Faith & Trust – Fear

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

It has been a while since I have blogged, and I have resisted writing this blog post.  God has been speaking to me about trust, and it has been the topic of our prayer line and others. I did not know what I wanted to say, but when God is tugging at your spirit, you must submit, or at least I submit.

You would think that with COVID-19 and the stay at home orders life would have slowed down for me.  I am blessed to work from home, but I am also a part-time graduate student, and I still had duties to my church, community, and sorority.  I have often wondered how I was maintaining before.

“But GOD” 

As I sit here and ponder about the states and cities opening back up and can’t help but wonder if it is too soon.  I don’t go out much, and I must admit I do panic a little when I go to certain grocery stores.  I try to stick to shopping at the commissary and the BX on the fort.  They have handled this crisis with military order and professionalism.

Our nation is trying to go back to normal, but what is normal?  I don’t think that we will ever be normal. So, what are our choices?   We can choose to live in fear or have faith and trust God.  Let’s talk about the latter.

2nd Timothy says God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, peace, and a sound mind. 

Fear does not come from the Lord. 

I have tried to write this blog since last week, and I could not put the words together. But earlier this week, one of my prayer leaders spoke about praise and then another day trust.  He said, “Praise is justified just because it is!” He also stated, “We must trust and have faith in God.”

For what I have experienced in my life, I have learned to have faith and trust God.  I have also learned how to praise him while I am expecting.

While I was in the deep state of depression
While I was going through the early stages of grief
While I did not know how to pray for myself
When I did not want to live
When I did not know how I would make it to the next day
When I could not stop crying

One thing I finally realized was that God had NOT forgotten me!

He felt every painF887936E-8141-41ED-8060-0D3BF026BDF2
He grieved with me
He pleaded for me
He kept me alive
He made sure I made it to the next moment
He consoled and cared for me when I was crying

God did all of this for me, but I had to let go of my fear of living and have faith and trust that God would carry me through it all.

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It did not matter what I faced; I had to press on, and I had to persevere.  I had to survive and live, but first, I had to TRUST.

 

 

 

So, I ask you today, no matter what if going on in your life.
No matter what situation you are facing
No matter what the world or the doctors are saying.

Whose report will you believe?

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So, ask you today…

Faith & Trust or Fear? The choice is always yours.

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I love you all
Be Blessed in the Lord

 

Triumph or Defeat

May 20, 2020

The face you see in this picture is the face of Triumph!

Thank you, Jesus

Faith Under Pressure
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So, don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work, so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
James 1:2-4 MSG

How are you going to respond to the cross you have to bear today?

How will you respond to what you are going through today?

We were asked those questions on the prayer line this week.

When I was a baby, my father left.
At the age of 4, I lost my mother to cancer.
At the age of 12, I lost one of the good men in my life, my grandfather.
Somewhere during those years, I was abused by a family friend. (I told no one)
In 2000 my grandmother, who raised me, passed.
In 2002 my mother-in-love passed.
In 2007 I lost my auntie, who helped raised me.
In 2015 I lost my uncle, who was like a dad to me passed.
In 2016 I became a widow after 29 years of marriage at the age of 50.

At this point, I thought I was going to lose my mind, because what was my reason to go on. I kept thinking I had lost everyone in my life that I could depend on and who loved me.  I felt alone and defeated.

BUT I WAS NOT…

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Sometime, somehow in my life, Jesus deeply rooted his power deep within my soul because he knew that I would need to access that power one day.

When I look back over my life after all the loss, abuse, devastation, I was never alone because God was always with me.  I had to tap into the power that was rooted in my soul so many years ago.  I triumph and was not defeated because I had reconnected to Jesus.
I don’t know how people live through pain and tragedy without Jesus.

Here we are today morning as a nation with the entire world.
How will you react? How will you survive? How will you existent?

Will you allow yourself to wallow in self-pity, disappointment, fear, or defeatism?

OR

Will you choose to live in expectation, victory, success, rejoicing, and praising?

You tell me, will you live in triumph or defeat?

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Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ
2nd Corinthians 2:14

I love you all!
Be Blessed in the Lord!

Never Ever Give Up!

God has a perfect plan for all of our lives. Even if life seems hopeless right now and all you can see is what is in front of you. I need you to know that there is hope in the midst of every trial, every circumstance, and every storm.

The Bible says, “There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience, in turn, forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary-we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)

There is always hope!

Why??

Because GOD is in the middle of our circumstance, working it out on our behalf.

We are NEVER in this battle of life alone.

It took me a while to realize there was hope, even in my circumstances.

I know that no one wants to become alone and a widow at 50, but I still have hope in GOD that he has my back.

I have grieved, cried, I have broken down… but because of God, I have always gotten back up and keep moving!

When the enemy tries to convince me that I should quit and give up, God was always there, whispering daughter, “you can do this, I got you!”

My hope in GOD is not shallow or misinformed. It is deeply rooted in my soul, so I know that God will always make a way.

I tell my daughters to never give up on anything they start, no matter how hard it is or how long it takes… WE COMPLETE THE TASK!

I will never back down…

I will never give up…

I will continue to have hope in GOD!

Hope in GOD will never disappoint!

Have an amazing day!!

I love you all!


LIVE and LOVE HARD!! Follow Your Dreams! 

Time is precious… DON’T WASTE IT!

Friday, 31 January 2020

Family,

It took me some time to make this post. I needed to take stock of my own emotions regarding the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. I needed to make sure what I wanted to say was not stated with too much emotion. I wanted to write a sound commentary.

I am reminded of a scripture that Morgan’s Sorority sisters gave to her when her dad passed. This scripture became one that I have stood on. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NIV).

I can’t say that I have followed Kobe’s career like some, but have sports fanatics in my family, so I definitely know who he was. I cannot even start to say, and I know Vanessa’s pain because I have both my daughters. However, for many widows, when you hear of another sister losing her husband, you can help but feel a stab in your own heart. I felt the need to say something to my circle, by my base, my family, to the people who I think listen to me.

It does not matter who the person is, or their celebrity status, or how much money a person has. This does not negate the fact that Vanessa Bryant lost TWO people that she loved with her heart and soul. She is grieving, and she is still going to be strong and present for her daughters because that’s what mothers do.

Let me tell you this, death and grief cross every ethnic, economic, religious, social, background in this universe! Can you name me one area, person, nation, or community that has not been affected by death?

Do you really think that because someone has money that their grief is less than anyone else?

Do you really think that because a person is famous that their grief is different?

Please tell me how their pain and grief are different? IT IS NOT!

If anything, it can be worse. They are forced to grieve and process their loss in the eye of the hypocritical, insincere, and unforgiving public!

I would love to say I am surprised and shocked by the many negatives posts and comments I have read since Sunday afternoon. However, I sadden to say that I am not. Everything from TMZ releasing information before the families were informed, the misinformation regarding who was on the helicopter, the reporter who felt the need to bring up his past just 2 HOURS after his death, to people and their insensitive comments, was insensitive and morally wrong!

I am sick of all of the negativity in our country!!

You can’t compare death or how the world responds to the death of someone who is well known by the world. The climate of the world we live in today and the spitefulness of our country leaders has made it acceptable for people to “tell it like it is,” regardless of how it could affect someone else.

I wish I could say I have never seen so much disrespect in this country. That would be a lie. For many of us, it has been going on for years, but social media has just elevated the cruelty to the front lines.

To those of us that may have widows or widowers in our communities, it is my prayer that you not only think before you attempt of comfort, but please pray first. You would not believe the many messages I have received, or things said to me in person about how they feel I should grieve, survive, live my life, and other ill-advised advice. I am not trying to be ungrateful or seem unappreciative, but no one other than the LORD can look out for my children and me better than me. I truly thank God every day for the genuine, sincere people in my village.

Just a simple statement of “I am praying for you,” or you are in my thoughts and prayer,” will go a long way.

People who are grieving all grieve differently and time is NOT a factor. It is not up to us to decide when it is time for them to “get over it or move on.” That is their OWN process, and it is not determined by time. It is between them and God.

Vanessa and her family will need her time to process all of this. They have a long road ahead of them. What little I do know about Kobe and Vanessa is that they were believers, and they were raising their daughters to have faith in God. I am sure Vanessa has a great support system with family and friends and their church. God, faith, family, friends, and church are the components in my life that are seeing me through. I am sure that she will lean on those elements to see her and her daughters through this.

This will not be easy, and this phase of her life is probably the most challenging she has ever had to deal with. More importantly, in time, she will get through this.

In time she will find it easier to wake up every day with promise.

In time she will look into the eyes of her babies and not break out into tears.

In time she will find her new purpose for her life and walk in that purpose.

In time as time and life move on, she will learn to move forward.

In time she will become stronger, and she is now gaining strength every day!

But in the meantime, my prayer for the Bryant family is that they stay close to God. I pray that they reach out when they have a need, and trust God to get them thought this. He is there, He has always been there, and he will NEVER leave their sides.

For those of us who are watching and praying… LIVE and LOVE HARD!! Follow your dreams! 

You are NEVER too old to dream!

Live and love those around you!

Tell them you love them and that you appreciate them EVERY DAY!!

LOVE
FORGIVE
LOVE
LIVE

Live life with no regrets!

We don’t know how much time we have left on this earth, but I do know that that time is precious!

DON’T WASTE IT!

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!

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!