and my family.

I experienced so much pain and hurt in my marriage. I’ve had to deal with infidelity, trust being broken, having un-forgiveness, and communication being totally shut down. 
I’ve also experienced several deaths back to back. 
One of the hardest deaths I’ve had to overcome was the death of the man who was my spiritual leader, my mentor, my confidant, and my uncle, we shared a bond like no other. 

For the first time in my life I felt my heart truly break. I just couldn’t seem to recover. It took me a long time to bounce back spiritually because I leaned and depended on him so much spiritually.

 
I tried so hard to work on my marriage, fix my husband, and recover from a devastating loss all at the same time. It seemed like the more I tried, the more I failed at it. I felt like all the fight had just been completely drained out of me. 
Notice I said “I”, I had to finally come to the realization that it was going to take God to change the situation not me. 
I also had to come to the painful reality that I went about everything completely wrong. 

I did not do any of it the right way which is God’s way. 

I remember being filled with so much hurt, pain, anger, regret, guilt, and shame. I felt like such a failure in life because my American Dream had turned into what seemed to me a nightmare, I felt so helpless and defeated. I remember my grandmother telling me “you’re not going through all of this for you, you’re going through all of this to help someone else.” 
Then she gave me the scripture Romans 8:28 “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.”

I remember asking my grandmother and God, “How could anything good come out of all of this? How am I going to be able to help someone?”

In the midst of all that was going on I can remember hearing a small still voice saying “I’ve called you to greatness”. I was so confused, (because again looking at my circumstances) I just couldn’t see how that would be possible. I’m so grateful to God for His love, His grace, His mercy, and His strength. I had no idea of what God was about to do in my life!

The first change that began to happen in my life was my relationship with God, it got personal. Through the death of my uncle I began to realize I had completely relied on his relationship with God and did not have one of my own. The same relationship I had with my uncle, was the type of relationship that I needed to have with God for myself. 

So I started to learn about God and His ways for myself. I also found out my true identity in God and I began to get a deeper revelation about God’s word and His promises. 

Then I came to the realization that my circumstances did not determine my destiny, they just played a role in me moving towards my destiny in which I’ll get into later.

I also realized, that had it not been for everything that I was going through I wouldn’t know God like I know Him now, which is definitely a beauty!

    
After the shift in my relationship with God, I was truly a changed woman. I was so broken, but God stepped in and started putting my broken pieces back together again. I no longer felt weak and defeated, I began to feel whole and complete. This time God was responsible for it, not my husband or my uncle

Now I realized my uncle’s death or my husband’s actions could not change or alter who I am in God, and that it is God who keeps me together in times of tragedy or adversity. 

Now I was able to deal with trials and tribulations in much better way than I had before.
Next, God started dealing with me about love, His unconditional love! This is what caused me to really want to forgive my husband. You see everything that was being done to me in the natural was exactly what I was doing to God in the spiritual realm. This painful realization had given me a completely different outlook on my relationship with God, my husband, and my children.

   

There Was Beauty Birthed Out Of My Pain.

One day I was sitting in my Bishop’s office sharing with him what I had spoke on at a women’s conference I had attended the week before. Bishop Miles said “Sister Lee people need to hear this, will you teach Marriage N More on Friday?” I said “sure Bishop!” I taught it about two more times after that when Bishop Miles came to me and said “Sister Lee I’ve prayed about it and God told me to place you over the Marriage N More Ministry.” All I could say was “wow” I went home that night and I prayed about it and that’s when God brought it all back to me.

It was that night everything that I had gone through, my grandmother’s words, the scripture Roman’s 8:28, and the still small voice calling me to greatness all came flooding back to my mind. I began to just cry and thank God. 

I didn’t understand it then, but now it had become crystal clear. I had finally gotten the answer to my “why”. I had finally realized why my “American Dream” had gotten interrupted, because it did not line up with God’s plan for my life. 

It was clear that God had a greater plan and purpose for my life, than my “American Dream.” 

I then realized when God calls you to greatness there’s a lot that comes with the call. 

That’s when God gave me a scripture Isaiah 61:3, To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. 

It’s the pain of those trials and tribulations that fuels my passion for the Marriage N More ministry.

I’m so humbled that God has given me the awesome privilege of being a vessel for Him to use to equip His people with the tools they need to build healthy successful relationships with Him, spouses, children, co-workers, extended family, and friends.

                          ~ Audrey Lee

Connect with Audrey and Marriage N More on Facebook
Instagram 
Tune into her radio show each Thursday at 7:30 pm CST  on Blog Talk Radio

Christmas Cheer 

Let’s face it everyone who celebrates Christmas has different traditions, experiences and expectations. For most of us it goes all the way back to our childhood. We could all recall moments of wonderment. I wondered how Santa could logistically go to all the countries around the world in one night and deliver all the Christmas toys. I actually believed it was possible. My Santa hat should have been hung up way sooner than it was in my mind of childish imaginations. 

Christmas celebrations brings friends and families together. Special time is set aside to celebrate around a warm fire, a Christmas tree or a big meal at a long table. 

For some people Christmas brings great sadness and memories of lost family members and friends. Many will find they have no one to call and go gather around a fireplace, tree or dining table. Loneliness can set in when you are reminded your family is not with you anymore to celebrate. 

So where ever you find yourself this Christmas season you have the CHOICE to make it the best time of the year. 

Decide today that no matter what lot your find yourself parked in this holiday season it is a prime parking spot. 

Up front and center, park your Christmas car and turn up the radio of your soul. Roll down your windows and sing out loud… “Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, 

It is well.

It is well with my soul.”

We can’t do this alone. God is waiting to help you this Christmas season to be of good cheer. He reminds us in our darkest hours that it can be well with your soul. 

Check out this video and song here

Well Wishes,

Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofsplendor.com

 

Becoming Ready 

“Be ready! Be fully dressed and have your lights shining.” Luke 12:35 ERV

I typically look forward to Thanksgiving while preparing for food, connection in relationship, and fellowship amongst family and friends. However, last week, I found myself torn between being thankful for my life as it is, and for those that I knew who would meet the holiday grieved from life’s circumstances.

I have friends and family that find themselves in the midst of experiencing unexpected death of loved ones, unanticipated release from employment, finality of divorce, and seeking answers for unexplained sickness.

Great loss is never an easy journey, and sometimes, trying to come up with words for someone’s loss can seem defeating. How can anyone ever “be ready” for those things?

Personally, I think that deep down, I know that no matter what I say, or heartfelt it is, it won’t compensate for their void. And it won’t take away their pain.

But losses are supposed to be just that. Unfixed. Unfinished. Final. 

The problem is that many of us don’t like to accept the finality of things that still need time, need completion, or doesn’t make any sense. Naturally, we like to try and fix things or people, yet it is impossible to fix what is out of our control. 

When I look back on my weaknesses, and the emotional pain suffered from my own losses, I find that life didn’t stop because of my circumstances, and time never stood still, even when it felt like it had stopped. 

What I did have, in front of me, was a choice. I have always had a choice in front of me. Some things can never be gained in the way of a replacement. They can, however, be significant by the way I choose to look at my life and in the manifestation of how I live my life. 

Loss was never intended to be easy, or understood. It always seems to come with some type of price. I find myself continuing to be thankful. Being thankful despite my losses has taught me the purpose of living in the present moment and the importance of everyday moments. 

In an unexpected way, loss has shown me how to get ready, and be dressed in the light. It has guided me into what I consider the meaning of what it is to truly live.

May you join me in finding thankfulness for each and every blessing, not forgetting the ones still to come.

~ Baring His Beauty,

    Tiffany Thomas

Restoration Stories – Constance Carter 

Mom says I was singing before I was talking. I don’t remember it, but I don’t doubt it.

More than 50 years ago I was born three months early in a small town where I was stuck in an incubator for a month with no human touch. I had to fight just to breath. Only God knew how He would use this test. Though my parents were given no hope for me, God had a plan.

 
I lived, yes I did, and I grew up in church. 

 I remember the devil being after me. One time when I was five he was standing in my doorway and wouldn’t let me out. I screamed but nothing came out. Angels later ministered to me. That’s the last time I remember seeing angels but I don’t doubt they exist.
 

When I was 12 a “friend” got me to puff on a cigarette and drink some wine. Not a good idea at all. Why did I do it? Why? Just prior to that I was singing in church and putting tracks in people’s mailboxes. I was knocking on doors telling neighbors about Jesus. I heard the whole world had to know before He would come back. I wanted to do my part.

  

Then I backslid for way too long. 

 I never ever felt right about it either. I ran away from home at 14 years old. Really I thought I knew everything and really I knew much of nothing. I had to find out the hard way.
 

Finally, when I was 27 years old a man professing to be a satanist began talking to me about the book of Revelation. I knew I had a Bible that my praying Grandma had given me. I got up, found the Bible, and locked myself in the back room. I read the entire book and it felt like The Light was shining just on me. It was New Year’s eve 1987. I began my journey back. 

 
After nine miscarriages and a seriously failed relationship, I began a new life. I saw an ad at a local music shop. “Christian band looking for a singer”….. I answered the ad. God knows what He’s doing. I was hooked. I went back to church and started serving. I was later recruited into Bible School. Yes, that’s what I said. I didn’t want to do it at first because I was in a band and we were playing gigs. I had written a jingle for Altoids and they were paying us to play the jingle at each gig. Wow that was fun. I was even on the radio, and was known as the Altoids lady for a minute. God had a different plan. 

 
 

While in Bible school a friend got a job at a prison and asked if I would like to bring my pastor and come minister. That was the beginning of this long chapter in my life. Since 1994 to the present, I‘ve been a servant in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice System, and the State of Louisiana prison system. After being licensed and ordained in 1999, I became a volunteer chaplain at a men’s maximum security prison where I served for seven years. I formed a non-profit organization, Lionzbride Ministry, and the rest is history in the making.

 
The next chapter is not known, thank God, or I might mess it up. God plants seeds inside of us even before we are born. He does have a plan and we don’t have to know it all, but it really helps to know Him. His sheep hear His voice and come running.

 
No matter how far we go in the wrong direction, while there’s still breath, there’s still time to turn around and run in the right direction. God never tires. His arms are wide open. His love is better than life itself. Hold on to Jesus.

 

 

Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too.~ 1 Peter 5:9 TLB 

 
 

              ~ Constance Carter 

              http://lionzbride.com

Man’s Best Friend 


I’m sure you’ve probably heard the phrase, “a dog is man’s best friend”, well, I definitely believe that’s a true statement.  

God gave us these amazing animals to be our pets to love and care for. Some people love cats, fish, hamsters, birds and yes, some even have pet pigs!

Our pets are truly gifts from God. Pets give us unconditional love, they are loyal, they don’t “talk” back, they don’t judge, they don’t get offended, and they don’t hold a grudge. 

If you take good care of them and treat them well, they would give their life for their beloved families. You hear stories of their bravery and how they have saved the lives of children, elderly and have done amazing feats in the face of danger.  

Since I didn’t have a pet when I was growing up, other than hunting dogs that were out in the backyard kennel, I didn’t really know what I was missing until 2005 when we decided to get a puppy for our children. 

We started researching different breeds to find the perfect dog for our family, and we found a precious little white Maltese puppy from a breeder in West Texas. We couldn’t wait to pick him up and were so excited to bring him home. He only weighed about two pounds and was so cute–we named him Wiley.

We all loved and nurtured him; he became like one of the family. He was so precious to us, and his love made us all feel so special and loved — he was the perfect pet!

Wiley loved us unconditionally and was always there to greet us and welcome us as soon as we walked in the door. He acted like he hadn’t seen us in years, even though we were only gone for a short while. He brought so much love and joy to the family and we all felt his love daily. Each one of us had a special bond and true love for him. Wiley just had a way to brighten our day and make us feel like everything would be OK. He was all of our best friend, and we were all his favorite! 

Wouldn’t it be great if we as humans could be that way, never judging anyone, never keeping score or getting upset because someone said or did something we didn’t like, just loving everyone unconditionally and making them feel so loved and understood — like the true love from Jesus! 

Sadly one day last week our precious little Wiley passed away. He wasn’t sick long only about five days. We tried to save him but his little seven pound body just would not heal and God took him home in the middle of the night. It truly was one of the saddest days of my life. Seeing my family in such pain was so difficult. We all loved him so much and will miss him so much.  

As I reflect on why losing Wiley was so hard, I think it’s because of his unconditional love for us and his true loyalty and genuine excitement to see us every time we came home. He was totally dependent on us for everything; food, water, shelter. He knew he could count on us. He was always there to hug and give all his love and attention. Wiley truly seemed to listen and understand everything we said.

I have to admit I never truly understood how hard it was when I had friends and family who lost their pets and carried on for months grieving and mourning their loss. Now I understand. You never really know how someone feels until you have walked through it yourself and experienced the pain and hurt firsthand.

There is a sadness and emptiness that can only be filled by the love of Jesus, the comforter and the one who understands our pain and can take it away and give us peace and inner joy.

I’m not trying to mitigate the loss of a parent or spouse or precious child; I can’t even begin to imagine what that feels like. I know we all experience it at one time or another, and it brings a season of despair, sadness and pain. But I know there’s only one true source of relief from the pain and suffering felt from the loss of a loved one and that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. —2 CORINTHIANS 1:3–4
                             ~ Deb Hicks 


Restoration Stories – Tikeetha Thomas 


Just email me your story how God has restored you with your life verse. That was all they were asking.

Wow! Too many times. Too many situations. God had restored me on so many occasions could I possibly just tell one story that would make people understand? 

Nope. Not the way that you needed to hear. Not the way you needed to understand the grace and mercy that God has shown to me. So, here’s my story…

I was molested at 13. I was sexually assaulted at 13 and I was raped at 14. Three traumatic events that shaped my belief in men. Men took from you. Men didn’t value you. You were nothing more than eye candy for men. Those were all the things that ran through my mind.

At 14 my boyfriend and I broke up. He blamed me for my rape. I was devastated. I felt unloved and alone. I tried to take my life. Life had become unbearable.

I spent that summer being depressed and crying every day. I wouldn’t get dressed. I wouldn’t play with my siblings or talk to my mother. I was broken. My mother didn’t know the real reasons for my pain. I wanted to die and I cursed God for not letting that happen.

My mother came in my room one day and sat on the bed and said, “As a parent you wish that you could kiss every tear that falls from your child’s eyes. But, you can’t. I can’t. But, this is the time when you need to go to the Lord in prayer. He will help you. He will answer you. Please just pray.” She left my room.

I sat silently in the room crying. Tears falling in big drops that left stains down my face. I fell to my knees and prayed. I simply said, “God please help me.” It was in that moment that I felt God’s reassuring love and presence. He consoled me. He loved me. He had not abandoned or forgotten me. He was there.

Many years and many life lessons later God reminded me that He is still in charge. That He is always there. Ever watching. Ever waiting for me to just let go and trust. Trust that He has not forgotten me.

I was losing my cousin to cancer. We were 9 months apart. He was the only man in this world that I ever believed loved me. Not my husband but my cousin.

My marriage was in hell. We were roommates. We had tried to have a child with no luck. I cursed God for making me barren and then taking the only man in this world from me. Letting him die. Life wasn’t fair.

But God.

God interceded and worked on my spirit. I began talking to my husband again. I began trying to fix my marriage. We tried to date and love each other again. We attempted invitro fertilization (IVF) again. We got pregnant.

The moment the nurse told me that I was pregnant I said “Thank you God”. I knew it was God. I knew he was sending me a message. He was going to give my cousin his wings. I would lose the only man that ever loved me. But, He was sending me a son. Another boy who would become a man who would love me.

The moment I saw my little embryo on the screen I said “Look at my son. Thank you God.” My husband laughed and said “It could be a girl.” I replied, “Nope, it’s a boy. God is giving me a son.” The funny thing is that I didn’t doubt God’s grace and mercy on me. I knew the message he was sending. It was clear. He confirmed it when they told me that my due date was my cousin’s birthday.

But God.

I had many complications in my pregnancy and almost lost my baby. People worried. People prayed. But I knew that he would be okay. How? Because I had prayed to God that if he let my son live that I would bring him to Him. I told God I would do as Hannah did with Samuel and I would bring my son to Him. That was my fervent prayer.

He did. He let my son live. He was born prematurely and I never worried. I knew that God had us. He always had. He had never abandoned me. My son was His gift to me.

But, life didn’t always make me believe that God heard me. I suffered so much. So many trials and tribulations that I didn’t really understand the importance of trusting God with everything that I am and everything that I have. Truly trusting and leaning on His word.

My marriage ended. I was heartbroken at the way I was being treated and I felt so alone. Many days I couldn’t get out of bed. I cried incessantly and I would fall out from the overall emotional pain of my situation. I thought I was dying. All while trying to raise a 5 year old.

My son would hold my head and say “Mommy, please don’t cry. I’ll protect you.” I was a wreck. Crying and praying. Praying and crying. God spoke to my spirit and said, “Get up! It is done!” Just like that.

I did and I prayed. He reminded me how he’s never abandoned me. He’s never left me and that His anointing has always been on my life. I was alive to tell of His grace and mercy because my words are what people understand. I would be a living testimony of how He saves.  

I am a living testimony. I will tell of His grace and mercy. Our God has not forgotten. He will forever answer you. But, we all fall short. We forget how to pray. We get so consumed with our issues and situations that we don’t just pray and listen. We pray. We listen to the noise in our head. We don’t hear His voice. We think He doesn’t care. He does.

He is never changing. He never fails. Nothing will separate us from the love of God. That is my story. The life verse that reminds me of this comes from my favorite book in the Bible….Romans.

 

Romans 8:38-39 (NRSV)

38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 ~ Tikeetha Thomas 

 

 

Tikeetha Thomas is a full-time working mom with an 8 year old son who is the apple of her eye. She resides in Maryland and when she is not working and catering to her little boy, she is busy working on her unnamed novel. You can follow her on Twitter Here: https://twitter.com/mskeeinmd

 or read more about her life at her blog Here: www.athomaspointofview.com  

 

I Love You 

  
As I watched all the news coverage today on the flooding surrounding my area here in NW Houston, I couldn’t quite shake a few things.

I thought of the people that died. One heartbreaking story after another of them texting their mom or calling their husband or a friend moments before they were swept away.  

One story hit close to home for me. One lady drove across town to check on her twin sister and although they begged her to spend the night, she chose to drive back home and succumbed to a drainage ditch and high water and a young man found her dead in her car.  

I started to think about each one of these souls. Did they know Jesus? What were they thinking of as the flood waters engulfed their cars and filled their lungs? Did they think that they should have stayed home or stayed a little longer, hugged a little tighter, made more time for someone? Did they have regrets? Did they have unresolved issues with someone? 

I also started thinking back to a time in my life when I lost my brother suddenly. I was remembering how angry I was with him for “twisting off” and getting drunk and was rehearsing all the things I would tell him the next morning. I rehearsed how I would give him a good ole griping and rheem him out good for disappointing us. I didn’t get that chance- instead we got to plan a funeral and try to come to grips with the devastating loss. Griping him out was the last thing on my mind then. 

So why am I sharing all this? Why am I thinking all this matters? 

Today I was reminded – we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Not just by the loss of lives on the news or my own experience in losing my brother and my dad suddenly, but exactly how short life really is and in the grand scheme of things, what really is important….

Is it our jobs?

Our homes?

Our money? 

Being right?

Or 

Is it an apology from someone you are waiting for that you feel you deserve?

Is it the hurt and anger and bitterness you have grown comfortable carrying around? 

Is it your pride stopping you from reaching out? 

I implore you to not expect anything or hold too tightly to things or grudges that are really not important. Don’t hold on to the hurt, anger or bitterness one second more. If you are still waiting to have the last word, or be told you are right….STOP! 

If someone you love has made poor choices that upset you or let you down, love the person still and separate the actions from the person.  

No one has to be right or wrong. No one has to apologize to move on. We are all imperfect people but loved by a perfect God. If it is hard to love and forgive someone that hurt you- ask God to help you love and forgive them.   

God binds up the wounds and heals the broken hearted- but you have to surrender the wounds and broken pieces to Him and stop carrying them around.

Don’t wait another minute – simply just reach out and tell them you love them right where they are. Don’t let the sun go down today without you telling them you love them. We are never guaranteed tomorrow. All you have is right now- this moment.

I pray that each of you would feel the flow of God’s love fill in every crack of hurt you are experiencing right now. He is the Great Restorer. He is faithful even when we are not.

 

Pick up the phone- send that text or email or card and do it right now. A simple “I Love You” can start the healing process.
                 ~XXOO Michelle Bollom