I could not sleep tonight, so I am evaluating my life and my choices. You know the, Did I do this or that right? What if I could change something, even one thing? Would it make a difference?
We often ask each other, “What would you change if you could go back in the past?” Like most of us, I always have a laundry list of things I would change like, school and career choices, financial decisions, and places of residence.
At what cost would those changes come?
Would that change who my daughters are and who they are supposed to become?
Would that change mean changing the people who have planted seeds in my life?
Would that change the people who have touched my heart and I have touched theirs?
Would that change who God means for me to become?
Regardless of the hard, sad, painful, and tragic events of my life, I would not change one thing.
The Lord said in Isaiah not to remember the former things or things of the past. He also told me to listen carefully. I am about to do a new thing, and it will spring forth, and I will not be aware of it. He will even put a road in the wilderness. (Isaiah 43:18-19)
There is a joy that God will instill in you that will allow you to withstand any storm that life brings to you. God has taken the events of my life and weaved and molded them into who I am today. The pain, joy, laughter, and tears have led me to this moment and this season of my life. Healing from God is more than physical illness. God has healed my heart, my mind, and my soul. The hard times in my life have forever changed me. They have made me stronger, resilient, and knowing that all things are possible if I trust in GOD.
“GOD, pick up the pieces.
Put me back together again.
YOU ARE MY PRAISE!” (Jeremiah 17:14)
It is my prayer every day that if God takes everything that I have been through and uses it to help others, it will all be worth it.
It has been a while since I have written in the blog. Trust me, I have been writing, finishing up my master’s program, and this last class was challenging!
I had an enjoyably week off and now on to my next class. (YEAH) Three more and then I am done!
In the past year we have had over 500,000 deaths from Covid-19, and a lot of people, especially spouses, have joined the club that I never wanted to join. They are widows or widowers. This road will not be an easy one for them to travel, nor for any one grieving a loss. They will need the support of family and friends as much as possible with our current state. When my late husband passed, I was blessed that I was able to physically say goodbye and receive the visits, hugs, love, and support from my family and friends. Support from your family and friends should never stop.
Family and friends, I implore you to check on those who are grieving. Even if they say, “I’m okay or look okay, please make the phone call or send the text message, most importantly, PRAY for them.
Trust me. They need you.
I also have a message to those who are grieving. I KNOW this is hard, unfair, and unbearable. I know that you are sad, angry, hurt, and confuse. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your family, friends, or a mental health specialist.
PLEASE DON’T BE ASHAMED! Your life could depend on it.
Just the notion of people making fun of downplaying someone who says they were suicidal makes me angry.
LISTEN TO ME:
I don’t care who they are or how much money a person has, depression does not have favorites, and it will descend upon ANYONE! It does not matter if you are famous or wealthy.
This horrible attitude towards mental health is why people don’t come forth, which is why suicide rates are so high! The insensitivity is appalling!
THIS MUST STOP!!
I almost took my own life pretending I was fine, that everything was fine. I was laughing when I wanted to cry—keeping silent when I wanted to scream. Just so those around me would not be uncomfortable. This way of thinking almost ended my life and would have destroyed my daughters.
When I tell you about the realness of GOD…
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18
Yes, I sought therapy, and I still see my therapist, and I am not ashamed to admit it. I was angry at GOD for weeks and months, and I was not allowing Him to speak to me. He never left me because, when I was in my darkest pit, I said that tonight was it, I am done, GOD said NO! HE pulled me out and sent me to the right person to help me clear my head. I was lucky, NO, I was blessed that I had previously established a foundation that allowed God in my headspace, even if it was for a moment to make me stop.
If you don’t have that relationship with GOD and you would like to establish your relationship with God, contact me and allow me to introduce you to my Daddy.
Even if you are doing have the relationship that I have with God, I need you to know that help is still available, and you can seek the help you need. Allow those who care to help you.
Please don’t think that if you end your life, everything would be alright. You have family and friends that you are leaving behind who will be devastated by your actions.
You have a life that must be lived.
You have a life that will bless people that only YOU can bless.
You have a life that is of value.
YOU are needed and wanted!
Talk to your pastor
Talk to a friend
IF you are anyone you know are having thoughts of suicide, please call the suicide hotline. Listed below is the number for the Veterans Crisis Line.
Remember you are not on this journey alone. Someone will always walk with you.
Jesus is the reason for the season. Yes, many of us know, feel, and honestly believe this. But it does not mean that people may not be feeling the Christmas spirit this year.
So, wait and read what I have to say.
My girls and I always have a house full of people during the holidays. After my late husband’s death, it has been incredibly comforting to have those closest to us helping us celebrate the holidays. We ate, played games, and sang our hearts out. I know for me, it took my mind of the grieving process and placed my focus on the season, family, and friends. This year was different. This year it was my duty to keep my family safe, so the decision was made not to have our usual celebration. Instead, we were responsible and opted for a quiet day at home.
I know many of us went into the Christmas season with a sense of dread. Many of us are without employment, or you are still working from home if you are lucky. We are socially distancing with no real gatherings of family and friends. Many of us canceled trips to family and friends, vacations, and other social traditions of the season to stay healthy.
So, I also felt a little depressed this year and had a sad moment. There are so many people in distress and grieving this Christmas. In a way, I know how these families are feeling. My family knows their pain. However, now people must deal with their grief and or depression alone, but they are also battling, avoiding, and standing against a horrible virus. Many are spending their first holiday alone without a loved one or two, and many may not have families surrounding them. It is okay to feel whatever you are feeling.
There is no cookie-cutter method for dealing with grief, depression, and sadness during this time. I have had people tell me how I should be feeling and when I should be feeling it. Really?? No one and I repeat NO ONE, can tell you how to express your feeling, when to express your thoughts, or why or where you should be at this current time in your life. Only you and God can know that, and HE is walking this road with us. If you have people who are doing this in your life, it may be time to delete those type of people from your life who “support” you.
Family and friends that support you will understand that what you are going through will not go away overnight, nor will you “get over” it.
IF YOU ARE SAYING THIS TO PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE, PLEASE STOP!!
The Bible tells us, “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Whenever you and God decide that you are ready to move forward, that’s when you move and not a moment sooner. I have learned that when must allow God into every aspect of our lives. Our grief and depression process, our therapy, our recovery, and our overall life every day. I know that only GOD saw me through the last 4 years, 2020, and HE will continue to see us all through every day.
When I think of Christmas, and through Easter, I am grateful for the wonderful sacrifice God has made for us all. From the birth, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Even in the midst of this storm, I can still find the blessings of the miracle of Jesus and HIS unfailing love for us all. My prayer for you is that you will find your Blessings in the Middle of the Storm.
I know that many of us are trying to hold on to what sanity and joy they have left. I have talked to many people that they are trying to find joy in this season. We are restricted due to an out-of-control pandemic, we have had months of civil unrest, political difference continues, and now we are left to “celebrate” the holidays. Due to the pandemic, many of us will skip traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions for a smaller scale and fewer people celebrations. This morning I found myself feeling down, and you know, the conniving devil he was trying to pull me down that familiar dark road that leads to that pit. As I sit typing this with tears in my eyes, I want to tell you this: I AM NOT HAVING IT!!!
Shake it OFF!
Don’t fall for it!
DON’T LOSE HOPE!
THERE IS STILL JOY!
You may need to reach deep inside and borrow from your reserve joy. We all have it! Trust me. I have borrowed from my reserve joy many times over the years. Reserve joy is the joy that Jesus has rooted deep in your soul.
It’s the moments that you smile in the midst of tears, or you laugh stead of screaming.
For me, it is knowing that no matter how I hurt, feel, or think at that time, GOD is always with me, surrounding me, and if no one else loved me, I knew that GOD loved me!
It’s knowing that I am never alone because HE is with me.
It is knowing that whatever I am going through in my life, there is Joy!
There is always a blessing in the storm.
No matter how bleak it may seem
No matter how hard it gets
No matter who says what… HE IS THERE, the GREAT I AM!
Do what will make you happy!
IF it brings you joy, put up your Christmas decorations early… but put them up!
Cook your favorite foods on the holidays and have a Zoom or FaceTime dinner and games with family and friends. I know that we are Zoomed out, but it is only for a SEASON.
This too shall pass.
I want you to dig into your reserve joy; it’s there! Dig deep! I want you to bring back the sparkle in your eyes and your soul. I want you to encourage your family members and friends to do the same.
We will get through this, and we will survive and thrive! Call or contact me. I have some reserve Joy that I am willing to share!
I don’t have it all together. Trust me, I have my days and moments, but I refuse to give in to anything the enemy is trying to execute! Even my own thoughts!
I lived in a dark hole. In a pit with my 3 D’s, desperation, depression, and despair.
A voice stifled…
I often think of all the little girls and boys who had their voices stifled at a young age.
Our innocents are stolen and taken away.
Our souls are broken and shattered.
Our spirits are tainted and corrupted.
Our lives are marked for destruction.
Our relationships are compromised before they start.
Our happiness is fake.
Our joy is nonexistent.
We had to learn how to survive.
We had to learn how to live.
Our lives were literally put on hold.
But there is hope… and that hope is JESUS.
Viola Davis said, “The two most important days in your life is the day you were born and the day you discovered why you were born” To those of us that have been abused, bullied, talked about, and or mistreated, finding a reason to live or to go on is difficult.
When construction on a house starts most times, a hole is dug to pour the concrete for the foundation. This step is crucial because if you have a week foundation, your house or building could fall or crumble.
“He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation of the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built” (Luke6:48).
When I was young, my Uncle Homer and Auntie Perk took me to church and introduced me to GOD. I did not know that their actions would not only change my life; it would one day save the life of my family. Their efforts purchased the plot for my foundation.
I went to church, Sunday school, Bible study, choir rehearsal, Junior Usher Board practice, and I still did not completely understand what or who God was in my life. Baptized at the age of 12, I believe this is where my foundation was poured; God filled my dark pit. Now, change was not sudden and definitely did not happen overnight. As a matter of fact, it took years of mistakes and bad decisions. However, as I started to build my house no matter what happened, my foundation stood firm and withstood the test of time.
I have had many trials and hardships in my life that continued to test this foundation. Over the years, I have strengthened my relationship with the Lord, thus fortifying my foundation. Many of my houses have fallen and crumbled, but because of my firm foundation, I was able to build, rebuild, and rebuild. This last trial almost took my life and shook my foundation to the core. As I wanted to die and crawl under my foundation, as I thought my foundation would be blown away, as I thought my foundation would crumble, it stood firm.
“But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come, and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash” (Matthew 7:26-27)
It stood strong because it was fortified by the Blood of JESUS CHRIST.
I have screamed…
I have gotten angry…
I have cried…
I wanted to give up…
But my GOD remained steadfast and loyal to me, and for some reason, HE would not let me go!
As my oldest daughter and I quietly celebrated my late husband’s life without many tears and anguish, I realized that I have grown. I have accepted the will of GOD, and I have learned to live and move forward. Yes, my therapy played a tremendous role in my progression, but without the grace of GOD, I would still be in my pit of the 3D’s that the devil planned for me. Because of JESUS, I went from living in a pit of desperation, depression, and despair to standing on the firm foundation that the LORD has planned for me. I will continue to set my mind on the things above.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not things on earth” (Colossians 3:1-2)
I am far from perfect, and I know I will have many more trials ahead. However, I take hope in knowing that my strength lies solely with the LORD and his plans for me and my life.
My Wednesday night Facebook prayer group prayed about the healing and restoration power of Jesus.
There was a time in my life that I did not know where I was going. I did not know if I would make it through the next second, let alone the next day.
I did not know how my daughters or I would survive.
I did not know to sleep without crying myself to sleep.
I did not know what to do when people who loved me turned their backs on me.
I did not know what happened to my future, my promises, my hopes, my dreams.
I did not know how to get up out of the pit the devil created for me.
All I did know was fear, doubt, anger, disbelief, sadness, pain, and sorrow.
I may have forgotten where comes my help.
I may have for a moment forgotten who I belong to…
But I know a Healer! I know my Provider! I know my Deliver! I know my Waymaker! I know my Provider! I know my Ultimate Friend! I know my Miracle Maker I know my Comforter! I know my Promise Keeper I know WHO holds my future! I know the GREAT I AM! I know JESUS!!
Thank you, JESUS, because… I know that HE healed my broken spirit and my soul!
Thank you, JESUS, because… I know that HE healed my broken heart!
Thank you, JESUS, because… I know HE made a way when I could not see it!
Thank you, JESUS, because… I know that HE yanked me out of my pit!
Thank you, JESUS, because… I know that HE can do the same for you!
I know that you NEED to trust HIM! I know that you allow HIM to love on you!
I know that GOD has a purpose and a plan for your life!
I know that you need to let HIM into your life!
I know that HE will bless your life! I know that JESUS loves you with agape love!
I know that there is NOTHING that you can do to keep HIM from love you!
I need you to know that GOD is waiting to welcome you with open arms!
I need you to know that HE is ready to forgive you!
I know that if I did not have that foundation built on the blood of JESUS, I would have never survived the darkest moment of my life. All you need to do is call out to HIM and ask HIM into your life. Allow JESUS to heal and bless you. I promise you… you will NEVER be the same.
If you would like to join us on Wednesday nights, please let me know!
Expectations is a belief that someone will or should achieve something
I did not get a chance to snap a picture of my soon to be 2021 graduate, Morgan when she left to head back for her senior year. If you know Morgan, I should not expect that she will send me a picture! Lol
Her Senior year in Highschool was not what we expected, but we made the best of it.
I can’t help but think back to this picture when Michael, ShaRonda, and I dropped her off for her freshman year in August 2016. We were excited for her and hopeful for her future and our future as a family. We tried our best to make that day just as exciting and memorable as we could.
That year quickly changed into something that we could not fathom. We had such high expectations for this year…
But God does have a powerful way of taking you reluctantly through your trials, whether you want to go or not.
Is the life that I am living what I expected? Nope…
Did the expectations of our lives crush our goals, hopes, and dreams? Yep, for a moment…
Do I still live my life in excitedly in expectation? By the grace of GOD, yes, I do!
You see, I TOLD pits of HELL, NO, 4 years ago it couldn’t have my daughters or me!!
God took the hopeless despair and disbelief in my life and turned it into high expectation!
I was reminded to today when I woke up in funk…. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:2-3)
I was also reminded of a few of the many promise that GOD has for me when I was hopeless!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:18)
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. (Psalm 62:5)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Jeremiah 33:3)
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.(Ephesians 3:20)
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
I am very proud of Morgan’s perseverance through the years. God has blessed her, and she is a survivor!
As I look back on the last four years, what could have killed us, GOD thrived us!
What could have destroyed us, GOD, restored us!
What should have left us in despair, GOD left us expecting HIS GREAT! THANK YOU, JESUS,!!
I am here to tell you that GOD has a plan. It may not be the plan we laid out for ourselves, but just know all you need to do is to continue to trust in HIM. IF you don’t know The GOD I am talking about, I highly suggest that you get to know HIM today. We are living in uncertain times…but we DO NOT have an uncertain GOD!
God is always right on time!
My prayers are with all of us parents sending children back to school, virtually, or to a brick and mortar building. I pray for our children, their teachers, staff, school administrators and city, state, national officials for the tough decisions that have been made and those that have yet to be made. I pray that the love, grace, and mercy of GOD covers us all. I love you, LORD, in JESUS name, AMEN!
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…
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?
Will you choose to live in expectation, victory, success, rejoicing, and praising?
You tell me, will you live in triumph or defeat?
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ 2nd Corinthians 2:14
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!
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!
The threat that we face as a nation is going to test everything. It going to test our Faith in GOD, our sanity, our economy, and our families.
But I AM NOT AFRAID! Three years ago, during this very same time frame, I named my blog “Blessing in the Storm,” because during that time in my life I was going through the worst storm in my life.
The dark clouds had consumed me, the high winds were ripping my house apart, shaking the very foundation of my life. I was sinking fast in a catastrophe storm like I had never seen before.
During this time, I often cried out and asked GOD:
Why my family?
During this same time in March 2016, my family received what we now realized news that would shake us to our core. Its cancer. This news tested everything I believed, everything I knew, and the very one I put all my faith hope and trust.
But through it all my Faith in Jesus:
I am a conquer
I am a survivor
I am an overcomer
No, life is not perfect, but if I can have Faith in God through the most horrific time of my life, I will continue to trust him.
Now my foundation is stronger. The enemy broke me down and beat me badly, and he nearly destroyed me, but he hates that he did not destroy me. I was crushed but not broken nor destroyed, and he loathes the fact that I give GOD all the glory.
I know that with Coronavirus hitting us from all sides. We have to shelter in place at our homes, there are some of us working from home, and some of us have been laid off. Our loved ones are sick, and some, unfortunately, are making their transition to be with Jesus.
Many of us are worried and fearful, and I get it.
But I was ready! I will tell you why in a moment.
My youngest daughter Morgan said something to me when the shelter in place started to happen. She said, “People are panicking about sheltering in place and not going out. I have been preparing for this my whole life.” My Morgan is a true introvert, and anyone that knows her was not surprised by her statement.
But she got me thinking. Four years ago, I began my preparation for what is going on now.
I have been in the dark pits of hell, and I don’t plan on going back. God took my pain, anger, depression, and fear and turn them into a weapon of Faith.
I am not the same person I was in March 2016; I am much stronger!
When you have been through hell, and the Lord brings you out of it… you don’t want to go back!
I attended two church services today, and the two sermons that talked about storms in our lives came from the same scripture reference. (Matthew 14:22-35). “But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Vs 27) Both pastors talked about “Don’t Fear.”
When my late husband died, I was afraid, scared, fearful, and alone. But I gave everything over to GOD! My fear, my loneliness, depression, suicidal thoughts, and my anger.
I worry as well about this virus, but one thing I refused to do is live in fear.
In this season, I am still choosing to live in Faith, not fear!
I am choosing to focus on GOD
I am choosing to PRAY
I am choosing to focus on my family
I am choosing to focus on my relationship
I am choosing to focus on my friends
I am choosing to focus on the things that GOD has for me
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)
I challenge you today to walk by Faith
I challenge you to turn your fears over to GOD
I challenge you to take Jesus hand and step out of the boat
I challenge you to keep your eyes on GOD and not on the situation
I challenge you to choose Faith over fear
Remember, we are not alone, and no matter what, GOD is with us!