The Sea Was Deceiving Me

Throughout my life, in times of trouble there seemed to be only the thought of one thing that calmed my soul…the sea. I needed to figure out why this particular element of the earth was calling out to me so strong, why it had such a grip on my life. It wasn’t until I stopped thinking about this reprieve that. I received my answer.

As a kid there was something about the water that was so peaceful to my healing. It was a place that was so vast that my troubles seemed to pale in comparison. I didn’t get to visit the sea as a kid but that didn’t stop the beckoning.

Ever since I could remember there was almost a magnetic pull to the point that I would create jokes to cover the longing my heart had to be at the waters edge. As I got older it seemed so obvious to me that my jokes of being a direct descendent to Poseidon was actually a marker of something way greater.

I grew up in small town Ohio USA. I was located in the central portion so the wonderful Great Lakes were never far away. In particular Lake Erie was the closest and it rang with many great memories of freedom and solace to my heart. I wanted to spend as much time as I could there just so I could marvel in the majesty of the great works called the Great Lakes.

As I got older the lake was simply not enough to satisfy my craving. I found myself dreaming of much bigger bodies of water like the ocean. When I finally got to experience the ocean for the first time I honesty can tell you that I felt like I was home. Whenever I was there my worries and troubles seemed to fade but the call to take me to greater depths of the water was stirred to the point that it was consuming my thoughts. I thought I understood why this was happening, it was so obvious the sea was a place of relaxation my heart needed to be at ease. I never put much more thought into this theory until it actually became a driving force. I found myself to the point of tears because I wanted so badly to be a part of the water. I wanted to experience all the mysteries it had held and despite the mysteries I was aware of I wanted to have the peace the sea beckoned for. Something was off! Why was I feeling a call to be a part of something I as a human was never intended to be? Why was just being at the water not enough but wanting to be a part of the water made me feel complete?

As an adult I got to experience the ocean and all its vastness many times over. Each time I knew of the opportunity to go I was alive with anticipation, I felt complete. I would research and analyze all the best spots to be so I could get the most out of the beauty. When we would arrive at the ocean, from the minute I would step put of the car I had a magnetic pull over me to come closer. It didn’t matter who was with me or around me I would go off literally being pulled into a direction that my emotions were finding satisfaction.

One day when I was walking along the beach in La Jolla, San Diego California that something felt very different. I was in a new territory that I had never seen and tide was low so I was able to walk further then I had ever ventured before. I thought for sure this would satisfy my craving until I walked up on a man sitting on the rocks that would typically be submerged. This man was not doing anything other than sitting there looking out. At that moment it was like I could feel his distress and the contemplation that was running through his mind. Every being in my body was telling me this man was lost and the sea was offering him some perspective. While observing him from afar I felt and noticed so much anguish. I can honestly tell you it felt like he was contemplating his place with the sea before he took his decent into the murky waters and rushing tides to be home once and for all. Of course I don’t really know if this is what he was thinking but perhaps it was a wake up for me to realize what I had been contemplating. I moved past that spot just allowing him to have his time but a new seed was planted in my head.

From the moment of this siting on to today I started to view the sea a bit different. The sea was still calling to me but it suddenly had a darker more ominous look about it. The place of serenity now became a place of final resting. It got so bad that I openly said that I didn’t believe in taking my own life but if I ever did I would just walk out in the sea and never come back. What??? The sea was to be a final resting place for my weary bones, this was so concerning.

Ill be honestly I never put much more thought into the sea until I hit my extreme lows. I needed to figure out why my pull of peace now became a pull of something greater than me. It wasn’t until that fateful day that I started to see what was happening.

My thoughts of the sea were as I described early, revering, majestic and all consuming. It was a place that I didn’t have control but the control it had on me was completely acceptable. See I put the sea itself above the creator of the sea. Instead of feeling pulled and loved by my maker I felt that way about one of his creations…totally displaced my priorities.The sea didn’t just form out of no where so why in the world was all my attention on this and not God?

My eyes were starting to open as what order I was worshipping in my life. I started to understand that instead of the sea beckoning me it was actually taunting me. It was being used as a vehicle to misconstrue my eternal devotion. To simplify, the sea was being used to draw my attention of reliance so I didn’t need to seek help in the right way. The water didn’t hold the majesty the creator did, another revelation.

I began to dig deeper in my walk to discover how easy the enemy uses something we love so much, that we actually covet physically, to pull our hearts and minds away from God. This wasn’t my nature to accept what was right in front of me as my end all beat all, no it was time to make some change.

My change started with this journey that has brought me back to the place of my childhood, the place where all the feelings that the sea was covering up for me. Since I was realizing what was going on in my life this was the time for healing I had prayed for and the time of great reveal.

In these great revelations I suddenly seen the sea for what it was, an escape. Not just any escape but an escape from reality. I had put the call of the sea at the top of my list in the fight or flight mode. When I was scared or upset the voice of the sea was so loud, calling me to come home. Was this God or was this a temptation to not deal with the real issues? I was flying.

Today I have a different view of the sea and with that view I am noticing the call becoming muted. Suddenly when I seen the waters as a draw away fromGod but to something I can see, the diversion had been perfectly planted. I don’t want to be diverted from God because he is in fact the one who made the sea.

I know that we all have things in this world that draws us in, but is it the visual stimulus we are drawn to, the distraction, or are we projecting our problems on something that by itself cant solve a single problem?

I know that in my instance something so beautiful was making me realize I was still feeding into the problems of the world and listening to the wrong voices in my head. I have no need for the sea without God and simply put, the sea wouldn’t exist without the maker of heavens an earth.

I would like to challenge you to dig deep and analyze that peace you get when you see or feel something. Is that peace real or is it fleeting? Is the draw to something or someone feeding into the anxious feeling when you are not in its presence?

I am not a descendent of Poseidon, I am a decedent of God who has made the waters to provide something he knew I would need. The need still lays on him to show me what he has created, not the creation itself. I am and will continue to find my rest in the place that God has guided me to. I know this isn’t easy but it is necessary.

I still love the sea but hands down I love and trust God more!

Not Just a Hobby

As many of you know that have been following my blog, life hasn’t been easy…but its been essential. The essential part is the season of learning, growing according to my purpose. Growth is something that even in the flesh hurts so bad at times to the point where I feel like I could honestly lay down and well die. But this isn’t my journey I am not meant to die yet, I am meant to live and live loud.

While going through a lot of these highs and lows I have found that what was once a hobby of mine, one that I thought was insignificant, came to the forefront of my healing. What I am talking about is as I have done in my past…my writing.

My writing has always been something that has brought me comfort because in text I can articulate the feelings that I cant necessarily say to someone else. It is my sweet release, but this isn’t how I always looked at it. I was often stumped on what to write feeling like I needed some great epiphany to happen in order for it to be worthy to write about. See I thought that my writing was for me…again I was wrong.

What seemed like an innocent outlet for me is proving to be inspirational not only to myself but those who read. I have had so many messages come forward of others that I never considered their struggle, find solace in the words of my mind. This is probably hands down the most awesome feeling I have ever felt.

I started to see views change ,again, not only in myself but those involved in my life one way or another. To be honest even going back and reading some of my old posts have gotten me through some of the hardest most unproductive days of my life. When I find myself stuck in the whirlwind of my mind I can sit down let me fingers go to work and I find myself delivered from my own misery.

The key is to be productive, to keep moving. Movements are so essential to even the circulation of our blood. When the words strike, instead of making excuses not to write I push through and write….I took a step to move and the motion takes me to the next step.

Aside from this being my hobby it is also my gift. No, not a gift I found under a tree, but a gift to help others who can relate. Everyone needs to know they are not alone despite what the fear and darkness dictates. We are humans that are made to interact, to respond, to love and to learn. If I would holdback my “hobby” then someone may take their last breath thinking no one ever cared. Well guess what, I care and I am going to show you through my words

The loving nature I have in my heart is what I am discovering as a rare commodity. So many people get caught up in the day to day of life forgetting there is a whole world that exists outside their circumstance. Think about it, how in the world are we going to be able to relate to another if our stories aren’t being told. This doesn’t mean a well thought out plot that takes you through a series of emotions to provoke a particular outcome, no, it is to relate.

Our stories are pretty much all the same. We struggle from sadness, famine, abuse, neglect, shame, suffering, pride, revelation and so much more. The difference is the particular nature of our troubles. Those troubles become less hard to bear when we get to hear the words “I completely understand I have been through something similar.” This is not a tool of comparison but rather a tool of empathy. We all just want to resonate then the burdens start to lighten their load.

The way that is so apparent that I am being used is through the maturing of these gifts that have been instilled into me. My choice or my will is to decide if I do something with these gifts or do I selfishly keep this all to myself? I choose to share.

I know that each and everyone of you has capabilities of something that stands out among the normal. Whether you are a listener or a speaker, your words have meaning and a lesson. I know we often don’t have enough confidence in ourselves to think we can make a difference, but I am here to tell you…your words may make all the difference. There are no words too big or to small to reach a specified destination. These words or actions are our defining character, the true depths of our hearts.

Today I would like to challenge you to dig deep and take a look at your “superpower.” Not only do I want you to think about them but find a specific situation in which you can execute this special gift. With some practice, understanding and confidence you can change the world…..just like I am trying to do.

The Abused Becomes The Abuser

Throughout this season of discovery I am finding out so much about myself including the good, the bad and the ugly. Despite what I label these truths, it such an eye opener. Sometimes I like what I find about myself and sometimes the fact of my actions have physically made me ill.

To understand the statement behind my title I guess we have to take a bit of a deeper look into my life including my reactions to situations. This is a very hard piece for me to write but it is beyond necessary or I would never have had the revaltions that I have encountered.

I want to back up a bit and describe my past. Yes I know the past is exactly that the past but this is shaping grounds. This is where my destructive behavior has began and with God on my side this is where it will end. In my life, as with most, I cant let go until I go through a process and this process included forgiving myself.

I was married to an amazing man when I was in my early 20’s, the man I thought I was going to spend my entire life with. He did all the right things and of course said all the right things. We had what I thought was a solid foundation to learn that it was earth bound foundation and that leads no where. We had a great relationship, we didn’t fight, of course, we bickered but what couple doesn’t. We had a lot in common at the time or rather I made his desires my own so I would have that strong friendship/relationship that I longed for.

Things were very well through most of our marriage until one fateful day it suddenly wasn’t good anymore. See I had planted a seed in his mind that I was holding him back and opening the idea that he wanted more than I could offer. Our relationship spiraled fast. Then one day he tells me that he doesn’t think he loves me anymore. I was devastated. I had built my entire life around this man and vowed to spend my life with him to only be faced with the imperfection of worldly desires. Why would he want me anymore? After all I was the person who even opened his mind to realize deficiency’s in our marriage and so he chose to step out and find comfort elsewhere.

My reaction was devastating I seriously thought my entire world had fallen apart and thus the suicide ideation stepped in. I thought with all my sorted past that if we couldn’t make it then there was no reason to keep on. I’d like to say this is the birth of my fight or flight but in reality I had been living my entire life in that place.

I was stuck in a position that I had no idea what to do so I called on my parents to come and get me. Of course like any loving parent they were right there for me. I was so lost but started to see the light of the pattern of my long forgotten behavior. Fear, loneliness, lashing out, falling to the pits of hell it was all so apparent, but I was the victim, right? That marriage ended almost as abruptly as it had started and I was far from ok.

The events of the marriage wreaked havoc in my life moving forward. I was so confused, honestly so victimized but there was one emotion that trumped this entire process. The emotion was loneliness I didn’t want to be by myself and start all over. This isn’t what marriage was about so something needed to be done.

I jumped back in my mind to a time when things were confusing to me and started to process all over of how I handled those situations, I shut down. I developed the mentality that if this was all I was worth then I could be like my spouse and walk away and forget. So I did, but the loneliness was even more apparent. Now, mind you, this divorce happened so fast and without God in the captain seat, but the I was a survivor mentality was born.

Within about a couple months of being back to my parents house all my signs showed that I was ready to move on so I did. I thought that the loneliness that took over me meant that my struggles needed to be met by someone. Doing the only thing I knewI decided it was time to forget the past and move on.

I was quickly introduced to a man that was the exact opposite of my ex husband. My thought process was that if I couldn’t make it work with a man I thought was right for me then I needed drastic measures, I needed to explore the dark side. Enter in the spiral of decent.

I was with this man for a number of years to only find my heartache and headaches manifesting in a way that was bringing me down. The loneliness that I had previously felt was amplified. My common sense knew what was going on but my fighters will trumped every chance I had of making myself happy. Of course through all this turmoil of this relationship I developed the mentality that I made my bed so I was going to lie in it. I made the decision to move on and I would be damned if I wasn’t going to make this work, at whatever risk it took. So what did I do with this tremulous relations?… yep you guessed it I married the man. So keep your count because I am now at husband number 2.

Let me go on record to say that this relationship was NOT ordained by God but rather my own free will. The fights were constant the inability to meet up to standards on both of our parts was trumping the relationship we were trying to build. So when hard times struck there was no foundation to fall back on making this a very abusive relationship in the aspect of BOTH of us causing each other more grief than we could possibly take. Tempers were matched at a level that no one would back down and then the patterns started to emerge again. I was not happy, he was not happy and we were simply existing just so we could not claim defeat.

My head went into a spiral wondering what I could have done different and executing the plans my mind created to try to survive. But the damage was so profound and with no positive basis we were just creating more problems that may have normally not existed. I felt so alone even in my marriage as well as him displaying the lack of empathy so I was back to the fight or flight mode. My fight was gone so it was time to fly. I couldn’t take anymore of not only this self inflicted hell but the hell he had inflicted on me. So we split.

Another split, oh my goodness my failure rate was up and my self confidence was down, what was I to do? Well if you see the patterns emerging you will realize that in my mind it was time to move on. But this time was going to be different. I knew what had seemed to work and I was going to stick to that plan.

I had met a man that was from my past and we hit is off creating a new sense of vitality in me. The newness surpassed the old so the old no longer existed in my mind. Things were going great we were learning the right way to create a foundation for our relationship which was God but we were still trying to handle our lives on our own. We didn’t fight we didn’t argue we didn’t grow. So once again enter stage left old patterns. But these patterns were very as-cued, they conflicted all the ideologies that my brain had conceived. Yes we were growing in the lord but i was shrinking in the capacities to learn from my mistakes, face them and move on.

Now I was becoming destructive. My destruction was in the manner of self pity. I started to remember all of my past and I got stuck there. I had never really took time to face and overcome my demons therefore I was bringing the dysfunction over into this new relationship that was honestly everything I had prayed for. I was lashing out in ways that had been displayed to me and through me. It got really bad. I can tell you right now there is nothing worse than seeing a loyal loving person loose their own fight just trying to recoup from the fight that I was exerting. So naturally that relationship ended bringing me to present day.It was time for a radical change, a facing and releasing of my past mistakes.

I decided that I wanted to try it a way that I had never tried before….to submit to God. I am here to tell you first hand that submission sucks when you have a strong will but so necessary for healing. I was tired of the cycle that always led to the same ending so I enlisted God into my fight. Actually the correct wording would be I gave it to God.

When I started discipling myself to seek first things began to change, perspectives began to shift. Suddenly I realized that the loneliness wasn’t in fact loneliness it was the prison of pain I had locked myself into. I started to see all the things I had blamed on my past were just as much a result of my dysfunction as it was of that of my past spouses. I had to heal, that’s why nothing was working.

So here I am now in the healing process and let me tell you how liberating this simple step is. I am no longer pointing fingers looking for fault and I am stopping the cycle of mental and emotional abuse that I was trapped in for so long. Yes there are times I feel lonely, that is a human trait but I have also learned how to fix my focus. When the lies of my past erupted I began to seek first the Lord for guidance then sit back patiently while he worked in me and through me to heal me. I am no longer a captive to fear.

Now the journey has become an adventure. It is an adventure of wondering but not pondering what is meant for my next steps in life. It is the sweet release of knowing how constructive this time with only God has been. The best way I can describe it is as a rebirth. There are so many things that I am finding out about myself as well as the joy of being used as a tool to help others bypass this horrid fate I imposed on myself.

I know with all my heart I have a long way to go but this is a fight that I was asked to partake so I’m going to with my heart ,my mind and my soul. See I realized I was no better than the abuse I had endured so if I was to move on from that I had to go through the healing process. Processes are exactly that, time to build patience, strength and wisdom that is lasting.

I don’t know what the Lord has for me in store but each day I awake with a new appreciation for the sun rises as well as my body and mind as a temple. I know this is all meant for the greater glory but I have to break the patterns and that my friends is exactly what I’m doing.

Obligation…The Joy Sucker

Have you ever in your life wanted something so bad and you went to great lengths to obtain this certain something only to end up resenting the very nature? Well I have! This morning was the biggest wake up call to my entire existence but exactly what I had been praying for.

It is no surprise like many people I went through life with a checklist of what I wanted and the age as which I was to attain it by. I was a director of a movie that I had not only written the script but casted, choreographed and produced with a one man show. I was the one who made all the stipulations, all in my time, but could never figure out why I ended up feeling worse than I started. I mean if God was going to answer a prayer wouldn’t it be a complete answer, a once and for all….magic basically.

Cue God and his plan..his program. See the prayers of my life have been based around worldly desires. Most of them were the desires that I thought could make me feel complete that was until I spent a number of years inside those half answered prayers. Suddenly I found myself bound to obligation. The things that I had desired became work and work is often not fun. Real life rears its head and the mundane of the day to day obligations override any joy that I ever had.

I am a strong willed person I have mentioned that in the past but my will is no match for the will of God. So funny how what we think is supposed to be will send panic into your soul all the while sucking the joy out of the answer. This is where things started making sense to me. I was stuck in a place that obligation was my normal and my fight mechanism was in full force, completely trumping the victory of God.

I have always wanted a family, but not just any family. I wanted one that praised the Lord and loved life. I wanted to be a strong united front for the work of God and oddly enough that was exactly what I got, so I should have been happy, right? Well I was but only for a short while. See after basically not knowing what to do with myself in a role that I was custom designed for I became complacent in the task. I forgot that the little family that God had gifted me was a blessing not a curse. I forgot to capture the moments that truly meant something and just begrudgingly planned for the next task at hand. I am a doer not a watcher…i was being Martha not Mary!

In my family growing up my Mom took the center of rearing us as children because my Dad was away busy earning a living so we could have the necessities of life…like food, clothes, shelter… So my Mom was the one who got all the stuff done at home. Trying to balance everyday life of her own while caring and maintaining 4 young children was not an easy task and very exhausting. Naturally if we are a product of what we see and learn, we will in turn make that our normal part of life. So I thought I was the one to care for it all…I was so wrong.

When the obligation kicks in there is no longer a sense of realness. What I mean by that is there is no time to see what is actually going on right in front of you. When you cant see life, you cant respond to it or even enjoy the situation. Theses situations are to help character grow, a way to set the course straight. I literally stopped living outside my obligation and I became so lost.

Recently I was told that with me being lost it meant that I gave up and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In my eyes when a person is lost it is like sitting on the edge of a fence…or rather like being a skeptic…a decision will have to be made. To be lost denotes that there is a chance to be found, whereas giving up means no turning back. But if I think about it in the views of another person I can easily see how these actions or rather lack of action could be misconstrued to show defeat.

As a parent or even step parent defeat is not the message you want to send. It becomes a new message of “do as I say not as I do”..so confusing, How in the world was I supposed to be an example if I was saying don’t give up and that was exactly what I was doing. But see I wasn’t giving up on the family God gifted me with I was giving up on me…as a child of God. I put teaching obligation over the obligation to myself to grow and nurture my relationship so I could be used as a vessel for the love and kindness I needed.

So much is making sense to the point that I feel embarrassed for the behavior I had despite the fact that God has answered a major prayers for me. I made myself become a victim of circumstance instead of being a fighter for Christ. I had the “Wo is me” mentality being devoured by so much self pity that I shut out the love right in front of my eyes. Boy am I ever sorry for the mistakes I made but I am not sorry for continuing to seek the right answers even at the sake of my own human happiness.

I know now that when God allows someone or something in my life it is because it is a gift. A gift is to be cared for extra special because in reality we couldn’t have done anything to deserve this. I guess that takes this whole loop back to self worth. I get it now…I do have worth I do have value… I am a child of God. I am not a mistake and I am not a throw away item. I am crafted from the high king and grafted from the essence of my parents as an answer for a gift their hearts desired. I am wanted and needed.

All these revelations would not be possible if I didn’t have this time with God. I would still be stuck in a pit of despair wondering why I am another victim blaming my emotions on mental issues. No, I am not a victim I am a fighter and I am a survivor…nothing God didn’t already know.

In this time of revealing I am gaining so much understanding but not in my plan. I am gaining wisdom but not in knowledge. I am facing the trials so I can be triumphant! All I can say is that I am so grateful that he is still working on me and if he hasn’t given up on me then he wouldn’t even consider giving up on you. You are worth all the headaches and heartaches;There is a reason they are presenting in your life. We are always at a crossroads in life so do we want to continue standing there waiting for a ride or do we allow God to provide the chariot that will deliver us to the final destination? The choice is yours the same as it is mine. Today I choose to wave at the car who is driving back and forth knowing that the ride I am waiting for will be here at any moment.

Getting Outside of Myself

Have you ever been so caught up in yourself that it seems like the rest of the world no longer exists? Me too! I am no different than any other human on this earth, when troubles arise it is as if my world is the only thing that consumes me. I constantly look for the lessons in my life so that I can strive to be a better person. But is being a better person only about myself?

Yesterday while doing my daily routine and enjoying my time with God walking and learning I was quickly reminded that there is so much more going on in the world than my troubles and fears. The lessons are not specifically designed for me but rather designed for me to resonate so that I can share with others in turn opening their eyes to the burden free life.

While I was listening to a sermon about meeting needs it was like the skies parted and I began to understand the bigger picture. The picture of the rest of the world and what I had to offer that they also needed, just like me. Their needs were promised long ago to be met so perhaps I should look more into others than myself.

Anytime any of us face challenges in life whether it be small or substantial there is a need at the base of every suffering, every tragedy, every triumph. I started to think how I as a human work and quickly aligned it to the work that God is doing in me. See I ask daily to show me, teach me, use me for your glory and that is exactly what he is doing.

I never had faith enough in myself to think that I would be a part of a greater plan. I didn’t even consider that for one moment how others were watching patiently to see how I react in the midst of adversity. I had no clue that my problems were merely lessons so that I could help teach what is good to our minds our bodies and our souls.

I think most of us forget that the entire world is struggling from majority of the same struggles just a different story. The whole world suffers from fear, anxiety, starvation, darkness, persecution and just the fight for everyday survival. Some days are worse than others but that doesn’t mean that our responses are being watched none the less.

God is using me in my time of hurt to help others who have made their silent proclamation of surrender and equipping me with the encouragement to keep pushing on. Not only am I pushing on but I am being reborn in the process. I have given control over to the one who promises to guide my path. In my own submission I am seeing others coming forward, asking questions and regarding my answers and actions….WHAT?? This is crazy I am no one special…or am I?

Indeed I am special! God has given me gifts just as you yourself have been given gifts with specific instructions. My instructions are easy, that is probably why I have ignored them so long. I am instructed to help! See in the gifts God has given me, he has equipped me with the extra special touch of empathy and encouragement. Encouragement with reason is what people need. They don’t want empty cliches that put them among the masses, no they seek tailored information.

I am an informer and I am an encourager. I have a strong will but I am learning how and when to invoke the stubbornness and these days it is stubborn for the will of God. Read that carefully I am not saying I am stubborn against God but rather stubborn to not be sidetracked with how he is using me.

Since I have been back in Ohio I cant even begin to tell you all the miracles and wonders I have got to be a part of. From simple life revelations to steps towards a better tomorrow. I am seeing people who have served in a mediocre manner become full on followers, spreading more encouragement. It’s almost like a team is being created but it is a team that is not out to win anything for themselves but rather to spread our skills and recruit more team members.

Suddenly all of my troubles, all of my worries have taken a backseat to the drive I have to just share what has been done for me. My life is far from perfect and I am far from anything other than human but I have a big mouth lol. Well maybe I should say a big mouth for the good. I find myself not attempting to fix others problems but rather being inspired with words that ignites the flames of desire. I am planting seeds and working the grounds so that the harvest will be plentiful.

Who would have ever thought that when you get outside yourself that you would be more aware to the insides of those around you. The needs become apparent but the solutions even more apparent. I don’t have to put on a show but rather show my heart. Showing my heart comes with good and bad, but the growth in showing is a freedom chaser.

So much of this journey is starting to make sense, why I have to endure this pain and suffering…it’s because I asked for it. I asked to allow my true purpose to come to the front so that I can feel fulfillment in my tasks and that”s exactly what I am getting. I look forward to my days diving into instruction so that I can find peace. I have stopped searching for understanding knowing that is simply the constraints of my human mind. If I truly want a miracle all I need to do is open my heart and my eyes to see the glorious miracles even in a drop of rain. I have discovered that the answers I have always sought lie within me by one name…God

Perhaps your time of need is actually a calling for recognition of others time of need. We are a community here for one another so why not embrace it. This does not mean comparing because that is a slippery slope. This means resonating with the humanness and overcoming the obstacles….together.

I thank God for opening my eyes to see that my time of need is based on the times of need all around me. I will continue to fuel myself with the word, learn the examples, spread the news and fulfill my duties. I am an overcomer…that’s what they all see and as we all know most people work by seeing is believing. Not only can you see my strength but you can feel my will to love….and love is what I will do.

Celebrating a Sad Anniversary

Yesterday was an extremely hard day but it ended in victory!

It is no shock that I have been going through some of the hardest times of my life. From losing a 5 years engagement to the unexpected yet expected death of my brother. The amount of grief that is coursing through my body can only be equated to one emotion….consuming sadness.

I know I have talked a lot about grief but this isn’t an emotion that you get to choose, it chooses you. There are no boundaries for grief, there is no timeline. The emotion rears its head at the slightest memory of what was. When things are going seemingly great it can deflate a balloon quicker than that balloon was inflated. If there is already a bad day in the forecast it can quickly take a turn down memory lane, to remind of what was and what could have been.

October 30, 2018 marked the 1 month anniversary of my brothers untimely death. That in itself is a sad time but add in the emotions of the parents of a lost child then you really start to understand what grief is all about. It is a necessary emotion, It is used to build strength and with strength comes great revelation thus building character.

When I woke yesterday I was so positive it was going to be a good day. After all I have numerous times declared victory but I have also learned that my version of victory may not necessarily be the victory that is heading my way. Let me explain a bit. See I am a strong believer in Christ and I am proud of that. Without Christ my journey would have ended a long time ago. The reason I serve is because it is who I am, it is engrained into my every being. I have often prayed the prayer for the Lord to use me as a vessel to serve others in his name. This comes with a lot of responsibility but it also packs a punch of joy.

I had a job interview yesterday for a position that seemed God ordained and designed particularly for me. It was a mesh of my passions and my abilities or so I thought. I wrapped myself up in the explanation that I first received as the details of the position, I even found myself saying “I have no idea how this happened, it must be God.” Without a doubt it was God but maybe the position wasn’t right for me.

I got my hopes up based on an understanding from my first interview to only find during a second interview that it was exactly the opposite. The grander quickly wore off the more I learned of the details of the position. Suddenly I was going from grace to defeat, not understanding how this description could be so different then I had imagined. I realized that I was out of my elements, but I still went for it regardless. I gave answers to the best of my knowledge without regarding “free information” for this particular company. What I mean by free information is being careful not to give up too much of my strategies from something that I have been paid for in the past.

When someone asks me strategies I am immediately red flagged because the knowing in me says what is the reason to have me employed if I freely give of something that is honestly a charging service. No I will not divulge that information but I am more than happy to give a round about answer that is most likely cliche but still displays my understanding and drive. If there is potential in my methods then the chance on my skills needs to be taken so I am rightfully compensated for my hard work and dedication. So needless to say the interview was an absolute bust. From the attitude I received to the lack of respect in eye contact let me know this is not the place for me.

After the interview I felt so much defeat wondering why all the plans I felt were being set in motion, but in reality it was more of a “hold on” moment. I was reminded to not let my imagination get away from me and plan but with the expectation that I am being tested on patience. The whole way home I was looking out the window and silently talking to God pleading for guidance on my next steps. My parents had rode along with me so it was time for them to get out and away from the day that lie before them.

On the way home we stopped at the graveyard to visit my brothers grave. I was not remotely prepared for the feelings, not only my own but that of my parents. I don’t think I have ever in my life experienced so much sadness in such an open place. No walls could hold this loss but even the winds of change couldn’t define that moment.

From watching and hearing both of my parents talk to the grave, to feeling the death that resides inside their wounded souls. Honestly I knew in that very moment that I was so in over my head that all I could do was walk around the graveyard allowing my parents to have their time of remembering, forgiving, regret, pleading and growing strength. It was a bittersweet viewing. What was I supposed to do, how am I the youngest of 4 kids, in a place that I was trying to be the rock for my family yet grieve for myself? This was truly a hard day for me.

When we got back home I immediately wanted to go walk/run and clear my head, but nightfall was rapidly approaching. How in the world was I going to be able to vent my worries and frustrations if the element of my comfort was already passed for the day? So out of character, until recently, I contacted my soul sister and began to break down. My cries were becoming so fierce that I was losing the very breath I was using to explain my grief. While talking I got the “come on over” words that lit up my soul. I could go to someone without fear of condemnation and pour out my heart….it’s was my reprieve for sure.

When I arrived at her house I was greeted with the warmth and light that she always displays. Knowing that our relationship isn’t one sided., wehave talked many times about how even in my troubled times it helps her to realize so much about her life and continue to grow in her own character. We have a relationship that is anything but one sided but still very necessary for both our survival.

I began to talk about the events of the days between gasps and rolling tears. I shared my highs and lows while she quietly listened not only to me but for her own words of guidance. While I was talking I found my stories to overlap from all the loss I had faced and how God could possibly think I am the right fit for this job of living and loving. I was bouncing from one story to the other, honestly anyone that would have been listening could hear the confusion and dismay in my voice but my Jules was extra sensitive to it. I recounted the still confusing events of my breakup along with the events leading up to and including the death of my brother. I was spiraling but in a very protected environment.

After my insensate rambling and crying, I started to get understanding and clarity from a 15 year old boy. This is beyond any understanding than I could have even expected from a full grown man experienced in life. He was reminding me that I had value and I needed to see things for what they were but still keep plunging ahead. I was blown away by his perspective right down to understanding and examples of the singular thinking mind frame of man.

In time Jules jumped in and began to comfort me through the brilliant healing of touch, Just rubbing my arm as if to say ” I know you hurt, I hurt for you, but you are strong.” Together they were reminding me of my worth but not to compare it to my grief. I was coming alive realizing the extent of their displayed love.

After a few hours I felt renewed ready to forge ahead and continue to dig for purpose while I allowed human nature to keep me in check. I was so aware of the people who needed me and I needed along with the people who were using me for their own gain. Once I got that perspective in order I was ready to continue to be used for Glory.

It was a hard day and a sad anniversary but when God aligns the people and places in your life the questions suddenly become statements, statements of faith and perseverance . I was refueled and recharged,my focus was back on the prize. After checking the spirit of defeat I gained the spirit of love, peace, joy, reverence and discipline.

Things may not have went the way I wanted to yesterday but by the timeI went to bed I was encouraged by a beautiful and thought provoking statement made in a meme to me by my cousin. The meme said ” I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”This was profound and perfect with precise timing. I loved the spin on the serenity prayer but customized to the fighter in me.

Today is a new day. I will rejoice and be glad in it. Thank you to my ride or die peeps that reminded me that the world is genuinely my oyster but if I want to find the pearls I am going to have to search for the best fishing spots. I am a fisher of men and women. I will throw my net in knowing the struggle isn’t going to be where are the fish but rather how I can make sure my net is prepared with the fish come to me.

Finding the Destination

Lately life has been an extremely rough lesson for me. From having what I felt like was safety and security to learn how temporary things really are. I put my trust in people or rather was working on putting my trust in people and realizing very quickly that this was all wrong. I had found myself even more lost than when I had nothing.

Most of my life I have always been looking for something. I was looking for comfort to help me to be able to progress through the day. I was seeking fulfillment from people and places rather than the one who matters. See I had thought that if things were going well this must be the plan God has for me. Why would my desires for something be so strong if this wasn’t my will aligning with the will of God? I thought my interpretations were sound until I hit a detour then I punished myself. I would find blame in my mental capacity or my execution which only left me in more of a fog.

I worked most of my life to try to find approval in others knowing in my heart that if I overcame mankind then I could overcome anything. I hope now you are seeing why I have talked so much about perspective. The fact of the matter was my perspective was all as-cued. This was an endless empty pit that was impossible to fill. Sure it could be filled in the temporary but the temporary was getting me no where other than more self pity.

I spent most of my 39 years on this earth feeling so lonely, wondering why I couldn’t match up to anyone’s standards of me. The depth of the pain was so consuming that dark became my usual. It honestly got so bad I was to the point where I didn’t want to hurt myself but it felt like that was the only reprieve I was being granted….until I searched deeper.

Now before I go deeper let me say that it was a major perspective switch that brought me out of the darkness. A seeking for something greater than mankind himself that could become point and center of my desires.

In the darkness I was breeding more darkness. I was seeking avenues of gratitude from man when I needed to be seeking from my creator, after all this is his story for his glory, not mine. I was selfish and confused. I had everything I ever prayed for in my life until disruption or rather the challenge to grow revealed itself. This was the time to sink or swim.

I have always prided myself in how much of a fighter I was, taking the recognition that I could withstand and fight the battle of a warrior. But this warrior was very untrained so I never had the stamina to withstand. I would take so much until I would break. This is the sign of a fixer not a fighter. The battle was not for me to handle but my pride decided to trump my rational thought, the knowing that I am human. I had to lose control in the physical world so the spiritual realm could take it’s stand.

I am far from perfect in fact I would happily relish in the fact of how imperfect I am . When I finally admit to myself and the world that I in fact have no control then I discover more imperfections. The imperfections have a great destination because they are lessons, trials, all made for my growth. If I had it all controlled and all was good then why would I need to grow? I wouldn’t because there was no struggle to produce evidence of a greater good at work.

In this time I am discovering so much about myself, it almost feels like a moment from “Eat, Pray, Love.” The extent of this journey is predetermined but it is very possible to find peace in all this. With peace I am able to find rest, in rest I am able to find joy. These are all the things I have prayed so hard for but only in times of desperation.

Today I am renouncing my claim to control and let the natural progression of God take over my life. I am doing this because it has proven successful in the past and the present. I am finding myself new, eager, willing and waiting patiently. Well maybe not patiently to some standards but to the standards I am seeking…I am being fulfilled.