JESUS JOY

Happy New Year!!!

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JESUS JOY

I am not going to blog or write about my expectations for 2020. Yes, even my daughters were shocked.

I have my goals and what I want out of 2020, but I am choosing to move silently, allowing GOD to direct my path. Anything God has for me, I am ready to receive.

However, our prayer focus for this morning was perfect, and God placed it upon my heart to share my journey to JESUS JOY.

If you have not read my post over the past 4 years or my blog, I lost my late husband in October of 2016. I suffered from depression, suicidal thoughts, feelings of worthlessness, I was an understandable mess. But God was not having it, and honestly, neither was I!

I have moved forward with my life and I have so much JOY and genuine happiness in my life!

I had to dig deep to find the Joy that God had placed in me when he formed me before I was placed in my mother’s womb. It was JESUS JOY

It is something that has carried me for the past 3 years going in my 4th year.

Year 1 Restoration
Year 2 Renewal
Year 3 Rejuvenation
Year 4 Discovery.
(I will write about these at a later date)

Joy, true JESUS JOY is rooted deep within our soul, and only Jesus can give us that pure Joy!

NO ONE can be truly happy without JESUS JOY.

I can tell you, I am a living witness… it is a facade, it is fake happiness.

The Lord saved me from my dark place, and I am not the person I was three years ago. HIS JOY was, and is definitely my strength!

Happiness in a surface emotion, but the true JESUS JOY that comes from the LORD is deeper.

It requires something from us…
It requires us to take some action…
It requires us to have something…
It requires us to be somewhere

What does it require? 

It requires us to have something… FAITH

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My faith is a foundation on which I have always stood, so holding on to my faith was not hard. I just needed to be reminded of and remind myself that God is still with me no matter what! Faith is something that does not just happen faith some after you have been through some things, and we have sought God, and he has been there. Faith is not in the CHURCH faith is IN GOD and only GOD!

It requires us to take some action… pray, petition, and or (if needed) seek therapy

We have to want Joy in our lives. I know for me I did not want to feel depressed, I knew that deep down I did not want to commit suicide, but I also knew that I had to do something about the thoughts that were tormenting my mind. I had to pray, and others were praying for me. I mention the prayer focus above that comes from a prayer line where we get together Monday through Friday morning to pray for each other, our community, and this country. The saints on that prayer line and others prayed me out of the darkness, and God let me to therapy. Believe me, both were desperately needed.

It requires something from us… total surrender

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We cannot give something over to God and keep picking it up. Ether, we give it to him and let it go, or we keep worrying about it.

Worrying will prevent you from having JESUS JOY.

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It requires us to be somewhere… In a position to receive

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JESUS JOY just won’t come and perch its self on you. It requires you to be in a position to receive it. After you have kept the faith, prayed, and given over whatever is keeping you from God’s Joy, then you are in a position to receive true JESUS JOY. It will not be easy because the enemy will try to convince us that happiness and Joy are the same things. THEY ARE NOT! He will try to convince us that we do not need JESUS JOY.

I believe we were created and born with Jesus Joy, but life circumstances will cause us to suppress it. Think about a child they are joyful. Think about a baby’s belly laugh; it will bring a smile to our face and warmth to our heart. They are experiencing pure and true JESUS JOY. It is the strength that sustains us.

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I am the poster child for choosing Joy regardless of my circumstances. I refuse to give the enemy any joy, kudos, or accolades over my life. God has been way too good for me to allow this to happen.

If I am declaring and promoting anything publicly for 2020, I am declaring that I continue I choose and promote that I still choose to have JESUS JOY over anything.

When you think about Jesus Joy, it’s clear and straightforward…

The Joy of the Lord is your strength.
(Nehemiah 8:10)

Day 10 – 10 Day Walk Out of the Valley of Darkness: No Regrets

Day 10

No Regrets

October 25, 2019

On Day 10, three years ago, on a beautiful crisp sunny Tuesday afternoon, I said goodbye to the central part of my heart. The tumor in his lung had covered his bronchial airways, and he could no longer breath on his own. He was surrounded by those who loved us. We sang his favorite songs (we struggled with some of the words lol), we read scriptures and prayed, we worshiped, and we still hoped for a miracle.

But it was God’s will to bring Michael home.

The ICU was very cold all the time. During the night, I would sleep with my coat on and warm blankets from the nurses. That afternoon there were about 20 people in the room. Most days, we had many visitors come through, and the nursing staff was always gracious to allow us to be over capacity. However, that particular morning, God was indeed in control of everything, including our environment. On that afternoon, we experienced a real miracle.
From the time we started praying, singing, and reading scripture, that room was so warm and cozy. (Remember this) We worshiped for about an hour before the signal was given to the hospice nurse to remove the respirator. Michael seemed to breathe on his own at first; then, he started to struggle… I want to yell at them to put him back on the machine, but I knew it was time for me to let him go… this is what I saw play out in my spirit…

Jesus entered the room when we started our worship. When we genuinely worship, there is always a shift in the atmosphere, and when Jesus entered, the room was warm. I believe as Michael started to struggle to breathe, the Lord was telling him it was time. He stood at the brink between going with the Lord and staying with us. I believed he looked back at us and backed at Jesus did not know what to do. I laid my head on his chest and told him that I loved him, and I was so proud of him. He fought long and hard and that he could let go because we would be fine. In the next few moments, he let go and took the hand of Jesus and when home. At that moment, the presence of the Lord was still in the room, but all of the warmth left the room with Jesus and Michael.

It is a moment that I think most of us in that room will never forget. Heaven is real, and Michael and many of our other loved ones are celebrating the day he returned home.
On Day 10, October 25, Year anytime, will always pierce my heart, and there will always be moments of sadness.

Today, I refuse to be sad and cry.
Today, I am walking out of the valley of darkness, and I am not looking back!
Today, I have a hope and a future to look forward to.
Today, I live my life with no regrets.
Today, I am allowing God to direct my path.
Today, I am attempting to live my life to the fullest.
Today, I am loved, and I do love.
Today, I continue to survive and live.
Today, I think about the happy times.
Today, I will not allow obstacles, people, situations, or circumstances to get in my way.
Today, I am living my life with no explanations to anyone

Today, God has NOT given me a spirit of fear but of love, peace, and of a sound mind!

My life is far from perfect, but my daughters and I are living life one moment at a time. We have the favor of the Lord, and we are living with no regrets.
Remember, we are not promised tomorrow.
Life is so precious and SHORT. Keep those that you love close and never fail to tell them how much you love them.

I love you all, and thank you for keeping me in your prayers!

Day 8 – 10 Day Walk Out of the Valley of Darkness Survival (continued existence)

Day 8

October 23, 2019

Survival (continued existence)

On Day 8, three years ago, as I sat and watched a beautiful, well-lived life diminish from this reality, I could not help but think about my own existence. When you are faced with someone else’s mortality, you can’t help but think about your own.

However, on day 8 today, we are faced with another life gone too soon by their own hands. Another mother, father, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends left in the aftermath. I have always been very intentional and upfront about my own experiences with suicide and depression, and I have promised that I will tell my testimony when it is needed and requested.

I am so glad that on the night I was home alone and I was faced with the agonizing decision if I wanted to end my life that Lord inserted into my head visions of my babies, and not just my babies I gave birth to. Still, my babies, I have adopted into my life over the years.

What would life be for them if I took my own life?

Would my daughters survive my death after their father’s death?

How could I have preached and taught that the love of Christ is there for everyone who accepts it, and I did not?

How could I have said all these years, God can get you through anything if you only trust him, and I did not?

”The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John: 10:10)

That night I had the potential to burst every dream, turn hope into despair, betray love, and turn trust into doubt in the minds of young people God had allowed into my life. God trusted me with their minds, hearts, and souls, and I was about to betray them and the LORD. I cried and cried that night and then the next day when I went to Munson Army Health Center, for a doctor’s appointment. I checked the, “Yes, I have thoughts of suicide in the past months” That statement was not looked over, actions were taken that day, and I was sitting before a clinical social worker to get evaluated. Within the next few weeks, God led me to an excellent Christian therapist.

Disclaimer: (as I have said many times)

I do not doubt that God can and will get you through anything, even suicide. HOWEVER, for me, my heart and my mind is so clouded with sadness, anger, and hurt, I could not hear from God. I was in a deep depression.

But, he heard me, and he pulled me through darkness into His light. Once I was able to deal with my depression, I was able to handle the guilt, sadness, hurt, and anger. I was then able to hear from God clearly.

Depression is not a fad that will go away. Depression is real and very prevalent in our society, including young people and the African American community, whether they want to admit to it or not!

We can no longer sit idly by and say they are too young to have those feelings or thoughts or black people don’t go to therapy, or you are weak if you go to therapy!

IT HAS TO STOP!!

We are losing too many of our young people to suicides!!

If you are having feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness

If you are feeling angry, of frustrated of small things

If you are having a loss of interest in your normal activates

If you lack energy or you are tired all the time

IF YOU ARE HAVING THOUGHTS OF DEATH AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS

I BEG YOU… PLEASE SEEK HELP

See your family doctor, clinic of a mental health professional as soon as possible!

If you are reluctant, see any of the above. PLEASE talk to a friend, loved one, your pastor, or anyone you can trust!

Call the suicide hotline number:

‪1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)‬

IF you are a VETERAN use that same number and press “1” to reach the Veterans Crisis Line

FRIENDS, FAMILY, and LOVED ONES:

If someone tells you they are contemplating suicide if they say they are hurting and the pain won’t go away, PLEASE take them seriously!

Stay with them until you can get them to a mental health professional, the ER, if you can’t, do not hesitate or call ‪911‬.

We need you!

The world needs you!

I chose to live, and so can YOU!

I love you all with all the love that Jesus has for you!

😘♥️😘

10 Day Walk Out of the Valley of Darkness Day 4 – Decisions

Day 4 – Decisions

God will give you strength for every battle, wisdom for every decision, the peace that surpasses understanding….

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting GOD know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of GOD’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when CHRIST displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4: 6-7 MSG)

This 4th Day 3 years ago, was overwhelming with FINAL decisions, choices, conclusions, and resolutions. Who, What, Why, When, and How were questions that had to be asked and answered.  Every tough, painful, agonizing, gut-wrenching decision made was made with GODLY wisdom, counsel, and much prayer. My future, our daughter’s future, my in-Loves (in-laws) future, our family, and friend’s futures were all at stake in our decisions. 

I had to consider and wonder about what that we were robbed of and things that will never happen. Future graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries that would be missing a heart.  Walks down the aisles, grandbabies being held and spoiled, days sitting and watching grandbabies play, futures were forever altered, and alternate realities were becoming real.

Day 4 was marked with suffering…

Yet, I was reminded not to fret or worry, and instead of worrying, pray. When I would look at this scripture over the years, I never thought it meant in a difficult circumstance like this. But you know our LORD, HE meant in all circumstances even the painful and agonizing circumstances! 

It was not easy, but I had to give it over GOD and lay it at the foot of the Cross.  I knew whatever happened. He was in control. 

This decision at this moment later saved my life…

Day 1-10 Day Walk Out Of The Valley of Darkness!

Day 1

I woke up this morning with such a heaviness in my spirit…

I remember…

This Day three years ago, I had entered into what I call my 10 day walk into the darkness…

This is the day three years ago, my hope was fading fast, and my walk with grief and depression started…

This is the day three years ago when the tears would not stop…

This is the day three years ago when the anger was uncompromising …

This is the day three years ago when prayers were needed the most…

This is the day three years ago when a beautiful life was coming to an end…

This is the day three years ago when we had to make the toughest decision of our lives..

This is the day three years ago when I had to put all my hope, faith, and trust in GOD.

This is the day three years ago when I had to accept HIS will…

I knew then, as I STILL know now that..

HE is STILL my GOOD and PERFECT SHEPHERD , MY LORD,

I STILL lack for nothing!

HE STILL makes me lie down in green pastures,

HE STILL leads me beside the quiet waters

HE STILL refreshes my soul!

HE is STILL guiding me along the right paths, for HIS namesake

LORD as I enter into this 10 day walk into the valley and shadow of death…

I am STILL NOT afraid

Because YOU are STILL with me

YOU STILL protect and comfort me!

YOU STILL prepare a table before me in the presence of those who wish to see harm come to my family and me.

YOU STILL anoint and refresh my head and my life with oil,

My cup STILL continues to run over.

YOUR goodness

YOUR mercy

YOUR agape love STILL follows my family and me

All of OUR lives, so that we can dwell in YOUR house forever and ever.

I Praise YOU, FATHER, STILL today!

YOU are GOOD

YOUR grace and mercies towards me are everlasting!

In JESUS name…

AMEN!

Forgiveness

 October 3, 2019

Okay, I know this won’t be the most popular opinion, but…

I try not to divulge into controversial issues on social media, but I felt I needed to speak out in support of a member of the Jean Family.

First…

Amber Guyger is definitely guilty of Murder and should have gotten a longer sentence.  There are black and brown people in prison that have received more time for selling drugs than she received for killing another human.  Both offenses are wrong, but the punishment should match the crime. 

Secondly, Now… Forgiveness….

I look at this from a Christian perspective, because that is what I am first and foremost a child of GOD.  You can say I am looking at things through rose-colored glasses, but I am just trying to see people the way Jesus does. 

The bottom line as Christians, the Bible tells us, “The Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:13 

We forgive because God forgives. If He can do it, so can any of us. Right?

I know it is hard because I have had to forgive people for some horrendous things in my life. But you know what? I felt better because once I let that burden go, I left it at the foot of the cross and the feet of Jesus.  Until I forgave, I was bitter and consumed with what happened to me and the hate I was embracing.  It was eating at me from the inside. It was affecting my family and me. You have no idea how hard it is to grieve and forgive. Once I truly forgave, I was at peace in my heart, my mind, and my soul. 

Now with that being said, I have not forgotten because I won’t allow myself to be hurt again, but I am at peace to move on with my life without harboring hate in my heart. I refused to be held hostage or give the power of my thoughts, feelings, life, and soul to anyone, but Christ.  When my time comes, and I stand before God, I don’t want to have any hate or unforgiveness in my heart for anyone.

You cannot have hate in your heart and say that you love God.  If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20) 

I chose to forgive mostly for me, and other people benefited from my obedience.

The Jean family are a Christian family, and I am sure that Botham’s brother, Brandt, prayed and received enough peace and understanding from God to forgive.  It was reported that he carried a Bible into court with him most days, and he was seen reading during court.  He will never forget, and yes, there is still hurt, questions, and some anger. He is not weak, as some have said, but he is strong because he forgave.

He has decided to have the peace of knowing that because God has forgiven him many times over, he chose to forgive. 

Amber has received an amazing gift of grace from Brandt, and the last thing she heard from him was, “I pray you find Jesus Christ” Brandt has done his job and planted a seed for Christ to cultivate it and cause it to grow.  We don’t repay evil with evil. If she does not receive the grace and mercy that has been afforded to her and make a change, then that is between her and God. 

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:19-21)

Botham’s mother said that she is not ready for forgiveness, but she is getting closer to it.  This is okay and perfectly normal.  Forgiveness is a process that we have to go through to get to the point where we can forgive. BUT we must forgive! I can’t stress that enough; from my own experience, we must forgive. 

I am not sure if they are going to appeal (I imagine they will), but just the pure act of grace that Brandt showed is not a sign of weakness, but it is an excellent sign of faith in God and the strength he has drawn from Him. 

“Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter, forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.” (Anonymous) 

May we all continue to pray for everyone involved.

Okay I am off my soapbox

I love you all with the love of Christ in me!

Have a blessed rest of your day!

 

 

One of Those Days

First, I want to say that I always write and blog when I am happy, and things are going well.  As a blogger, I always want to be truthful, transparent, intentional, and upfront. Most days, I am upbeat and ready to conquer the world. There are also “One of Those Days.”  Well, I am having one of those “Other of Those Days.”

I am having one of those days where I want to crawl back into bed and have a good cry.

I am having one of those days where everything seems to go wrong. 

Woke up late.

Trash all over the yard from the animals.

Slow cars

Back up at the gate

&

I left my glasses at home.

I am having one of those days where right now, I don’t want to look on the bright side.

I am having one of those days where although it is sunny outside I feel like it is raining.

I am having one of those days where life does not seem fair.

I am having one of those days where I question my past, and every decision I have made.

I am having one of those days where I question my purpose and my existence.

I am having one of those days where nothing at all seems clear or make sense.

I am having one of those days where I don’t want to be strong.

I am having one of those days where I feel that I am not good enough.

I am having one of those days where my dark safe place starts to look good again.

I am having one of those days where I think, “What is the true meaning of life.”

I am having one of those days where old thoughts and fears want to creep back in my head.

I am having one of those days where even though I am having “One of Those Days,” I can’t reside here.

Even though I am having one of those days, I won’t allow the enemy to disrupt my progress. 

Even though I am having one of those days, I won’t give the enemy any victory over my day.

Even though I am having one of those days, I won’t fall back into the enemy trap of depression.

Even though I am having one of those days, I can see past the enemy distractions and illusions.

Even though I am having one of these days, I DO know where my help and strength comes from.

Even though I am having one of these days, I am here, surviving, thriving, and I am living.

Even though he may have gotten a moment, the battle is still won by Jesus. Therefore, I am still winning!

Blessings and Love to you all!