Hello everyone…and a very happy Thursday to you all! Well…I have now hit the 61 mark…and some would say that they are getting old; but I see these many years, as times of new growth and a greater wisdom…a wisdom that can only be obtained through Jesus Christ our Lord. My prayer for you today; is that you too will come to experience this God, in the way that I have come to truly know Him over these many years of affliction…and that you won’t be taken down by despair; but that you will be lifted above it, by the One who truly has lifted me from despair…Amen!!
Last night, as I was preparing to end my day; God came to me in a very special way…and what a special time we had together. You know…every step that I have taken in life has walked me through one storm or another; but the light of God’s presence has ALWAYS been there, to safely guide me out of each storm I’ve faced…and some of these storms have truly been seen as unending; but even though I couldn’t see through the darkness of the blackened clouds that surrounded me at the time; God knew when and where they would end…for I truly came to see that He was waiting for me, on the other side of the storm.
No matter what we face…or no matter where we seem to find ourselves in life; there is a loving hand reaching out to us…a hand that can lead us out of these darkened moments…for I have seen and experienced that hand upon my life many times.
You know…there was a specific time in my life, when God had truly come to me…and this is what I would like to share with you today. Just after beginning the group counseling, for the sexual abuse that I experienced as a young girl, along with a very dysfunctional home life; I had felt led by God to take a trip home…over 2500 miles from where I now live, to hopefully find an end to these painful moments of the past and to also truly learn how to forgive my past.
After finally returning home, I took several trips to the cemetery…over a period of 10 days, to where my grandfather (my molester) was buried. As I left in the way I came, I was getting a little discouraged; because I knew that we would be leaving soon and it would be difficult and expensive for me to return; so I talked with Keith and we agreed to take one final visit.
As Keith and I approached the cemetery for the final visit, I could feel God working with me. He began to show me that I needed to mentally bury all the pain with the one who had hurt me, so I began to do so. As I began to bury every painful moment, I felt like a very heavy load had been taken off my back. For each moment of pain I buried, God began to replace the painful feelings with His peace. From there, I knew that I would have to forgive my grandfather…which to be honest was the hardest thing to do. I came to see that day; that if I wanted God to forgive my sins, then I would have to find a way to forgive him too. From that moment, I started to feel pity for my grandfather instead of anger…knowing that one day, he would have to stand before God and be judged for what he had done. As I sat on a nearby stump…not far from his grave, I began to sing, “I surrender all…I surrender all; all to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.” As I finished singing, I began to give all the anger and lack of forgiveness over to God, so He could nail all of my feelings to His cross, where once He died to set us free. As I got up from the stump, I slowly walked back to the van…never to look back again…and as I left the cemetery I cried; because for the first time, I had finally been set free, from the heavy burden that had become my life for so many years.
You know…one of the greatest things God has taught me; is that we do need to forgive those who hurt us…but not only by word; but truly from the heart. I believe that if I wouldn’t have forgiven my grandfather in this way; then the burden would still be there…haunting my life every day.
One thing I came to see that day at the cemetery; was that I was no better in the eyes of God; then the grandfather that had molested me…because you see, all sin is sin in the eyes of God…and no sin is greater than another to Him.
One thing we must remember every day of our lives; is to forgive with a true heart; for in Matthew 6…verses 14 & 15 we read… “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15) But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Today, as I celebrate 61 years of life, I thank God for the lessons learned along the way…and for the heart He has given me, while walking through the ashes of deep despair!
No matter what has taken place in your life, may I encourage you to get alone with God and let Him teach you how to forgive those who may have hurt you in life? One thing I know…the weight of each hurtful moment will be lifted from you…and you will experience God’s love and peace…a love and peace that will keep you closely connected to Him, rather than the painful moments of your past.
At the darkest moments in our lives…moments that make us feel as if the sun will never shine again…comes a presence…one who gives us the light we need, to walk out of these darkened moments of despair…and this is the hope we hold near to our hearts.
Well…it’s time for me to celebrate another year of life and God’s goodness! I wish I could have each of you with me in my home…for we would talk and share and enjoy a piece of blueberry cheesecake…something special I’m looking forward to today.
As you walk through this day, my prayer for you; is that you would truly come to experience a God of power…one that can break the chains that are attempting to keep you in a prison cell of despair.
Have a great Thursday…and I pray many blessings on your day!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Hello everyone…and a very happy Wednesday to you all! I hope that you are enjoying a beautiful summer day…and that even more, you will come to experience a power in your life like no other…a power that only comes from Jesus Christ our Lord…Amen!!
As I’ve been sitting here this afternoon…thinking on what God would have me share with you, as I prepare to press on and enter another new year of life; He began to open up a part of my life…and I would have to say that this was one of the most difficult times I’ve ever walked through; but at the same time, it was one of those moments, when I had truly experienced the wonder working power of God in my life.
As some of you may already know, I came to a time in my life, when I had truly fallen down to nothing emotionally. In fact…I was so far deep into depression; that I even found it very difficult to make a bed…or just do a daily routine around the house.
One day, as I continued to go deeper into these difficult moments of despair, I had decided to call up my Christian counselor and talk with him; but he wasn’t available at the time. I was so tired and drained from the depression that was attempting to take over my life; that the counselors secretary thought that I might have taken some pills and was attempting to commit suicide, which wasn’t the truth. Little did I know that God was once more heading me in a different direction; that would eventually be used to help me out of the depressing memories of the past.
After hanging up the phone…I would say that within minutes, there was the sound of many sirens…and from there, a knock came at the door. As I answered the door, it was a policeman…and the moment I saw what was taking place outside my door, I fell down and began to sob uncontrollably. Within an hour or two, I found myself being taken to a local medical hospital. From there, I was admitted and checked by a doctor…and several blood tests were taken. The doctors found that due to a long stretch of depression…the fluid around my brain wasn’t enough to keep the brain functioning right; so I was placed on medication and was kept at the hospital for two weeks.
While I was in the hospital, I was assigned to several counselors…and the only one that was allowed to call me or visit was Keith, due to some of my problems being related to my family.
After being in the hospital for several days or so, I was given the option to get involved in an exercise class or a craft class. Since my legs weren’t doing well at the time, I chose the craft class…as I did enjoy that at one time. I guess the thing I need to say to you before we go on; is that when I took my first craft class, I still was pretty much down to nothing. I struggled to function or even shake my doctor’s hand.
Anyways…as I walked into my first craft class, the nurses were giving us a choice, as to what we would like to do. I will never forget this time, as I walked into a huge room with metal tables…tall stools and boxes and boxes of craft items.
As the nurse nicely walked me over to a table full of craft items; she began to ask me, as to what I would like to try and make. At the time, I just hung my head and didn’t even know if I had it in me, to do anything that day; but as she encouraged me and walked me over to the table, I began to get interested in decorating two mini brooms; that could eventually be hung on the wall at home. It wasn’t much of a project…just placing dried flowers and ribbons on these little brooms; but it was a humongous task at the time for me.
As I sat at the table on a tall stool, I just stared down on all that was before me for a few minutes…and then it seemed as if ideas were beginning to enter my thoughts. As each woven piece of ribbon went in place, along with all the beautiful dried flowers…something began to spark within me, for the very first time…in a long time. I actually began to feel a glimpse of light shine into the darkness, as I saw how I could still make something beautiful…and see it as something beautiful. Little did I know at the time; that this would be the beginning of a healing for me.
To this day, the brooms hang on my office wall…and when I feel as if life is taking me down again, I look at the brooms and visualize the moments, when beauty was truly brought forth, from the ashes of my despair.
A Bible verse that has meant so much to me is found in Isaiah 43:19…and we read… “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
One thing I would like to say to you today; is that God can truly take the most hopeless moments and make something new and beautiful from it. I think that the place where we go wrong; is when we start focusing so tightly on what is wrong; that these moments begin to convince us that they will never go right again.
Listen…I have walked through what I have seen to be the worst form of darkness in my life…a time when I felt as if I was actually walking through the pits of hell; but one thing I can tell you today…God didn’t leave me there. Instead, He made a promise to me; that He would stand on His word and bring me out of that darkness of despair…and today, I can say that even though I struggle with my health or other forms of trials…He has brought me through…and continues to bring me through each day.
As we close, may I encourage you to stop focusing on the darkness of a circumstance and begin anew, by searching for the light of God’s presence; because there is one thing I know without a doubt…and that is this; when we seek Him with all our hearts, we will find Him and He will come to us and unlock these prison cells of despair and set us free, just as He has done for me…praise Him!!
Have a great day…and I hope that you will come back tomorrow and help me celebrate life, as it will be my 61st birthday! Come and experience a God, who can breathe new life within you…just as He has done for me…Amen!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Hello everyone…and a very happy Tuesday to you all! I hope that your day is going as well as mine has…and I pray that you will truly experience a real love in your life each day…one that only comes from a loving and compassionate God…Amen!!
This afternoon, Keith and I were having lunch together and we were talking on my life a little bit…and how far God has brought me over the years. In fact…when I look back on my life, I see the different roads that I once walked down…roads that have been truly well-traveled.
To start out…the first of many roads that I walked down, was the road of my youth…a time, when I was dealing with life in a very difficult way…and while traveling this road, I faced many lonely and depressing moments, along with sexual abuse and much loss. While other children were running and enjoying life, I spent many of the twenty-one knee surgeries in a hospital bed, with a long recovery later. As I sat recovering, after having reconstruction work on both knees, I could hear the sound and laughter of my siblings and friends outside the window. On this road of life, I not only experienced physical problems; but also emotional ones too, as I was brought up in a very dysfunctional home. Many times on Sunday, I would find myself…with my arms folded in my bedroom window, while starring out to nothing. This road was a difficult road to understand…and a road that seemed to place me in a world of my own, which made this road a very lonely one to walk down.
After traveling this road for quite some time, God seemed to be taking me off this road and onto an exit that led to a road of marriage…and what seemed to be the start of something brand new…for this was the time when I met Keith and married him. We first found each other at a laundry mat…never realizing that we would meet once more that night at the hospital where I worked. Even though I saw happiness at the time; later I came to see the reason for marrying Keith…a reason that would start a more intense journey with God.
The next road that God took me down was a road of loss…pain and great heartache…a time when life would mingle in with more surgeries and counseling, for a sexual abuse that took place at the age of 5. Believe me when I say…I actually didn’t think that I would make it on this road because this was the road that brought me down to the pavement…a place, where I could either look up to God for help…or a place where I could give up.
After finally pressing on, while becoming stronger along the way; God led me down another road…a road where I would begin to serve Him and use those many years of pain and heartache to help and encourage others. Maybe you are thinking about now; that I have finally overcome everything and life has been smooth sailing; but it hasn’t. To this day, I live with a rod in my right leg…a very bad left knee and two painful feet, along with tiredness each day; that attempts to slow me down…but you know what…I am here to testify to you today; that this God I serve is a very strong and mighty God, as He has brought me down roads; where honestly, I couldn’t see an end to them.
I will be sharing more in-depth stories, during these next couple of days; so you can have a more clearer view of all that has taken place in my life; but mainly what I want you to take hold of today; is that it doesn’t matter what we walk through…God is ALWAYS stronger.
You know…most of us know and have memorized Philippians 4:13, which says… “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me;” but do we truly believe what this verse is saying to us? In other words…do we believe that no matter what road we walk down in life; that Christ’s strength can help us to overcome all things? I remember a time in my life, when I thought I believed that; but actually, my actions weren’t showing it. I have come to see that we can read the whole Bible and memorize every verse possible; but until we believe its truth, these words will only remain dormant within our lives.
One thing I can say to you today…and I hope and pray that it will encourage your heart; is that if I wouldn’t have applied God’s word to my life…and if I wouldn’t have been willing to let Him travel with me through these long, hard and difficult times of life; then I know without a doubt that I wouldn’t be writing you today.
You know…God’s word has a way of giving us a “wow factor;” but if we don’t work with God, to put those “wow factors” into effect; then what purpose do they serve. In other words…it’s good to believe in God’s word; but putting them into action is what brings them alive within our lives, while helping us to truly experience the wonder working power of God.
As you walk through the hard and difficult times of this life, may I encourage you to not only read God’s word; but also let His word become a survival manual…one that will walk you out of despair…and into a life brand new…a life that can free you from the past…just as it did for me.
Have a very blessed day…and I hope that you will come back and join me tomorrow…and on my birthday (Thurs.), for some very heartfelt stories on my life.
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
PS…if you would like to read the story on my life, I have an e-book/book on Amazon, titled… “My Journey with God: Walking thru Endless Moments of Affliction with a Love that Would Not Let Go.”
Hello everyone…and a very happy Monday to you all! Well…here we go again…another new week; but let me give you the best news ever about entering a new week. I have come to truly see over time that when I enter a new day or a new week; then I am also entering a time of new possibilities…for all things are being made new by God…Amen!!
Some of you may have noticed on my previous writing that my birthday is this Thursday, July 30th…and if you read the “PS” at the bottom of that writing; then you would have seen that I was giving you an invite to my birthday writing on Thursday. Anyways…as I was sitting here this afternoon, I thought that maybe I would do a series of writings that will bring you to the grand finale on Thursday…so here we go…
Most of you may not know this but I no longer ask for birthday gifts on my birthday; not even from my husband; because this is a very special time between me and the Lord. In fact…I see this day, as a time when the greatest gift was given to me…the time when God brought me out of the depths of despair, to experience a brand new life with Him; so on my birthday, I do celebrate my birthday with Keith to an extent; but even more, I celebrate this time with God.
As I look back on my life, I remember many years when I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday; because during those times, I didn’t feel good about myself or I just didn’t really know the reason for feeling the way I felt at the time. Between all the surgeries…pain and counseling, along with a heart that was so shattered, I just couldn’t see any good reason to celebrate life. In fact…during those difficult times, I only seemed to be in tune with dim lights and dark colors, which I found out later was a sign of depression for me.
Anyways…as I was sitting in my living room the other day…talking with Keith, I found out why I didn’t want to celebrate life during those times…and that was because my birthday only took me back to many bad memories of the past, along with all the physical problems I experienced with my knees. Also…this time of the year became a constant reminder to me, as to the time when my grandfather molested me. After experiencing so many trying times in my life, I just felt that forgetting my birthday would also help me to forget what took place in my life.
As many years have passed by, I have truly come to know Jesus…to the place where I talk with Him all the time. You see…He has become my very best friend…one that I can trust to keep His word…and One that will listen to me and truly care about the needs of my heart.
Through these many years of getting to know Jesus…the memories of the past have faded more into the background of my life, as Jesus now becomes my focal point each day. Because of this, I have truly found a reason to love life again and to love myself. You see...Jesus is not looking at the way I have my hair fixed…or if I’m wearing make-up or not...for the only thing He seems to be interested in is my heart…and I don’t know about you; but that’s the kind of friend I need in this life…One who cares more about me as a person, rather than any other thing.
A Bible verse that has helped me to truly see life in this way is found in I Samuel 16:7…and we read… “But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
Maybe right about now, you just haven’t felt that good about yourself…and maybe you feel as if you have to live up to these artificial standards in life. If so, may I encourage you to make Jesus your friend; for He will walk way beyond the outward appearance, to see your heart…and even more…you will experience a love that is perfect…one that can be trusted and one that will help you to see life in a brand new way…just like me.
May you have a very blessed day…and please come back, as I share something brand new with you each day…right through my 61st birthday, on July 30th!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.