Tag Archives: pain

I Got A New Perspective. I’m Renaming My Valleys Today. God is Taking Me Through The Valley of Blessing!

wpid-img_20150415_153005.jpgThe past three months have been extremely exhausting to the point where I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. I’ve been going through some major things with my health, devastating pain that I cannot even put a name to. Weariness and not remembering things to the point where I haven’t been able to share or think of things to say to bless others about how good my God is. At times, only sharing a simple word or thought to ease my own fears and still be a blessing to someone.

With all that I am going through, I’ve been extremely discouraged. Yet being the person I am, I couldn’t let it stop me. I’m persistent, strong-willed, and determined. I persevered. Every day I kept trying. But today of all days was the last straw. The devil came and tried to steal my joy.

Early in the wee hours of the morning, before my feet hit the ground the enemy pounced on me like a raging storm. Attacking me from the north, south, east, and west. He wouldn’t leave me alone. It was one of the most frustrating mornings I have had in a long time. Nothing was going right. I said, “Oh my goodness!” My world seemed dark, filled with despair and hopelessness. I felt helpless.

I started hearing voices telling me, “You will never reach your destiny. You will never accomplish your dream. You’re failing at just about everything. Look at yourself. Where is your help?” I told him, “You messed with the wrong person today! I refuse to believe the lies you are telling. I’m not listening. I’ve had enough. I rebuke that spirit of failure, defeat, and discouragement”. I immediately got on my knees and prayed to God. I felt better after I talked with God. And although nothing changed immediately, I could sense in my heart God was with me.

As I tried to find strength to begin simple tasks only to feel defeated again or gain motivation to get on track, I couldn’t. I needed God’s strength. I opened my Bible to read the book of Jeremiah, chapter 22. I looked at the first verse and for reasons I cannot explain, something alerted my attention to Joel Osteen’s broadcast I stopped in the middle of listening to the other day because I had to attend one of many doctor appointments I had this week. The message, “The Valley of Blessing”.

I thought, how ironic. Believing it was not a coincidence. I said, “Thank you God.” I needed to hear this! I said to him, God this is why I love you soooo much! You know exactly what I need when I need it. You will send a word that speaks to my situation to guide, encourage, bless, and deliver me from evil that surrounds me. That I may know everything will be all right, even in the valley.

Pastor Osteen had a lot to say and I wish I could put everything here but I can’t so I will share this. He said, “In every valley you’re gaining something. There is a purpose. Nothing happens by accident. Stand still and you will see the victory. Don’t complain about the valley. Have this new perspective. There’s a blessing in the valley.

Perhaps you’re in the valley of sickness and could easily be discouraged (Yes that’s me). It’s only temporary (Glory!). Don’t settle (I won’t). It’s going to turn into a valley of health and strength (Praise the Lord). You may not understand it right now but learn this. “God doesn’t move the valley. He will bless you in it.” No matter the circumstance, He will deliver you in it.

I started reflecting over my life journey and realized what I was missing. Although I may have been in the valley for almost eleven years, I am assured there’s a purpose. If it wasn’t going to turn out for my good, God wouldn’t never have led me to it.

Just because I lost some things including my passion, independence, pride, and dignity, God would restore these things and more back to me. I came to understand I wasn’t dealing with trivial things but with something critical to my destiny. The valley was preparing me for something greater. Glory hallelujah!

I learned my experiences were for my benefit. I gained something that would be instrumental in reaching my destiny. Experience and confidence opened the door to new beginnings. I may have faced challenges that seem insurmountable but what came to me as a surprise, this time the challenge is even bigger. It’s like something I have never experienced before. Thank God! I’m getting closer to my destiny.

When the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy, I will declare how great my God is. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. I’m more than a conqueror. Trouble don’t last always. This problem did not come to stay. It will come to pass one day. God will show up and show out. He will see me through this. He will fight my battle. I am in the valley of blessing.

God, you gave me a vision. I know this was your plan. Even when I don’t understand why this is happening to me or it doesn’t make sense, I will stand. I served the devil notice today. I told him I’m renaming my valleys today. I’m calling them one by one. Valley of defeat is valley of victory. All the valleys of sickness and disease, I’m renaming it to valley of restoration and health. Valley of death, struggle, and lack, I’m taking my rightful names back. You will be known as the valley of abundance, promotion, increase. I will decrease that God may increase.

I got a new perspective. I will get my passion back. I am victorious. I am triumphant. I will not be discouraged. My breakthrough is on the way. I will stay in the faith. I won’t let nothing stop me. What God has for me is for me!

For anyone who is in the valley this message of hope and inspiration is for you. Rest assured. God will see you through. You may be struggling. Know this, whatever God starts he finishes. Your situation may seem hopeless. It ain’t over until God says it’s over. Don’t be discouraged. When God says it is finished, it’s done. Trust Him. Count it all joy!

Be blessed! –JD

2 Chronicles 20:26-27 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the LORD. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Beracah to this day. 27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies.” (ESV)



Filed under My Thoughts, Personal, Poem, Uncategorized

Have You Ever Had This Type of Conversation with God? Confession of a Broken Heart

wpid-img_20150104_215704.jpgPlease forgive me for this long unusual post. I have lots of questions and I need some answers. Have you ever had a conversation like this with God? Having a pity party? Do you ever find yourself so angry you don’t know what to do? You’re angry at the world and at God because of what you keep going through? You shout out and ask, “God what do you want from me!!??”

People keep talking bad about and saying mean things to me. They expect me to be perfect because I’m a Christian. They expect me to take charge just because I’m a mother. Shoot, I’m doing my best on top of having to deal with my own personal struggles. They expect me to be normal when my “once normal” is no longer normal. They expect me to do the right thing when I don’t want to. I don’t feel like being humble. I don’t want to please people or listen to the lies they keep filling in my head. I just want the voices in my head to go away.

Why is it I feel I am always the one that need to live up to everyone else expectations? What about my expectations? Why must I be the only one that have to live up to the expectations of others simply because I’m a Christian? What about me? What about my feelings? Do you ever think about all the stuff I’ve been through? Have you ever considered the pain, devastation, confusion, stress I’ve endured? How can you be so selfish? I put on airs. You don’t have a clue. Do you ever think about how things are affecting me? You don’t know what I am going through.

Why do I always have to be a priority for others but when I need them to be a priority for me they keep finding excuses and blame things on me? Isn’t accountability a two-way street? What happened to do unto others as you would have them do unto me? Why does it seem like I am the only one trying to do the right thing but the minute I want to do the wrong thing, in the eyes of others it’s the wrong thing. Can’t people just let me be? Why does it feel like everyone is always picking on me?

Since no one else seems to be listening to what I have to say in my own defense, God I have to tell it to you because I know you’re always listening. I’m not even sick and tired of being sick and tired anymore. I’m just sick and tired. I don’t want to feel this way anymore. I just want to go with the flow and hope it works like it seems to be working for everyone else. Wouldn’t it be easier to just be my old self? No….I already know. I can’t because I’m a peculiar person. I’ve been picked out to be picked on. Devil please leave me alone!

God, the devil is trying his best to convince me that I made the wrong choice when I gave my life to you. He’s trying to make me believe the wrong thing is the right thing I want to do. He keep asking me, “Why did you choose to be a Christian? From what I can tell you ain’t winning?” Every day I have to fight against his lies. Sometimes even though I know it’s not the truth, I feel like he may know what he’s talking about. He keeps coming at me because he knows I’m a Christian. I know who I belong to. The devil is a lie and the truth ain’t in him! Go seek dry places!

Lord, please forgive me. I feel like I keep failing you. In the eyes of so many people, I am not right no matter what I do. They keep judging me. They keep trying to make me miss my blessing. I hurt. My heart aches. I’m in so much pain. I’m not like Jesus where I can put aside my fears and forgive quickly. I know there is no excuse for me saying this, but since you already know what I’m thinking I can’t help but to be honest. I am human. I’m fallible. My heart is broken in pieces. It’s so shattered I can’t even find many of the pieces. How am I going to put it back together when I can’t get together myself?

I know this is not about me. This is all about you. No matter what I see, I MUST give glory to you. God, I am trying. I feel lost. I can’t stop the tears falling from my eyes. I feel this life is too hard. How many times must I keep losing my way? How many times must I humble myself when people keep hurting me? At times I can’t see you in anything? God, I have to release this so I can feel better. I don’t like this feeling. I know this will not be like this forever….but.

Don’t I get a chance to feel some type of way when people abuse me, persecute me, lie on me, and misjudge me? Am I supposed to accept everything people do to me just because of who I am? Just because I’m a Christian? Even Jesus cried out to You about the ninth hour in a loud voice and said, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Even though he knew for certain he was innocent.He had done nothing wrong to lose the favor of God. Yet you still loved your own Son. I feel the same way. And I know you love me. This is the first-time I have ever done this. I never give away my secrets. Exposing myself before the world. I feel so naked. I’m not ashamed. Somebody needs to hear this.

Like Jesus, this was my deepest expression of anguish I felt that caused me to be separated from you, my Father. And I felt horrible. But I am so thankful Jesus suffered in my place so that I would never experience eternal separation from You. Isaiah 53:4-5 tells us, “he bore our bore our griefs and carried our sorrows; that he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities; that the chastisement of our peace was laid upon him; that by his stripes we are healed.”

Jesus died in our place, on our own account, that he might bring us near to God. Yes, even Jesus expressed His feelings of abandonment as God placed the sins of the world on Him. And because of that had to “turn away” from Jesus. It was the only time in all of eternity he was experiencing separation from God. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (Galatians 3:13).

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest. I feel better. I had to tell it. Something tells me I’m in the final stages of delivery. My God, I feel the birthing pains before delivery. People can treat me and do to me what they want to. I will do what you say in your Word to do, “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).

Lord, I may not understand but accept why Jesus felt the way he did. I may get discouraged and feel like I’ve lost the battle. I refuse to curse my situation. The battle is not mine, it’s the Lord. Devil, you came to destroy. I’m not having it! I am a child of God. You can’t steal my joy!

It won’t always be like this. I trust God-believing in his provision. I will live by his power every day. That I may break the cycle of failure. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget what a person has done. It means you choose not to be reminded of the hurt in order to move forward.

Be blessed! -JD

Matthew 18:21-22 “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (ESV)

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Filed under My Thoughts, Personal, Poem


Today’s poem, titled Reflections, is the fourth poem from my “mini-series” of poems I promised to share in between normal posts that was written during my college years. After reading my writing, I found that this was such a powerful piece. And because it’s been many years since writing, I can’t remember what may have prompted these strong thoughts but I’m sure it had something to do with life and what some women encounter in damaged relationships that attempt to make them feel inferior and lose their identity. When in fact, for some it will strengthen them, and keep their dignity intact only to give them the courage to move on from it. My professor only had this to say, “‘Strong ”power” freak poem.” I agree :-). Enjoy!


ReflectionsBehold! I am the king
Therefore, in my world
Whatever is done by you
Shall be ruled by me

Like a lion in the woods,
I instill
And afflict
In your heart, body, and soul

Like a builder,
I construct your life
And tear it down by
Destroying your mind

Like a panther in the night,
Through my perilous flight
I can undermine your
INTELLIGENCE that makes you feel stupid
belittle your
FEMININITY by treating you like a tramp
demean your
CHARACTER by exposing your unethical ways
That can go on for days and days

Because in my world,
That which you must belong to,
Everything is judged, decided,
And initiated by me –
No matter what it is you do

Your world is non-existent,
And who am I you say?
I am the king that rules your world
And get things done my way!


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Love Hurts

Love HurtsI’m sharing a poem titled Love Hurts from my “mini-series” of poems I promised in between normal posts that was written during my college years. And based on the expression of words that filled my thoughts, it looks like it was during a time I was broken and going through some type of pain or heartbreak.

Surprisingly, I actually loved the professor’s critique on this one but wasn’t sure at the time what he meant by his question at the end given I wasn’t a poetry writer or so I thought. 🙂 He wrote: “I sense the honesty and passion here. Good end-rhyme. How about some images?” Me: Hmm… One day I’ll get that.


Love Hurts

I met a person
Who said to me
My love for you
Will last infinitely

He came and took
My love from me
And now he wants
To set me free
He met another woman
Who was to be
His one and only
Till eternity

I stayed up all night
Wondering and crying
Was it not that
I was trying
Hard enough to do
All of the things he wanted me to

As I try to forget
And hide my pain
It only reminds me
Of how I’ll hurt again
So as you can see
I’m not the same anymore
Because of a man
I truly adored


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Don’t Defeat My Progress Because of My Pain. Let Your Words Help Me to Heal and Feel Whole Again

wpid-textgram_1399515461.pngGod knows all about us and still blesses us. In spite of our flaws, he still loves us. Yet there are those who have seen us at our worse and know all about our past. But sometimes fail to understand the impact of their words when trying to console us when in pain.

And will use our past as a crutch and at the same time speak words of encouragement. For some, it is not always intentional even when it seems inappropriate. It can mean that they really do not understand how negative mixed with positive may affect us. Not realizing how much their words hurt us.

When a person who is in pain reaches out to another, their hope is to be healed, feel whole again, and find comfort. Yet we must know the difference and not confuse comfort with negative criticism. Or confuse pain with defeating progress. Because what it will do is crush that person’s spirit and may cause them to stagnate their own progress. Some will comfort and criticize at the same time. Because it’s the person they choose to be at that time. Not realizing at that point it defeats the purpose, especially when someone needs to get past their hurt when hurting.

When someone is hurting, words of encouragement are meant to heal with good intentions. Not to be replaced with words that will hurt them and remind them of their past afflictions. Opinions matter but they do not count. When secure in whom you are you will erase all doubt. Criticism at first will look like defeat and may cause you to go on the defense. Quickly reminding yourself you mustn’t take offense. It is then and only then after much careful thought, you realize you could have handled it differently and in the future will work to not give it much thought.

Don’t get me wrong, criticism when constructive can sometimes make you stronger. But you must be careful of the appropriate time to use it and not at a time when consoling others. Or at a time when you know mentally and emotionally, there is something wrong. Discern the difference between right and wrong.

Unkind, thoughtless words hurt once they leave the mouth. Be careful with the words that come out of your mouth. Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Your words are a reflection of your thoughts and who you are and have become. Make sure your words in a split moment of conversation inspire and not tear down. Let your opinions be wise and spiritually sound. Be kind, loving, empathetic, and sincere. Don’t use the past at any time to remind someone of the place they find themselves now  is why they are there.

The greater level of comfort you have with yourself will make it that much easier to deflect criticism, and not let it hinder your progress. Only to use it as a positive force to remind you of the person you have matured into. While celebrating the past you left behind you.

Don’t defeat my progress because of my pain. Let your words of comfort be positive to help me heal and feel whole again. Don’t confuse comfort with negative criticism when supporting someone in their time of need. Build them up. Let your words be positive words of wisdom. Indeed!

Be blessed! -JD

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. (NASB)


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“But You Don’t Look Sick”

wpid-textgram_1386924105.pngWhen you’re hurting on the inside but dressed nicely and look good on the outside. “But you don’t look sick.” What people don’t know, on the outside looks can be deceiving.

They don’t need to know you’re sick. Keep your head up. Smile. Dress well. All that matters; God is a healer. He knows you’re sick.

“But you don’t look sick.”

Be blessed! -JD


Filed under My Thoughts, Poem, Uncategorized

In Support of September Pain Awareness Month

In support of a cause I am truly passionate about for those who suffer with ongoing chronic pain, as a pain advocate, I decided to dedicate this post today to lend my voice in honor of September Pain Awareness Month.

Having lived with chronic pain for the past eleven years and being diagnosed with various conditions, I became an  advocate with various chronic pain association organizations to help raise awareness. Although my efforts are limited due to limitations and challenges I face, I do what I can when I can to make a difference.

When I became diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2009, with the help of my family,  the first step in my journey  as a pain advocate began with submission of my story “Joy” to the APF Action Network. The story can also be read at http://action.painfoundation.org/site/PageNavigator/Voices_of_Pain.

To raise awareness about the need for effective pain care in response to the American Pain Foundation’s  (APF) “If I Lived in a World with Less Pain, I Could…” campaign to SECURE A FIRST-EVER PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION OFFICIALLY NAMING EVERY SEPTEMBER NATIONAL PAIN AWARENESS MONTH, my family helped create this video “If I Lived in a World with Less Pain, I Could…” to share my voice as well as spread the word to bring awareness to what I believe is such an important issue in the lives of those who live with pain.

The video represents a poem of my message to PRESIDENT OBAMA of what MY WORLD WITH LESS PAIN would be like. It gives me an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others as I work to bring national awareness to the “hidden” epidemic of pain (APF) so that those who suffer with pain will have a right to effective care and treatment; because “pain” is not just an individual or local problem. It is a national healthcare crisis. It does not only affect pain sufferers but it affects families, friends, associates and anyone who is connected to its world. Even though it may not directly affect every individual, the physical, financial and emotional affects can be devastating to the pain sufferer and the families of those who will ultimately suffer. But with your help, we all can make a difference.

APF ceased operation last year and is no longer active, but I am still campaigning and fighting for a presidential proclamation.

Please join me in support of this cause and spread the word DURING THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER or UNTIL A PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION IS SECURED by asking others to spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or any other social media. Your support would be greatly appreciated! -JD


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Be Grateful for Your Afflictions

I was looking for something the other day after dwelling in thought on God’s awesome wonder and came across another diary that hid my most intimate thoughts. I noticed that most of the writings were done at a time in the wee hours of the morning as I talked with God and expressed despair and hurt because of pain I had suffered as I found myself in a state of brokenness.

What surprised me was a statement I made where a voice called out to me between 1:00 am and 3:00 am in the morning as I distinctly heard someone call my name. I sat up, after dozing off and crying for what seemed like forever, and looked around the room only to find no one was there. A few seconds later, the voice called my name again and told me, “Trust me in all thy ways and all will be given unto you.” I was dazed and confused as I looked around the room only to find again that no one was there. But what I was certain of is that someone was trying to get my attention and needed to reassure me that everything was going to be alright.

Two hours later after falling asleep and waking up again, I began to talk to God and profess my troubles and the pain I felt because of the struggle I had with feeling abandoned at a critical time in my life. I had a hard time accepting a decision that drastically changed my life not understanding the depth of how it would impact my future. I told God I didn’t understand why this happened to me and asked him why I was going through what I clearly felt I didn’t deserve it. Little did I realize God would send people I call intercessors to confirm and reveal the very things he needed me to see and face in what seemed like a horrific tragedy, assuring me it would work out for a greater good.

I still couldn’t see it. Later that day I cried on my mother’s shoulder for what seemed like hours and all I could hear were these words, “Daughter, stand still and let God have control. God will never leave or forsake you and would never give you more than you can bear.” She reminded me of the strength God had given me in his strength to get through every struggle I faced even when I couldn’t see it. He knew how strong I was and that whatever he was taking me through would be for his good, for his purpose.

The following day I received further confirmation from a sister friend who revealed God had chosen me to perform a special work but in order to do so, he needed to get my attention in areas I may have not yet developed because I was focusing so much attention on a priority that should not have been a priority in the first place, forgetting to keep God as the priority. She told me, “God is trying to open your eyes to the fact that you must depend totally on Him for everything, be faithful in all you do, and go to him with a pure heart.”

I listened carefully to her and couldn’t help but express my confused state of mind and lack of understanding with the troubled circumstances I faced as it concerned my health, the loss of a job, and challenges because of life changes. She said, “Ask God for revelation to the things you struggle with in all areas of your life and he will show you what to do to bring clarity and closure.” She, too, reminded me that God knows how strong I am and as a child of God, he desires to strengthen me in areas where I’m weak and areas that I am blind that I may increase my faith in Him and develop a greater trust in him regardless of the troubles I faced.

The final revelation came when my cousin called and not only confirmed what my mother and sister friend said but added validation and affirmation to what God needed me to know. She said, “When God calls you or chooses you to do a work for him, it is not going to be easy. Many are called but few are chosen and you have been chosen. You have been highly favored.” All I could do was cry and at the same time thank her for the words of encouragement, inspiration, and revelation. I understood that God was speaking to me through them to reveal the plans he had for me. And in my dream, I now realize it was him calling me even though I couldn’t see anyone in the room, the small whisper was evidence.

I took their advice and took their words to heart. I made a commitment to God. I promised myself to seek God’s Word daily and faithfully, and to search my heart earnestly. Look to him and not to man for help, for my provision. And understand in the end, it would work for the greater good of those that are called by the Lord according to his purpose.

When it was all said and done, before the night was over, I prayed and asked God for these things specifically. I prayed for clarity. I asked that he give me a revelation to clear confusion. Speak to me that I may know how to better serve him. Although the pain was so deep and was fresh that hurt to the core, it would eventually fade away that I may delight in Him. I thanked him for listening. I fell asleep in peace.

And today, I am at peace. It may have taken me a long time to get it right. God is doing great things in my life. Now I understand just how much God loves me. I may have gone through what seemed like extreme troubled waters and a multitude of disasters which seemed like eternity. But God knew how he would fulfill his purpose through me. His plan was better. My life has taken a turn for the better. I am stronger, wiser, better.

While I couldn’t see the things my family and friends pointed out to me at that time, I learned God needed to be my priority all the time. I’m grateful for my afflictions because in the face of adversity, God would get the glory. I learned a valuable lesson and knew it was by God’s grace I’m still standing. I give God all the praise and glory!

I am grateful to God for godly women who counsel and provide spiritual advisement to get me on the right track. So that I may clearly understand God has my back. I’m canceling every assignment, putting all the plans, tricks, and devious ways of the enemy on a shelf. They will rot and dry out like dry bones because my God is a present help. In my times of trouble, he was there for me. Even in my brokenness when I couldn’t see. It was through my afflictions, God refined me in order that I may become a better person. He needed to bring me to a place, to rid me of all things that distracted me from the promise and his purpose. In the midst of my troubles when I thought he abandoned me and was not there. All the time he was there.

We are not perfect. God will perfect us. There is a purpose for everything God does. When we are helpless, God strengthens us. God will test us. Even in brokenness, He will refine us. Trials will come. We will face many. There will be testing in the face of adversity. Testing of your faith develops perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:3-4).

Be grateful for your afflictions. It is not a curse. Consider it a blessing. It could have been worse. God’s purpose is his promise. Through testing, He will strengthen you in your affliction. God will remove your imperfections. God will refine you. You will become a better person. Serve Him with the gifts he created in you in spite of imperfections. God knows the plans he has for you. Persevere. He will reward you.

Be blessed! -JD

Psalm 66:10-12 “For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. 11 You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; 12 you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.” (ESV)


Filed under My Thoughts, Personal, Poem, Uncategorized

Forgive and Let Go and Speak Out Loud To Your Pain


Forgiven (Photo credit: Fr. Stephen, MSC)

This has been on my heart for the past few days. Thought I’d share it with you today.

You may have been hurt, misused, and abused. You may still be harboring pain from people that have disappointed and failed you. Don’t be afraid to forgive. Otherwise, you’re preventing yourself to freely live. Don’t be held back by past hurts. Live in the present. ‪#‎LetGoLetGod ‪#‎Forgive ‪#‎PrayerWorks.

It is okay to accept that you’ve been hurt. Acknowledge it. Allow yourself time to grieve. But don’t wallow or stay in it. Don’t take too long to get over it, because bitterness and resentment will set in, which makes it that much harder to let go of the pain. When your heart becomes hardened, you will become stagnate in life. God doesn’t desire you live a substandard life. Forgive and you will be forgiven.

Think about what you want to say to the person who hurt you and how it offended you. If you are not able to physically express your hurt to them, write a letter put your words on paper then get rid of it. You can throw it in the trash, tear it into pieces, or even crumble it. This will help you to let go of it. Because what it will do for you is free you from years of bottled up emotions and torment.

The moment you do this you will feel better because you will have released your feelings from your heart and mind. You’ve sent it to another place in time. Then release it and don’t think about it anymore. Keep reminding yourself that the pain from these words will not reside in your heart anymore. God will give you strength to endure. He will help you move past your hurt. He will sustain you. Every step of the way, he is with you.

Finally, speak life into your situation every day. Truly release whatever you’re struggling with to God. Be honest. Consistently pray. If you keep your mind occupied with positive things and on God, you won’t have time to think about it at all. Forgive yourself and all will be forgiven. And remember, God is faithful and forgiving. He will give you strength to endure. Pray. Endure.

Forgive and let go and speak out loud to your pain. Live again.

Take this scripture with you and remind yourself every day, God is with you always.

Be blessed! JD

Psalm 25:17-18 “The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my afflictions and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.”

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By His Stripes We Are Healed

English: Broken Heart symbol

English: Broken Heart symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A broken heart in conflict with the mind cannot speak to another person’s pain. A healed heart that reflects God’s heart can.

When filled with brokenness, the heart is hardened and shattered into pieces that seem hard to mend.  We’re convinced the heart has been damaged beyond repair and can’t ever be healed again.

When our heart has been broken the mind is met with conflict, denial, and resistance. The pain will run so deeply where we find ourselves in a state of confusion. Our thoughts become inconsistent.

We will close ourselves off to any and everything. We won’t allow anyone we feel can be of help to come in. Not even ones who can offer advice or spiritual guidance that will help us mend. When others try to encourage us, we don’t feel like they are saying the right things.

We believe in that moment because the heart has been irreparably damaged, there’s no fixing it. There’s no advice anyone can give us to make us feel better. We can’t see the good or God in it. There are no activities we want to engage in that will make the pain go away. Simply put, when in this state, we believe there is nothing that will cure the pain and heartache.

Then we throw all our emotions into a bag, close, pack and will carry the weight on our shoulders. We will carry a heavy burden, coupled with lost emotions, repeating feelings of hurt over and over.

Tugging emotional baggage is like a heavy suitcase being opened only to find it filled with locks and chains bound together. That cannot be broken without the help of something to cut loose the metal. As is a person who is broken and have become emotionally damaged and confused. And it feels like we have been taken advantage of, wondering why we were emotionally abused.

When the heart conflicts with the mind, we tend to do things that are unconventional. Our thoughts become irrational. We behave out of character. We begin to look to ourselves for answers.

There’s uncertainty in our hearts. On our own, we try to work it out. We will harbor fear and self doubt. And will take our focus off God and place it on us. And unfortunately will fail to see what was right in front of us…God. The very thing we needed to find peace, deliverance, and healing. We looked to ourselves instead of God for healing.

God is the answer. He will give you strength to overcome and work it out. He won’t allow you to go through it alone. You will overcome without a doubt.

When the heart wants what the mind doesn’t. Don’t confuse one with the other. Get them in sync with one another. Even when your heart is broke it deserves recovery. Pray and ask God to heal your heart, even if it doesn’t happen immediately. He will do it, if you let him. He will set your soul free.

It is okay to hurt but we mustn’t put so much focus on something that is not working. Yes, we’re in pain and may be broken. But God will fix our hearts again. He is a mind-regulator and a heart fixer. God is a healer. He will make you whole again.

Seek him. Focus on His Word. Not your will. Be dedicated, committed, and obedient to his will. He is the only one that can fill the hole in our heart. He can remove the void. And when it comes time to live again, we will not be led by our damaged heart. But will be led by the joy in knowing we have been restored with the goodness of God’s heart. In order that God’s purpose may be fulfilled. Our heart will reflect God’s heart once again.

By His stripes we are healed.

Be blessed! -JD

Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (ESV)


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Listen To The Cry of A Silent Victim

I’m going off subject again today.
My mind’s scattered. Thoughts are all over the place.
I woke to some disturbing news the other day
And have not been able to sleep or shake it all week.
I tried to put it in the back of my mind, but something is not letting me.

It keeps surfacing in my thoughts so I must release it to clear my head.
Things like this cannot be left unsaid.

My heart is heavy laden.
An innocent teenager took his life the other day.
He sent a message on a well-known social media platform
Earlier that morning, that same day
No one paid attention.
All I could do was pray.

He posted a goodbye in the wee hours of the morning.
So it definitely was not a time during heavy traffic where it could not be noticed.
Sadly, there were many clicks on “likes” by his friends.
I’m confused. Why didn’t anyone see the warning signs then?

He seemed uneasy and restless. He blamed himself for the mess.
He apologized before whatever was planned by him to happen
Clearly during his time of distress.
He seemed unhappy, as tears welled in my eyes.
Then he ended the post and said goodbye.

My heart sank. Tears of sorrow filled my face as I cried.
It took all the strength I had to accept what I knew already happened. He died.
I know he either had parents or someone who cared about him
That could have been notified.
This child was clearly crying out for help before he took his life and died.

Social media has a massive process of notification for everything:
Mentions, promotional ads, retweets, even notice of ones who are trending.
Even more disturbing is how easy it is
For officials to track and catch potential culprits in a place like this.

But when it comes to things like this, sadly there’s no app for it.
Why isn’t there an alert to track key words of potential suicide victims?
Who may connect to lines to aid in suicide prevention?

My prayers are with this young man’s family.
My heart aches and is torn in pieces.
It hurts tremendously.
Words cannot express the sadness or pain I feel.
I pray for peace, comfort, strength; that his family may be healed.

While I cannot blame social media for the events that have occurred,
I can only hope that in the same way we use social media to spread the word.
Not only of events that matter most to us,
But place a greater significance on things such as this that should disturb us.

Not that we may find recognition or potential success.
But because it is imperative we find a way to take notice of things such as this.
In the hopes we may help save a life.
Assured it is not remiss but will help because of our sacrifice.

This child’s life may have been saved
Had someone taken responsibly and taken the time to carefully read his words
And took heed to his warning.
Instead of ignoring and acknowledging his effort by clicking “likes,”
When he silently cried out for help before ending his life.

Suicide is a serious issue oftentimes I feel we fail at recognizing; miserably.
We don’t take it seriously.
We ignore the warning signs after it’s too late.
If only someone will only listen to the cry of a silent victim before it is too late.

Let this be an example of what we can do
As a society to rightfully help potential suicide victims make it through,
In a platform that gets the most attention.
Use social media to your advantage, to get the right attention.

If we take heed to the warning signs when it comes to saving a life.
We can be the person that may help save a life.
Know that a cry out for help clearly calls for our attention.
Let social media not be just to gain potential followers,
But alert anyone that will listen.
Listen to the cry of a silent victim.

Thank you for listening. -JD

For more information on how you can help someone who may be suicidal on social media, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/Online.

God, I know you’re listening.
Please hear my prayers as I pray.
For the family and friends of those
that lost a loved one today.

Comfort them in their time of need.
Restore whatever strength they may have lost.
Help the family find peace.
Give them hope for tomorrow.
Assure them all is not lost.

God, I know the pain may be unbearable.
And it may be hard for them to overcome.
But I know you can and will help them get through this.
No matter how hard it may be for them. Let your will be done.

To be absent with the body is to be present with the Father.
Though, they will be sorely missed.
Bring the family to a place where they can receive joy in knowing this.
And understand they are in a better place and is no longer in pain.
They don’t have to cry another tear or feel sorrow ever again.

God may the family find rest in your arms.
Hold them safely in your hands.
Handle them with care.
Comfort them as only I know you can.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”


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Trust God in Your Brokenness

Trust is essential to the core of our existence but when it is destroyed it leaves us helpless and defenseless. Where there is no trust, fear will rule our life. And can become difficult to overcome in order to live a successful life.

Past experiences can play a major role in the development of trust issues. And can begin as early as childhood based on what you’ve seen in your parents’ relationships. Or what you’ve seen in the relationship of others. Abuse, neglect, and violent behavior are some of the things that will hinder your ability to trust others. It can be especially difficult if you carry the emotional damage into other areas of your life. When making a transition. It can be painful because of the personal sacrifice.

There are some who don’t ever think it’s necessary to change. As long as they’re content with the life they live and can keep doing the same things. Sadly, they will miss the blessing. When failing to learn from the experience and embrace the lesson.

For those who have been betrayed or felt abandoned, this is an example of what their life may look like. Every encounter is suspect. The motives of others are questionable. And in some cases, we can’t trust ourselves and become paranoid with unresolved issues. We even start blaming ourselves for the way things turned out. We feel unworthy. And say it was our fault that it didn’t turn out right.

Sadly, many don’t understand the impact trust has on a person’s emotional or psychological well-being. And even worse, while you may still be in bondage, they have moved on with their life only to bring the same issues into the place they may find themselves. When in reality, their life too is meaningless. Be it a spouse, significant other, a job, or a relationship. They will start where they left off in a new place but the same issues still will exist. Nothing is resolved even if they try to replace it.

Trust issues will transfer into the “new” life that really is still the “old” life. It’s just with another person, in another place, or with another thing. It’s the same life. The same implications will exist no matter what you may see, based on what success you think your life will bring.

When trust is broken it can destroy a person emotionally, physically, and mentally. The mind may become confused, impaired, and irreparable clouding your perception and your reality. Some may harbor resentment, resistance and may become bitter. Some will seek revenge. Others may look to God for refuge and give him control to avenge.

But what happens when you think you’ve conquered the issue of trust and one day encounter one of the very people or thing that led to it. And your reaction clearly validates you’re not over it. But instead you’re still bound by it. We all have been there. Trust me. I know. I lived it.

What do you do when you run into someone you once knew and they ask “How are you?” You begin to speak about how good God has been to you. How God changed your life. You notice the expression on their face. They’re as quiet as a mouse. They have nothing to say about their life. You sense something troubling about them. But you can’t put your finger on it. You place it in the back of your mind and remind yourself to pray for them.

You say your good-byes and something comes over you. You start thanking God because he knew. Grateful He removed you from that place to protect you. You found forgiveness and have started life anew.

Although a void in your life may exist. External fulfillment will hinder your ability to honestly evaluate what you assume drives your existence versus what is required. I believe the first thing necessary is prayer to discern how to begin working on voids that will diminish your own selfish desires. Second is to seek God’s plan. It’s required.

In order to move on from your past hurts, use prayer and God for strength to overcome. Voids can be used as the catalyst in the building of a foundation to place you at a greater level than where you see yourself. It will help you begin the process of starting over and heal, with God’s help.

As believers, fear is not an option. Nor should it be a hindrance. We mustn’t become bound by it. Even if people may have walked out on you, walk by faith and the power God has given. For it is because of God’s faithfulness that we are still living. There may be others who rejected, hurt, or abused you. There may even be some who don’t accept you. God still will elevate you, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV). You will be healed, in time.

Your heart may have been broken. God knows and can see it. Surrender your will to him in your brokenness and he will fix it. You may have experienced trials, tribulations, and pain. Go to God. We need God in all things. Be honest with God and acknowledge where your heart stands. Come to Him, naked and unashamed. Proclaim deliverance. God doesn’t change. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. No weapon formed against you shall prosper.

God’s Word contains a solution for every problem, a promise for every need, a plan to prosper you and not harm you. He has plans for you to succeed. Trust him and he will send resolve for that which binds you. He knows your future. He’s with, for, on side, in front, and behind you.

Trust God in your brokenness. His grace will heal you.

Be blessed! -JD

Proverbs 3:5-8 NIV “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.”

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Look For God In The Midst Of Your Pain

The Lord is My LightI find that as humans, we all are afflicted with something that will bring pain in some way where we will suffer be it physical, spiritual, or mental, acute, chronic, temporary, permanent, incurable, or curable.

Pain comes in many forms and can be experienced in the loss of a loved one. The effects of grief may cause failure in our ability to overcome. It can come from an injury, an illness, or a health condition where symptoms may never cease. Or from a heart that has been broken into pieces. There’s no getting around it. We are not exempt. However, some of us will give up while going through and hold contempt. Or some of us will persevere and relent, when experiencing a painful event. It’s all in who we know and whose we are. It will depend on our relationship with God.

Much like Jesus, who suffered both physically and spiritually, yet persevered. He still served.  His suffering was nothing in comparison to the price he paid when he carried our sins and died to pay the penalty for them. Yet he served. He didn’t let that stop him from fulfilling God’s plan.

One of my greatest passions is being a voice and advocating for people in pain. Yet one of the hardest challenges I face is being able to lend my efforts as I would like to. Oftentimes, giving up and losing the perseverance to stand. As such what I’ve found as a silent advocate is my message sometimes fall on deaf ears.

I know you’re saying, “It sounds like an oxymoron to be a ‘silent advocate.’” And when I look at it, it does. But what it means is, in my heart I advocate while at the same time my family helps with efforts to lend my voice that sometimes is bare minimum in comparison to what I see in most people who advocate for a cause. This is primarily because of my limitations but I still fight when I can as I can.

Did you know there are 116 million American adults that suffer from chronic pain (June 2011 IOM report), of which I am one of them.

Throughout this particular season in my life, I have encountered some of the strongest people whose plight is acutely worse than mine but I’ve witnessed their drive and tenacity to reach their God-given destiny. They’ve beaten the odds and lived to tell their story. As well as found success in spite of their situation. Sadly, I was not one of those people.

After a 9 ½ year long battle with unresolved pain issues taking its toll on me, I had come to the conclusion that my life was over. At the time, I was ready to begin a new journey after finishing grad school but found my life changed in a matter of a split second. I thought it was shattered because I had hopes and dreams and found myself giving up all because of one dramatic change. The devil is a LIAR! My God reigns!

It was in this instant I woke up to my reality as I said to God, “I know this life is not what you have in mind for me. I know this is not the life you promised would be.” I cried out to him, “Lord I know this season I’m in is only temporary. You know the burdens I carry. I know I am not here to live a substandard life. I know in my heart you have a better plan for my life. I ask that you show me what it is I can do, to make a difference and glorify you.”

I told him, “I know there are people in this world in much worse shape than I, who have stood the test of time. And if they can do it so can I. Use me Lord to do thy will. Not based on my circumstances but because of my circumstances let your will be done.”

As I turned over and mediated on my petition to God, I fell asleep and hours later, woke up with a strange urge to do something beyond my understanding not knowing how it would be accomplished. All I know is God revealed it to me and told me the pity party was over. He said, “The time has come as you asked to be used. Rejoice. This is Good News.”

“Paul tells us that in the future we will become, but until then we must overcome. This means we will experience difficulties that help us grow. We rejoice in suffering not because we like pain or deny its tragedy, but because we know God is using life’s difficulties and Satan’s attacks build our character.”

Romans 5:3-5 “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

That same day I gathered all the strength I could and discussed with my sister the story I later shared with American Pain Foundation (APF) three years ago in submission of my story after completing an advocacy survey. I told my sister that after we submitted my “Share Your Story” God had given me a revelation. I wanted to help people in pain even though I wasn’t sure how it would be accomplished. My sister assured me it could happen with God and family as my source of support.

With the help of my family we took the first step as they helped put together my story “Joy” and submitted it to APF Action Network. A few weeks later I received news that my story had been accepted and would be featured on their Action Network site under Voices of People with Pain. This in turn set the foundation of my advocacy efforts. The story can also be read at http://action.painfoundation.org/site/PageNavigator/Voices_of_Pain

I was overjoyed and excited in spite of strife. God changed my life. He set the foundation for greater things to come even when I had given up and thought I was done. This is where it all started although the organization ceased last year, this is where I still am in my commitment to serve Him, as I advocate for the rights of people in pain. I am still fighting for the proclamation.

And it didn’t stop there. God showed me what great courage and perseverance will do even in times of despair. Approximately two years later I learned APF was holding a campaign called “If I Lived in a World with Less Pain, I Could…” during September Pain Awareness Month. In an effort to secure a first-ever presidential proclamation proclaiming September National Pain Awareness Month, applicants were given the choice to submit a short story or video of what their life would be like if they lived in a world with less pain.

I thought, “This would be the greatest opportunity to share with others my testimony. Not literally, but what I believe we as pain sufferers experience and are afraid to speak. So, I immediately went to God. I told him “I really want to do this. I really would like to be a voice, in way that would truly make a difference. Please God, I know you’re listening. I ask for discernment and wisdom be it your will that you may guide me to make the right decision that I may fulfill…your purpose.”

I called my sister again and told her what I desired to do but I was waiting on God for confirmation that would lead me in whatever he willed I do. God sent the answer by the time she arrived home and with the help of my family, September 2011 they created this video. I was elated. I only wanted to be a voice. God helped me overcome barriers. In his still voice, he said to me, “This will be your voice.”

The video represented my message to PRESIDENT OBAMA of what MY WORLD WITH LESS PAIN would be like. I felt it was an opportunity to bring national awareness to the “hidden” epidemic of pain (APF) so that those who suffer with pain will have a right to effective care and treatment; because “pain” is not just an individual or local problem.

It is a national healthcare crisis. It does not only affect pain sufferers but it affects families, friends, associates and anyone who is connected to its world. Even though it may not directly affect every individual; the physical, financial and emotional affects can be devastating to the pain sufferer and the families of those who will ultimately suffer. I believed with the help of a nation, we all could make a difference.

Within a matter of weeks, again to my surprise, APF chose my video the second week of the campaign and featured it on their Facebook page. I thought, “This is all God.” He is using me in spite of me to help others who suffer so their voices can be heard.

I thanked him over and over again. I know he sent this new journey in spite of my pain. I truly believe this will be the cornerstone of the new road I will travel in this “new” journey of my life. As I become a voice of reason and a voice of hope for many who suffer from pain of any type.

I say all these things to say this: Although it has been a long and hard journey towards the road to recovery, I wanted to shout to the world what God did for me. He set my soul free. I professed all my troubles to God. I spent time in prayer when things seemed hard. I surrendered my will to him. I prayed and asked Him. Much like the same as Jesus said to him, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

I will follow your example Jesus. I will persevere. I will sustain. I will pray to the Father through my trials and pain. He did it for me. He can do it for you too. Here’s my suggestion for you. Tell me what would you do?

What you say? Do you believe Jesus will make a way? Do you believe He will take all your pain away? Do you believe he will set you free? Free from a life of pain, worry, and misery. What do you believe?

Do you believe God orchestrates things with your best interest at heart? I do. His Word I will never depart. For it is this I believe. I will receive all that God has promised me. I will not get weary in well-doing. I will run and not walk. God will give me the desires of my heart.

This is my platform. God gave it to me. I will use it to encourage others to stay strong in spite of me. In spite of the diagnosis, condition, or symptoms that come. We can be the one that God will use to inspire and help someone.

Look for God in the midst of your pain. God doesn’t change. He is the same. Yesterday, today, and forever more; he reigns. We all can make a difference in the lives of others if only we believe! We can change the world if only we continue in our efforts to make a difference. And we can live life to its fullest in support of others when fighting to bring awareness that they may persevere to the next level. Be blessed! –JD

1 Peter 2:21 “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:”

If I Could...I Would

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