A Letter of Thanks

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for your prayers and support over the past several weeks. I am so thankful to be surrounded by Christian friends who I know are lifting me and my family up in prayer. Those prayers have been felt. Some of you know the complete story of what I have gone through in the last several weeks and realize that I am dealing with much more than one issue. I have hit rock bottom several times to the point of severe emotional bruising. I have been experiencing the worst panic attacks I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve often wondered through all of this what would happen if I just wasn’t anymore. I’ve been hopeless, depressed, lost all sense of self-worth, and have had a very difficult time focusing.

What has happened to me is that I have taken my eyes off of Jesus. I think sometimes He knocks us completely off the ladder so we have no choice but to look up. I’ve prayed and begged for guidance, to feel the arms of Him around me and the answer was always sitting right in front of me. On the ride home one evening, crying my eyes out, I heard a song on the radio by Mandisa called “Overcomer.”   It reminded me that even though I’m down right now, that’s when He reminds us…we are overcomers…through Him. Since that night I have been making a point to read my Bible in the morning and pray to Jesus. What I learned this morning though was that I have been praying for the wrong things. You see, I have been praying for what I want to happen because I have a few issues with control (nobody say a word.) Instead, this morning, I realized that what I need to be praying for is that God will take control and move me into the path of His will. I am praying now that God surround us with the influences we need and to take away the things that are in the way. I am praying for God’s divine guidance and understanding. I am praying for forgiveness for my stupidity and stubbornness. I’m praying for restoration.

I realized this morning that people are going to fail us at every turn. People are going to hurt us and do things that will blow our minds, but we can’t have our eyes on people. We have to have our eyes on God. We might not trust people, but we CAN trust God to keep us in His hands. We can trust Him to do what he says and never give us more than we can bear. We can trust Him to lead, guide and direct our paths. It really all made sense to me this morning reading from Psalms 56 when David says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise-in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Jesus has been right there beside me the whole time, but I couldn’t see Him because I was trying to fix everything myself. I have no more fight left in me. I’m defeated by this world, but through Jesus I will have victory. It might not be the victory I’m hoping for, but it will be His divine victory which is much better than anything I could come up with. This gives me hope again. This restores my soul, which has been so very lost. I realize it is very cliché to say, but I really do have to “let go and let God.”

Please continue to pray for me and my family. We really do still need all we can get. It is the power of prayer that has kept me alive and breathing this last month. Thank you and much love to all of you.

Exercising Judgement

I don’t really know what to say anymore. I have been told that I am very judgmental, but I don’t see it that way. To me that means looking down your nose at someone like they are less than you. I am opinionated for sure. If I see something I don’t like I’m going to say something probably. I don’t care for tattoos, but I have many friends who have them. My opinion of tattoos doesn’t mean that I think less of the person for having one. It just means that I think they are crazy. I’m not going to NOT be their friend because of it. Same goes for smokers and dudes with long hair and people who vote for democrats. I have friends and family members in all of these categories and I love them dearly. Do I agree with their choices? No. Does that mean I’m judging them? No…it means I disagree with them. There is a huge difference. I don’t think I’m any better than anyone else. I might possess more class and dignity, but that doesn’t mean I’m better. It is just a different way of life.

Sometimes it pays to be a little judgy though. I mean, if I’m anywhere with my child and I see certain nefarious types about I will not just smile and hope they are friendly…I will walk faster or perhaps lock my door. You should be careful who you associate with. Does that mean I’m judging the people I don’t care to spend time with? Maybe…but maybe that’s a good thing too. You should be careful who you surround yourself with as you will take on the characteristics of those people more often than they will take on yours. If this makes me someone who judges then so be it. I say it makes me wise. I’m just sayin.

What is Love? Baby Don’t Hurt Me

You know, I hear people say all the time, “I’m just not in love with you anymore.” On TV it is the excuse every person gives for cheating on their spouse or reason for divorce. Here is what people don’t seem to understand. Love isn’t just about sex and about being desirable to the other person. Those things are important to a degree, but that isn’t falling in love…that is falling in lust. Falling in LOVE is spending time with that person and realizing that you want to spend the rest of your life in their company. True love is caring for a person even when they are at their worst. Love is about seeing people at their best (usually in the beginning) and also at their worst and still feeling like a giant hole would be left in your life if they weren’t there. Love means nursing your spouse back to health when they feel that they are at death’s door. It is about sticking together when finances get slim and working towards the same goals. It is about being able to visualize both of you old, saggy, gray, and hurting and know that this is the person you want with you for that journey and nobody else. Love isn’t easy. It requires commitment and work. Hollywood has made it so that people only associate love with the physical aspect, but the reality is that if you truly love someone the physical aspect is only part of the complete package. It’s a bonus if you will. To truly love someone is a commitment. It is being there with and for that person for the rest of your life. The bottom line is that true love is commitment, so the next time you are ogling that person you think you are in love with, picture them fat and bald and missing teeth and if you can honestly say that would be okay then it is love. I’m just sayin…

Here is what the Bible says on the subject:

I Corinthians 13: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels but do not have love, I a merely a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.